At some point, enough has to finally be enough...right?
The Phillies got their asses handed to them by the Mets, at home, for what feels like millionth time in the last two-plus seasons. The Mets bottled every ounce of emotional momentum form last night’s Ramos/Cabrera dust-up and unleashed it in the form of unholy home run hell upon Clay Buchholz and Adam Morgan and Joely Rodriguez, pummeling the Phillies, 14-4.
Over the past few seasons, we’ve learned to laugh off these humiliations. We thicken our skin to gloss over how Mets fans overrun Citizens Bank Park every night of every series they play; we ironically laugh at the awful pitchers we let get destroyed in the name of “taking one for the team;” we hold fast to the hope that, one day soon, the Phillies will flip the table and starting beating the Mets’ brains out again.
In the meantime, we have games like tonight, a listless effort on all sides of the ball. Buchholz at least may have had an excuse, as he left in the top of the third with a right forearm strain. His prognosis is unknown as of this post’s publishing, but a DL stint seems probable. Morgan came in and, in a foreboding omen of what was to come, allowed an RBI single to Travis d’Arnaud with the first pitch he threw. On offense, the Phillies could only muster 7 hits (a Maikel Franco solo homer was the most exciting part), and on defense were...fine? Outside of allowing a runner to tag up and advance from first to second base on a foul pop-up to Cameron Rupp. Behind the plate. That really happened.
All told, Morgan would allow 4 runs on 7 hits - including two of Yoenis Cespedes’s three home runs and four dingers in total - in 3.2 innings, valiantly but ingloriously mopping up after Buchholz’s injury-driven departure. He needed to provide length at all costs, as a short start from Buchholz paired with an impending Vince Velasquez start Wednesday meant the bullpen needed to be (mostly) spared. He also struck out 5. That’s about where the positives end for Morgan tonight.
I’ll spare you the rest. Read the box score if you don’t feel much like keeping your midnight snack or breakfast down for long.
[Barely-suppressed gag reflex]
This game serves as a microcosm (again) of the gulf between the current-state Phillies and the best of the NL East. Taking the weekend series of the Nationals may have provided a false sense of security, but the Mets have brought the 10-ton battering ram through two games this week. The Mets continue to relentlessly embarrass the Phillies in their home ballpark, and the Phillies just seem flat-out powerless to stop it. Or even make it feel remotely tolerable.
Velasquez takes on Zack Wheeler on Wednesday, as the Phils look to salvage something - anything - from this series. Now, to end on a high note, here are the good things that happened in Tuesday night’s game:
- Franco’s first homer of the season in the second inning
- Rodriguez had a nice inning (7th) before his bad inning (8th)
- Cesar Hernandez had two hits, including a double
- Andrew Knapp got a hit, meaning more air time for that glorious mustache
The great thing about baseball is how quickly it affords a team a chance to get one back, but in this case, I think I’m just kind of dreading it. Here’s hoping for good Vince, otherwise we might just be left to do more [aggrieved fussing].