Jay Bruce loves New York.
On a night when it looked like the Mets’ beleaguered bullpen would let them down again, Bruce saved everyone’s bacon with two home runs, accounting for all the Mets’ scoring.
Robert Gsellman started for New York and was stellar. He threw 99 pitches, lasting one batter into the eighth, while walking none and striking out seven. The Phillies scratched out a run in the fourth on a hit batsman, a single and a grounder to third by Mikail Franco. In the fifth, another run crossed when Gsellmen surrendered a loud double to Cameron Rupp leading off. Freddy Galvis grounded out to second, moving Rupp to third. Pitcher — pitcher — Vincent Velasquez lined a sharp single to right and the Phillies led 2-0. That was all the scoring for the inning, but not all the ummm… “entertainment.” The next hitter, Cesar Hernandez, hit a come-backer to Gsellman whose slightly errant throw arrived at first at the exact same time as Hernandez. Hernandez collided with Lucas Duda, knocking the ball to the ground and hyperextending Duda’s elbow in the process. Duda would be forced out of this game. The next hitter, Aaron Altherr struck out, but Hernandez was running on the pitch. Travis d’Arnaud made a gallant attempt to throw him out, but Altherr interfered — though it wasn’t called — and d’Arnaud clipped his hand on Altherr’s bat. He would leave the game eventually — inevitably? — as well.
Velasquez, for his part kept the Mets mostly in check. A first inning rally was snuffed when Yoenis Cespedes ran through a stop sign and was gunned down at the plate, trying to score on a double by Bruce. After that, all the Mets saw were goose eggs. Until the bottom of the sixth, that is.
Gsellman led off with a rope to right field, but was erased when Curtis Granderson bounded into a 3-3-6 double play. Asdrubal Cabrera then singled to right center and Cespedes drew a five-pitch walk. Bruce then hit a bomb to the top of the right field bullpen, giving the Mets their first lead in a decade. Gsellman mowed the Phils down in the seventh, reliever Luis Garcia did the same to the Mets in the bottom half. Gsellman came out for the eighth, surprisingly and gave up a bloop ground rule double to Altherr on his first pitch. That was it for him. Jerry Blevins came on to face lefty power hitter Odubel Herrera and got him to ground out to second as Altherr crossed over. He then struck out Franco, but Michael Saunders blooped a single just out of Cespedes’s reach and the game was tied. Hansel Robles came on to strike out Tommy Joseph. But it was Bruce time again. Cespedes lined a single to center on a 3-0 pitch to lead off against Erdubal Ramos. Bruce then hit the second pitch he saw to roughly the same spot as his first homer and the Mets led it 5-3. Addison Reed came on for the save and struck out Rupp, but surrenedered a long triple off the base of the right field fence to Galvis. Daniel Nava pinch hit for Ramos and hit a drive to deep center to score Galvis and clear the bases. Reed struck out Hernandez and the much-needed win was in the books.
The Mets look to take the rubber game of the series tomorrow, confident that Thursday will be Thor’s Day.