Takeaways from the Mets 7-5 loss to the Phillies on Wednesday…
The Mets were defeated by the Phillies by the score of 7-5 on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Here are my takeaways from the loss…
Ugliness all around.
Over the course of a 162 game baseball season, there are going to be plenty of bad nights, poorly played games, and devastating losses.
While this loss was not devastating in the least for the Mets, it was one of their worst nights of the year, and certainly their worst played game of the year.
And there have been quite a few in an otherwise fantastic season for the Mets.
It looked like this one would be smooth sailing right out of the gate for the Mets, but it was anything but a smooth ride on a cool and windy Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
The Mets got off to a fast start with five runs in the first inning thanks to a three-run home run from Daniel Murphy and a two-run home run from Michael Conforto.
From that point forward, the Mets were walking on thin ice, in a lot of ways. And for a moment, they nearly fell through.
In the third inning, the Phillies got two back when Darin Ruf doubled in two runs off of Logan Verrett. The Phillies got one more in the fifth when Cody Asche singled to plate Odubel Herrera.
The Phillies finally came back and tied the game in the sixth inning when Bobby Parnell walked two batters, threw a wild pitch, and then allowed a two-run single to Freddy Galvis.
Then, Dario Alvarez took over for Parnell, who actually got an out. He induced a pop up to Herrera. But then he hit Aaron Altherr ending his night. Then Carlos Torres threw two wild pitches to give the Phillies the lead.
The Mets needed four pitchers to get three outs in the sixth inning. They threw three wild pitches and issued two walks in what was a painfully ugly inning for the Mets secondary relievers.
Tyler Clippard capped the bad night for the Mets bullpen with a run allowed thanks to a double, a sac bunt and yet another wild pitch.
In between the Mets scoring their five runs and the Phillies taking the lead and ultimately winning was a lot of excitement, a lot of nervousness, and a lot of ugliness.
Yoenis Cespedes was drilled in the hand and fortunately came through with just a bruise. Kirk Nieuwenhuis was also drilled, Wilmer Flores exited the game with back pain.
Meanwhile, Logan Verrett hit Odubel Herrera square in the back in the fifth inning, prompting home plate umpire Bob Davidson to issue warnings.
Then in the sixth inning, Hansel Robles buzzed Darin Ruf near the head with a 94 mph fastball – after it appeared Travis d’Arnaud called for a breaking ball – and both he and Terry Collins were ejected.
As for the Mets offense, it was non-existent after the first inning. They went down in order in the second, stranded two runners in the third, were retired in order again in the fourth, stranded two more in the fifth, and were sent down in order from the seventh through ninth innings.
In fact, Michael Cuddyer was the Mets only base runner from the sixth inning on, as he reached on an error.
Overall, this was an ugly, shameful game on the part of the Mets in particular. Their pitching was painfully bad, and their offense just stalled out after a big first inning outburst. It was not the showcase of a division winning team, to say the least.
Niese not passing his tests.
It was a less than stellar outing for Jon Niese on Wednesday, who was pitching in back-to-back games and came in with runners on-base. It was a test Collins intended to see if Niese could maneuver, and he really struggled to get it done. He was asked to face the lefty Asche who singled in a run with two outs, which is not what the Mets needed to see in this trial.
It’s hard to definitely draw conclusions from two relief appearances, but it’s not terribly surprising he’s struggling to adapt. This just isn’t what he does, and while the effort is certainly valiant, it’s just hard to see the Mets entrusting Niese with a relief assignment in the playoffs.
The silver lining.
The good news about the sixth inning for the Mets is none of them following Robles ejection – with the exception of maybe Alvarez – will be on the postseason roster, barring something drastic. Collins and Bob Geren were clearly trying to protect their ace relievers from being overused after Robles exited which, given the circumstances, is understandable, although there is home field advantage in the Division Series the Mets need to consider.
If Robles doesn’t get ejected, there might have been a different outcome to the inning and the game for that matter.
It doesn’t excuse anything that took place in the sixth inning. Their performances were unacceptable.
The Mets didn’t have an answer whatsoever for the Phillies rally. Philadelphia scored six unanswered runs as the Mets offense went completely silent after the first inning.
Its the second consecutive night the Mets “A” lineup was stymied by a beleaguered Phillies pitching staff and a team they’ve absolutely owned in 2015. It’s not totally unexpected as they come off the high of their division title from the weekend, but they are playing for home field advantage, which is significant considering the Dodgers struggle so badly away from Los Angeles.
It would be a shame to see that opportunity slip away.
Other notes from Wednesday:
There were seven wild pitches thrown in this game between the Mets and Phillies. It’s the first time seven wild pitches have been thrown in a game since the Royals and Twins did it on April 17, 1993.
The Mets used eight relievers to get 11 outs in relief of Logan Verrett. They combined to allow four runs, four hits, two walks, and four of the seven wild pitches on the night.
The Mets went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position – they’re 3-for-19 with runners in scoring position in this series.
The Phillies won for only the fourth time in 17 contests against the Mets.
Murphy’s first inning home run was his 14th of the season, a new career-high.