In what MLB hoped to be the successful beginning to social media streaming (hint: they were wrong), the Phillies played the Mets in the clubs’ series finale in Queens.
Ben Harris of The Athletic even did the math and provided a screenshot for those lucky enough to be too busy to watch today’s contest.
It's growing... pic.twitter.com/2fHLA5wVMb— Ben Harris (@byBenHarris) April 4, 2018
First off, the graphics overlay seems as though it was quickly created in Microsoft Paint during the rain delay. Second, and as Harris mentioned, a relatively large portion of the screen was taken up by the unneeded sidebar and feedback section at the top. Fortunately they adapted on the fly and made it much more viewer-friendly. Here is a look at the ‘improved’ version in case you were unable to watch.
The game itself featured one of the better pitching matchups in Aaron Nola against Noah Syndergaard.
Nola got into early trouble, allowing a two-run shot to Yoenis Cespedes in the bottom of the first inning. As Nola inched towards the 30-pitch mark while still in the first, Drew Hutchison was called upon to loosen in the bullpen. Upon the overwhelming groan heard by Facebook’s data collectors, information was relayed to Gabe Kapler who quickly had Hutchison take a seat.
The Phillies were set down frequently by Syndergaard, but not without putting up good at-bats. He threw a 13-pitch first inning then tossed 79 over the next three innings before being hit for in the bottom of the fourth by Phillip Evans.
Prior to his removal, the Mets Mets’d behind him in the third when the Phillies tied it up. After a Cesar Hernandez single and Carlos Santana double, Nick Williams knocked an RBI groundout for the second out of the inning and to cut the lead to one. Then the Mets happened.
Rhys Hoskins walked to put runners on first and third with Aaron Altherr coming to the plate. Hoskins, who stole third earlier in the game, took off for second during Altherr’s at-bat. Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki threw to second, but Rhys stopped about 20 feet from the bag and turned back towards first. Everyone reverted back to their Little League-selves and Santana wound up stealing home as Hoskins provided enough of a distraction.
Nothing too exciting happened until the sixth inning which saw Drew Hutchison replace Nola. Nola finished with 87 pitches over five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks while striking out four.
Anyways, back to Hutchison. He entered to face the 5-6-7 of the Mets order and promptly walked the leadoff hitter Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera advanced to second on a throwing error from Andrew Knapp. Then, with two outs in the inning, Hutchison walked pinch hitter Wilmer Flores before giving up a two-RBI triple to Amed Rosario to make the score 4-2. It was hit over Williams’s head in right, and here is an interesting stat to show just how shallow Nick was playing.
According to Statcast, Nick Williams was playing 245 feet from home plate on the Rosario triple. Average right fielder's starting position at Citi Field last year was 297 feet.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) April 4, 2018
Whether Williams wandered in too far by himself or the coaching staff had prepared for him to play that shallow against Rosario in that scenario will be unknown until after the game.
Meanwhile, the Phillies could get nothing going against the Mets’ bullpen. From the fifth through the eighth, no Phillie reached base and as a team they struck out seven times.
Hoskins broke the streak of 12 consecutive batters sat down when he led off the ninth with a bloop single off Jeurys Familia. The hope for a comeback was quickly thwarted as Altherr grounded into a double play and Maikel Franco struck out to end the game.
The Phils head back to Philadelphia for their home opener on Thursday and a weekend series against the Miami Marlins.