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Wasted Opportunity: Mets 4, Phillies 3

Wilmer Flores’ walkoff home run handed the Phillies a defeat in what felt like a very winnable game

MLB: Game One-Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets
Wilmer Flores won it with a homer in the 10th inning
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies have not had much success at Citi Field in recent seasons, but seeing as how the 2018 Mets are one of the worst teams in baseball, this series felt like a prime opportunity to reverse that. While the Phillies still have three more chances this week to earn wins against the Mets (including another one tonight!) game one of Monday’s doubleheader certainly felt like a wasted opportunity.

The starting pitching matchup was a much-hyped (by me) battle of Zack vs. Zach. The Mets’ Zack Wheeler would go against the Phillies’ Zach Eflin, and we’d find out which Zack/Zach reigned supreme in the National League East. Or not, as neither man made it past the fifth inning.

The teams spent most of the first four innings exchanging the lead. The Phillies began the scoring when Nick Williams singled home a run in the first, but the Mets quickly answered in the second thanks to a solo homer by Asdrubal Herrera. Rhys Hoskins’ single gave the Phillies another brief lead until the Mets scored two in the third. That only lasted half an inning until Maikel Franco tied it up again with a home run in the fourth.

The scoring came to a grinding halt once the starters were removed. Going against the sub par Mets’ bullpen for over five innings seems like a great way to score some runs, but the Phillies were unable to do so despite having several good chances. They left two runners on base in the fifth, three more in the eighth, and then another two in the tenth.

Meanwhile, the Phillies were forced to use four relievers. While that’s bad enough in game one of a doubleheader, it’s made even worse by the fact that Seranthony Dominguez pitched two innings, likely rendering him unavailable for both the nightcap as well as Tuesday. On the other hand, Victor Arano could probably be used again since he only faced one batter before losing the game.

That batter was catcher Wilmer Flores who actually argued that he was hit by a pitch earlier in the at bat. The umpires reviewed the play and determined that the ball did not make contact with him, so he was forced to return to the plate and hit a game-winning home run.

The Phillies can take solace in the fact that they have Aaron Nola pitching the second game of the doubleheader. Having their ace on the mound seems like a great opportunity to give their bullpen a break, and more importantly, earn a rare win in Citi Field. Let’s hope they don’t let this one pass them by.