In a game that seemed poised for a slug fest, the Mets and Phillies saw their fifth starters engage in a surprising pitching duel. The Phillies managed just one run against Jason Vargas in 4.2 innings and the Mets couldn’t do anything against Vincent Velasquez in five shutout innings. The bullpens did their jobs to keep runners off the bases for a few more innings until Robert Gsellman entered the game and decided a series sweep would have been to nice a treat for fans.
Vargas pitched his best game of the season and Seth Lugo provided two sterling innings in relief before getting in a little trouble in the 7th inning. With two runners on and Bryce Harper at the plate, Mickey Callaway handed the ball to lefty specialist Daniel Zamora who promptly struck out Bryce Harper. The Mets, meanwhile, couldn’t get the offense going against Pat Neshek and Siranthony Dominguez, but still hung around in a 1-0 game until Gsellman came in. The bearded righty, who looked like he found himself in his last few outings, simply did not have it tonight. He coughed up five hits and three runs in his ugly 8th inning of duty. As if 4-0 wasn’t insurmountable enough, Jacob Rhame entered for mop-up duty in the 9th and served up Rhys Hoskins’ revenge bomb, a towering two-run home run.
Due to minor injuries or scheduled off days, the Mets trotted out a lineup that included Juan Lagares and Dominic Smith in place of Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso. Both pinch hit, but failed to come through in their at bats. Robinson Cano was the lone offensive bright spot, contributing three hits and a walk. The team as a whole mustered just six singles in their season’s second shutout. Wilson Ramos struck out three times, all with men on base. Amed Rosario committed two more errors in what’s becoming a troubling trend for him.
Two out of three and a series win over the Phillies is nice, but a sweep would have been sweet. Tomorrow the Mets begin a three-game series at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, a team that, thus far, has been a lot more potent at home than on the road. Jacob deGrom will make the start after skipping his last turn in the rotation. Let’s go Mets!