On Jackie Robinson Day the Mets beat the Phillies in extras as they continued a stretch against division opponents. While they were not able to enjoy the win in their beautiful rotunda built in the Dodger’s name, Mets hitters were able to enjoy the confines of Citizen’s Bank Park. With heavy winds both starters struggled, and both Mets and Phillies hitters capitalized.
The pony-tailed Noah Syndergaard struggled with his command in the wind, with only 63 of 102 pitches going for strikes. He finished with a final line of 5 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, and 9 K.
Equally struggling was Aaron Nola for the Phillies, as he was unable to get off the long list of early season underperformers among starting pitchers around the league. The Mets also took five runs from him but over four innings.
Each offense mirrored each other with three runs in the 3rd and two in the 4th. Jeff McNeil led the Mets his signature well-placed singles, whereas the Phillies were led by a Maikel Franco two-run bomb.
It seemed the Mets bullpen could reverse their recent wild ways with Seth Lugo throwing two scoreless frames for the 27th in ERA ranked bullpen, but a lead granted by a Brandon Nimmo 6th inning solo home run would not stand.
While the Mets were trying to add insurance runs in the 8th, there was a replayed close call at second that reveled Juan Lagares was out trying to take second on an error. Mickey Callaway made correct defense moves in bottom of inning bringing McNeil to third base, putting the pinch-hitting Lagares in center while moving Nimmo to left, and replacing Pete Alonso with Dom Smith at first. Smith was wearing the same number 42 that his fellow African-American Angeleno did 72 years ago along with all players around the league today to honor the legend.
McNeil rewarded Callaway’s decision with a great double-play starting grab to temporarily hold the Phillies off in the 8th; however, Jeurys Familia and Robert Gsellman combined to walk four to tie the game at six apiece.
Mets have been playing the longest games in baseball without playing a single extra inning, until tonight. The game was already approaching four hours when it hit extra frames.
Escaping a jam in the 10th, Mets hitters rallied in the top of the 11th to break the tie. Mickey with a short bench could have used a starting pitcher to bunt as the pitcher’s spot came up with two on and no one out, but instead he used his last position player Travis d’Arnaud who failed to get down the bunt. Two batters later Michael Conforto hit a hard ball to first base that ate up Rhys Hoskins allowing a 2-out hustling Juan Lagares to score from 2nd base. Edwin Diaz blew away the heart of the Phillies order to seal the back-and-forth game.