This weekend’s series between the Phillies and Mets featured playoff-caliber baseball. It also showed that the Phillies were playing with a few men down. The Phils lost their series this weekend two games to one to the New York Mets, who are clicking on all cylinders.
Phillies take a Friday night thriller
This weekend, there was a playoff atmosphere at Citi Field for this edition of the Phillies vs. Mets. Friday night kicked things off, and the fans were into it. Ranger Suarez took the mound for the Phils and took on future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer. Suarez went toe to toe with Mad Max and even outpitched the former Cy Young award-winning pitcher.
Ranger went seven strong innings with three hits and only one earned run. This might be his best start of the season. Since coming off the injured list, Suarez has only allowed four earned runs and has struck out 25 batters across 28.1 innings of work. The Phillies have won each game that he was started in that stretch.
It was the Phillies daycare that shined for the club on Friday night. While Suarez was dealing on the mound, two former first-round picks were grooving at the plate. Bryson Stott got a chance to lead off for the first time in his career. Stott started the game with a double on Scherzer and reached base against him three more times. Bryson is the first player in MLB history to reach base four times off Max Scherzer in one game. Stott would account for both runs scored in this one.
Alec Bohm was the other first-round pick that was dealing at the dish. Bohm was responsible for knocking in Bryson Stott, both for the lead, in the first and tenth innings. Alec has been impressive at the third slot in the Phillies lineup, and it will be curious to see where he goes once Bryce Harper returns.
David Robertson would get the save in the bottom of the tenth inning for the club, and the Phillies would steal game one in New York. Taking the first game of any series is big, but on the road against your rival is even bigger.
Saturday’s Pitching Classic
Baseball fans were in for a treat when the Phillies took the field on Saturday night. Aaron Nola went face to face with Jacob deGrom in what turned out to be a pitching classic. In this one, Aaron Nola would go the distance for the Phillies, going eight innings. Nola finished with 1 earned run, eight strikeouts, and just one walk. Much like most of his career with the Phillies, Aaron was dominant in this game and failed to get the run support to go with it. Nola did everything he could to win the game for his team but suffered the loss.
Jacob deGrom went six innings for the Mets in this game. He had ten strikeouts and did not allow a run. Closer Edwin Diaz came in to complete the save, but the Phillies had a chance to strike against the All-Star closer. Rhys Hoskins and JT Realmuto would both walk to get runners on.
With two outs in the inning, Nick Castellanos would get an opportunity to tie the game. A double steal would move both runners into scoring position. Castellanos battled against arguably the most electric arm today but would strike out swinging to end the game.
The Phils would fall short 1-0 in a gritty and hard-fought battle.
Sunday Rubber match
After two hard-fought baseball games, the Phillies would send Zack Wheeler to the hill to try and win the series. Wheeler has been very good against his former club, but that would not be the case on Sunday. Zack by no means pitched his worse game, but he was tagged for six earned runs in this one.
The Mets would score four runs in the bottom of the fourth on very weak contact. Several of the Mets’ hits barely made it out of the infield, but sometimes that’s just how baseball works.
Wheeler was not the sole reason to blame for the Phillies’ 6-0 loss on Sunday. The offense just did not come ready to play. The Phillies have not scored in 18 consecutive innings, something I expect to end once they land in Cincy for Monday’s matchup.
The Phillies came across as lazy and unmotivated in Sunday’s finale with the Mets. You can’t expect any team to come back in every game, but Philadelphia’s unit typically gives a vibe through the screen or in person that they will fight until the end.
Sunday’s game felt like the Phils had checked out once they started to trail, and despite some opportunities, they never felt they would come through.
Phillies are on to Cincinnati
The Phillies will head to Cincy to take on the Reds for a three-game series.
The Reds are one of the worse teams in baseball, and the Phillies should have no problem taking care of business. I expect Monday to be a get-right game for the club, and they should use that momentum to carry into their final series with New York this upcoming weekend.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II