Nothing could feel better for the Philadelphia Phillies than hosting your National League East (and I-95) rival New York Mets for the final time of the season.
Oh, that’s right….sweeping them feels even better.
The Phillies are on the path to end September with a bang ahead of hosting a playoff series.
Rain did play into a bit of delay for Saturday and Sunday’s games. Yet as Philadelphia “Met the Mess” against New York, it was a powerful lineup and a solid rotation that pushed the hunt for Red October further into the likelihood.
Game 1: Phillies 5-4 Mets
Right fielder Nick Castellanos started off his impressive role in the four-game series and earned himself a 103 RBI season during the Phils 5-4 win. Castellanos’ two-run single in the first gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead before tacking on another RBI in the third with a sacrifice fly.
While the Mets had runs from Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil, the evening belonged to Castellanos. Casty hit a 92 mph fastball from Jeff Brigham and it flew 454 feet off the facing of the second deck in left field in the sixth inning to put Philadelphia in front 5-4. He hit the career-best 103 RBIs in a season, turning around an abysmal 2022 season.
Game 2: Phillies 5-4 Mets
Another evening, another 5-4 win in favor of the Phils. After honoring Scott Rolen, it was time for right-hander Taijuan Walker took to the mound.
He pitched well enough Friday night to earn his 11th quality start. Walker allowed two runs on five hits and one walk over six inning and struck out four. The outing was a good way to see him back to his normal form after four poor previous starts.
New York took an early 2-0 lead thanks to Pete Alonso and his RBI double in the first and Brandon Nimmo’s RBI single in the fifth.
But it was not long before the Philadelphia bats started firing. Bottom of the sixth, J.T. Realmuto homered to center field, as Harper and Bohm both came home to make it a 3-2 ballgame and Realmuto’s 20th homer this season. Kyle Schwarber added his one RBI single, bringing home Johan Rojas making it 4-2.
Bohm followed an intentional walk to Harper with an RBI single in the 10th and that’s where the magic happened. But he drove in automatic runner Trea Turner with a single to right off Mets pitcher Adam Ottavino to earn the magic 5-4 lead in the 10th inning.
Game 3: Phillies 7-5 Mets
Are we used to the Fightin’s winning games yet? If not, Saturday night was the night. After a bit of a delayed start due to Tropical Stor Opehlia, New York drew first blood.
The Mets took a 2-0 lead off an error in the second. Third baseman Brett Baty’s ground ball went right under Turner’s glove at shortstop. Harper put Philadelphia up on the scoreboard first with a homer off facing of the second deck in right-center in the second inning.
Mets starter José Quintana gave up six runs, five of them earned, and eight hits in six innings with a season-high 10 strikeouts.
The Phillies lineup took advantage of the poor pitching. Castellanos hit a tying triple later in the second and Alec Bohm hit his 19th home run in the third for a 3-2 lead.
Harper added another two-run single in the fifth to put the Phillies lead at 6-2. It made his 20th homer in the season. It also Harper’s homer gave the Phillies five players with 20 or more home runs for the third time after 2007 and ’09.
Realmuto added his own RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, bringing the score to 7-5 and the fourth straight win for the Phils.
Game 4: Phillies 5-2 Mets
Castellanos was the man of the weekend for the Phillies and the final game of the series did not disappoint.
But the bigger news was that the Phillies had a chance to lock up the Wild Card spot. Yet they had to wait just a bit longer to pop the champagne.
Philly got cooking against the Mets early.
Realmuto had a two-run single off starter Mets righty José Butto in the fourth. Castellanos followed the same inning with a two-run shot to left field. Harper added an RBI single in the fifth.
For New York, they didn’t have a baserunner until the fifth. Their only two runs came thanks to Ronny Mauricio hit his second major league homer, a two-run shot in the sixth.
Philadelphia earned their fifth straight win. For Batty Casty, he has his 29th homer to move Philadelphia within one win of a National League playoff berth after a 5-2 victory