Gut Reaction: Phillies 3 Mets 1 (8/12/17)

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.

7 comments for “Gut Reaction: Phillies 3 Mets 1 (8/12/17)

  1. Metsense
    August 13, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Matz pitched much better. In this lost season, he should have been given more of a chance to get the final out in the 6th inning. Flores should be starting over Reyes at second base now that Walker has been traded. It is obvious that TC believes Conforto is a better center fielder than Nimmo. Pinch hitting for Smith was another lost opportunity to see him bat against a lefty in an at bat that could matter. All these minor decisions seem to be opportunities to learn something about personnel and get something out of this lost season.

  2. Jimmy P
    August 13, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Watching a starry-eyed Rosario in the dugout with Reyes and Cespedes, I think the Mets have a clear question they must ask themselves:

    Do they believe Reyes would be a positive influence on Rosario in 2018 or a negative one?

    In addition, they have to be honest about Jose’s role next season — and if he can be a happy, positive player who is not in the lineup most days.

    If they are thinking of playing him at 2B next season, if they view Reyes as an everyday player, they are out of their minds.

    My take — not really having any true insight into the clubhouse dynamic — is that I’d get Jose far away from my promising young SS.

    Maybe I’m wrong about that.

    • August 13, 2017 at 11:13 am

      There’s a bunch of ways this offseason could shake out but I think one subplot is that what you say about Reyes – if he can be happy if not in the lineup – applies to Cabrera, too.

      You can see it working out that Cabrera is the starter in 2018 at either 2B or 3B and if that’s the way it is, okay. But can the club justify paying $6.5 million above his buyout for him to be a utility player? Is that a good use of resources and will he be okay sitting behind guys – Flores/Rivera – that he used to start ahead of?

  3. Jimmy P
    August 13, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Pinch-hitting for Smith in 9th inning of meaningless game in Philadelphia was another monumentally stupid, tone-deaf move by Terry Collins. It’s sweet that he’s “trying to win,” but it suggests a massive misreading of what’s actually happening with this team, this season. We just dumped Duda, Bruce, Reed, and Walker. Clearly not trying to win games in August 2017.

    I hated, loathed TC’s decision in 2015 that Conforto would not face LHP, ever. I’m afraid that he’s eager to place Smith in that same box, placing limitations on a player that we are supposed to be evaluating and developing.

    TC absolutely must go this winter. However, I can’t pretend that the new guy won’t very likely be worse.

    • NormE
      August 13, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Jimmy, I agree with you on Smith. However, it doesn’t ‘t really matter if there is a managerial change (though I think it is overdue) concerning Smith’s usage. It is up to the front office to draw the line regarding the use of Smith and other talent, whether that relates to position players or bullpen or the starting pitchers.

      • Jimmy P
        August 13, 2017 at 6:03 pm

        I agree with you. The GM acquires the players, sets general guidelines about how they should be used.

    • Chris F
      August 13, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      “Pinch-hitting for Smith in 9th inning of meaningless game in Philadelphia was another monumentally stupid, tone-deaf move by Terry Collins. It’s sweet that he’s “trying to win,” but it suggests a massive misreading of what’s actually happening with this team…”

      I could not agree more had I written those words myself. And this is exactly the kinds of conditions Smith needs to face *** right now ***

      Chris

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