Takeaways from the Mets 9-5 win over the Phillies on Thursday…

Kelly Johnson Michael Conforto

The Mets came from behind to defeat the Phillies 8-5 in 13 innings at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Thursday, completing a four-game sweep of the Phillies. Here are my takeaways from the win…


Must-see TV.

Every day, the Mets are doing something different to win games, and they’re must-see TV every night at this point as a result.

On this day, they mounted yet another big rally to roar back from five runs down to win this game, secure a four-game sweep of the Phillies, and an 8-1 road trip in three very hitter-friendly environments.

It took a complete team effort, but everyone contributed to this fun night in Philadelphia.

After Jon Niese imploded to a degree in the third inning, the Mets showed no fear in another monumental comeback effort. They netted five runs thanks to a two-run home run from Travis d’Arnaud in the fourth inning, a two-run home run from Yoenis Cespedes and a solo home run from Kelly Johnson in the fifth.

They had chances in the sixth, seventh, eighth and 11th innings to score, but while they hit a lot of balls hard, they were hit right into the Philadelphia defense, and they couldn’t overcome some of that bad luck in at least a couple of those innings. Perhaps the toughest hard hit out was Murphy’s double play ball in the 11th inning. A foot to either the right or left of Cesar Hernandez gives the Mets the lead in that spot, but it was not to be on Thursday.

But the Mets ultimately found a way. It took a while, but in the 13th inning, Carlos Torres reached on an infield single, after which Curtis Granderson advanced him to second. Then with one out, Daniel Murphy came threw with the first hit in 13 tries with runners in scoring position with a two-run double to plate both Torres and Granderson to give the Mets the lead.

The Mets scratched across two more runs thanks to two errors on one play on a dribbler from David Wright by Hector Neris which allowed Murphy to score, and an RBI single from Michael Conforto to plate Wright.

They capped a phenomenal road trip with a very entertaining game – although it was frustrating at times – in which they swept the Phillies in four games, and went 8-1 against teams they basically had to beat. They beat them convincingly and with authority on each occasion as well. It was a remarkably impressive week and a half despite some uneven performances in the rotation, some hiccups in the bullpen. They can thank the epic work from the offense in those nine games, which could not have been better.

All or nothing.

Until the 13th inning, the Mets featured an all-or-nothing offense on Thursday night, as they really struggled to scratch runs across outside of the three home runs they hit to come back and tie this game at five a piece. That’s not meant to discredit their rally by any means, but again, they had a ton of opportunities to win this game in regulation and in extra innings before they finally broke out in the 13th inning.

It’s going to happen, and in fairness, the Mets were incredibly good with runners in scoring position during their nine-game road trip.

It was just a weird night for the offense overall, as they got their hits but hit into a lot of tough luck in key spots, with the Phillies making several nice plays in the process. But wins are wins in the end, no matter how they get it done.

The blip for Jon Niese.

Jonathon NieseAnd it was a big one. It started with a leadoff single to Aaron Harang, and then two one-out walks to Andres Blanco and Odubel Herrera. He was visibly frustrated at that point, and Dan Warthen had no choice but to go out and try to calm Niese down.

Unfortunately, it got worse from there for Niese.

He then allowed a two-run single to Jeff Francoeur, and an RBI groundout from Aaron Altherr.

And, it got even worse for Niese after that.

He allowed a two-run home run to Darin Ruf, and suddenly it was 5-0 Phillies.

Niese was otherwise fine before and after the third inning, and got through six innings uneventfully outside of that frame. But it was yet another example of Niese getting distracted with adversity and being unable to stop the bleeding in an inning. In another world, a five-run lead was insurmountable, but fortunately he was bailed by his incredible offense on this night.

But it won’t be like this on most nights. He’s got to be able to contain himself and limit the damage when he gets into trouble, rather than letting the inning domino the way he did. Unfortunately for Niese, this is an all too familiar tune.

But now that he’s in meaningful games, it’s that much more important he doesn’t lose his concentration.

The 1-3-1 of a lifetime.

With two outs in the tenth inning and Torres just inserted to face Jeff Francoeur, Francoeur hit a comebacker which deflected off his foot towards first base. Murphy had to range away from the bag and spin to retrieve the ball. He then flipped the ball to Torres without looking, who smartly covered the base to just get Francoeur.

It was a play never seen before, and probably won’t ever be the same. It’s a good thing everyone stayed sharp and focused, because it was obviously a huge play for the Mets to make.

Of course, that wacky play involved Murphy. Why wouldn’t it?

Speaking of Torres…

He was easily the player of the game on Thursday with his 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, his single to leadoff the 13th, and the go-ahead run he scored moments after.

He was spot on with his slider during his performance and completely shutdown the Phillies on just one hit in his outing, successfully bridging this game to Jeurys Familia.

Other notes from Thursday:

The Mets improved to 27-8 at Citizens Bank Park since 2012. They’ve won 12 of their 13 games against the Phillies so far in 2015, and extended their winning streak to nine straight games against Philadelphia on Thursday.

For the first time since 2002, the Mets swept a four-game series in Philadelphia.

The Mets hit three home runs on Wednesday night – they have now hit 43 home runs in August, the most they’ve hit in any calendar month in franchise history.

The Mets scored 40 runs in their four-game sweep of the Phillies, and have scored 73 runs in their last seven games, which is a franchise record.

Granderson reached base five times with four hits and a walk on Thursday night.

Cespedes hit six home runs and 15 RBI during the nine-game road trip.

Travis d’Arnaud now has a five-game hitting streak – he hit three home runs and nine RBI during the nine-game road trip.

Murphy had three more hits on Thursday, and is now hitting .354 in his last 18 games.

Ruben Tejada went 0-for-6 on Thursday and was the only starting player without a hit. He went 0-for-11 in the series.

Logan Verrett, Hansel Robles and Sean GilmartinCarlos Torres and Jeurys Familia combined for seven innings of scoreless relief.

The Mets improved to 53-8 when scoring four or more runs, and recorded their 31st come-from-behind win on Thursday.

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