Steven Matz pitched his best of the year and still couldn’t win.
Matz had averaged just three-and-a-third innings pitched over his last eleven starts, but tonight, he lasted two outs into the sixth, surrendering just four hits. Unfortunately, they all came in the fifth inning. Nursing a 1-0 lead, Matz allowed his first hit, a slow bounder by Nick Williams that Jose Reyes couldn’t handle at second. Maikel Franco hit a real single next, a liner to Yoenis Cespedes in left. Cameron Rupp flied out to shallow center and pitcher Aaron Nola dropped down a bunt. Cesar Hernandez followed with a solid liner to left to tie it up. Freddy Galvis then bounced a single to the opposite field, through the second base hole and the Phils had grabbed the lead.
The Mets were utterly stymied by the young Philadelphia right-hander Nola. He held the Mets to a bare two hits — one of them a Cespedes fourth inning bomb into the left field seats — while striking out eight over seven innings. The Mets had a great chance to score in the third, but got too clever for their own good. With one out, Amed Rosario clubbed a long double over the head of Nick Williams in right and off the wall. After Matz struck out, so did Brandon Nimmo. Rupp couldn’t handle the the pitch, though. He threw wildly to first and Nimmo was safe. With the count 2-2 on Reyes, Nimmo took off for second. Rupp threw down, but shortstop Freddy Galvis cut the throw off and fired to the plate to nail a sliding Rosario on the failed double steal.
Nola was pinch hit for in the seventh. His replacement, Ricardo Pinto, had a rough go of it in the eighth, throwing 33 pitches and walking two, but the Mets bats couldn’t take advantage, Cespedes striking out to end the inning. The Phillies salted the game away in the bottom half off Erik Goeddel. Galvis drew a leadoff walk, Odubel Herrera singled him to third and Tommy Joseph hit a fly to deep-enough left.
It’ll be Chris Flexen vs. Zach Eflin in the series finale tomorrow afternoon.