Gut Reaction: Mets 7, Phillies 6 (11 INN) 4/15/19

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.

11 comments for “Gut Reaction: Mets 7, Phillies 6 (11 INN) 4/15/19

  1. April 16, 2019 at 12:24 am

    I mean it was clear that Familia had nothing, and he got as lucky as it gets on that miraculous double play if you are gonna be stubborn and stupid and not use Diaz night as well use Gsellman to face a light hitter like Knapp but of course not a proven vet! Mickey not using a pitcher to bunt was strange and I expected a bunt double play but thankfully that didn’t happen.

    Big thank you to the ump for that strike call on the 2-1 pitch by Avilan to Segura in the tenth it totally changed the at bat and was clearly a ball. No idea why Harper swung at the first pitch from Gsellman in the eight but I’m glad he did.

    Nimmo continues to be hot getting on base three times and his homer should have been the game winning hit, but Familia was really bad and Mickey threw some gasoline on the fire. McNeil is just a hit machine and made two tremendous defensive plays. Cano looked bad in four of his at bats but his double was huge.

    Alonso has looked unflappable so far but he looked overanxious in his at bats in the top of the eighth chasing everything.

    Lugo looked great and Diaz was a monster in his inning just blowing two great hitters away and dominating a good one in Realmuto.

    All in all a big win but my kingdom for a manager with a clue, my goodness.
    Oh and Lugo when not sick is pretty damn awesome.

  2. Metsense
    April 16, 2019 at 8:15 am

    Gut reaction: Diaz mios! Thank God we have Edwin.
    Has the baseball been altered again? Many home runs are being hit and pitchers are walking batters at a boring rate. The theory is that the seams are lower on the ball therefore on these cold nights the pitchers can’t feel the ball. Case in point, last night’s game.
    McNeil has been playing awesome. Third base is his position.
    In the 11th inning,if Callaway was insisting on a bunt, then TDA should not have been batting. Gsellman should have batted and tried to bunt. I would not have pinched hit Matz like the booth said because it was a cold night and he could have pulled a muscle running out the bunt.
    Let’s win this series!

    • BVac
      April 16, 2019 at 9:41 am

      It might be crazy but that thought dawned on me during this game as well. Maybe pitchers have just had normal trouble gripping the ball in tough weather but it seems out of proportion. By changing the balls in 2015 MLB has opened up a pandoras box of questions. Rob Manfred joined the Phillies booth in this game and seemed content to increase the offense while shortening the game in other ways, which doesn’t make sense to me Metsense.

      • Chris F
        April 16, 2019 at 10:16 am

        I think looking towards an MLB conspiracy theory about the balls has been shown time and again not to be part of the HR story. At the same time Ks are at an all time high, so much so, that I think their raw count is near pointless. Comparing Ks today versus Ks in Seaver’s day is just totally different. Do the same secret crazy ball modifications lead to both HR and Ks? More likely, the approach to the game is the cause.

        The first plot in this article shows the increasing HR in the MLB through time.
        https://tht.fangraphs.com/explaining-the-mlb-home-run-record-of-2017-with-quality-of-pitch/

        This article shows the amount of Ks per year:
        https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-pace-of-play-problem-began-in-1884/

        We reap what we sow: Ks, BBs, and HRs. Nothing else matters.

    • MattyMets
      April 16, 2019 at 2:55 pm

      Metsense, I think the culprit is the tighter umpiring. From what I’ve seen this season – and I watch a lot of baseball beyond the Mets – the strike zone has been tighter and third base umps have been quicker to punch out the check swings. Maybe this was a directive from the league to pump up the offense?

  3. April 16, 2019 at 8:40 am

    What I would have liked to have seen last night was Seth Lugo pitch in the 8th. Lugo was in the game, warm and effective. Plus we already knew the Mets weren’t going to use him Tuesday. Now Familia will likely be unavailable today, too.

    • April 16, 2019 at 11:27 am

      His spot in the lineup came up didn’t it?

      • April 16, 2019 at 11:49 am

        It did and with a runner on first and one out. It was a perfect sacrifice opportunity.

        • MattyMets
          April 16, 2019 at 2:58 pm

          Familia will come around. He’s off. As is Gsellman. Díaz is exciting. I don’t recall a 1-2-3 punch out of a murderer’s row to close out a game like that since Billy Wagner.

  4. Chris F
    April 16, 2019 at 9:29 am

    “Now Familia will likely be unavailable today, too.”

    We definitely catch a break with that outcome. That was one of BVWs massive personnel errors this off season.

  5. MattyMets
    April 16, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    It’s amazing that we won that game in spite of our simpleton skipper.
    https://www.si.com/mlb/2019/04/16/new-york-mets-closer-edwin-diaz-rules

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