While the Phillies are wrapping up 2017 excited for better days to come, the Mets are finishing this season embittered by what might have been. After two straight playoff appearances including a National League pennant in 2015, the team cratered this year, sunk by a combination of injuries and the evidently inevitable Mets Drama.
But all year long, the Phillies have been there to cushion the fall. The teams have virtually identical records against everyone else; the Phils had lost 11 of 17 against the Mets going into Saturday’s game.
It took 11 innings and more than four hours, but that worsened to 12 of 18 with a 7-4 loss. Staked to a 2-0 lead after three innings on a Maikel Franco solo homer and an infield single from Cesar Hernandez, Henderson Alvarez—whose name and fact of Phillies tenure are likely taking up only very short-term residence in my brain—quickly set about giving it back. Alvarez, whose I definitely didn’t initially type just now as Wilson or Hernandez, pretty much walked the ballpark in his short outing, and three of his six free passes came in the fourth and fifth and scored on extra-base hits.
The Phillies evaded a threat in the sixth on a fly-out/throw-home double play, as Jorge Alfaro likely concluded his season by holding onto Nick Williams’ throw despite a hard elbow to the head. But Zac Curtis, whom I have too heard of before, allowed another run in the top of the seventh before the Phils evened the score on three straight walks, an Aaron Altherr sac fly, and a Rhys Hoskins single.
Time, and many relievers, passed. Victor Arano, Hector Neris, and Edubray Ramos tossed scoreless innings, Hoskins barely missed a walkoff homer in the 10th, as a cruel wind killed his drive on the warning track. In the 11th, Adam Morgan faced too many righties; the last of them, Asdrubel Cabrera, capped a 4-for-6 night with a three-run homer. The gentlemanly and charming Jeurys Familia set the Phillies down in the bottom of the inning, and doomed managers Terry Collins and Pete Mackanin were off into the night to contemplate their likely last games helming a big league team.