At first, it seemed like the Phillies were going to simply sleepwalk their way to another loss. Matched against emerging star Zack Wheeler, the Phillies went without a hit through the first four innings and their only baserunner during that time was erased by a double play. Meanwhile, starter Jake Arrieta surrendered a couple of runs, putting the Phillies in a 2-0 hole.
When Arrieta allowed two more runs in the top of the fifth, the game seemed as good as over, and I resigned myself to writing about yet another listless defeat. But the Phillies’ bats surprisingly came to life in the bottom of the inning.
The Phillies loaded the bases, and with one out, shortstop J.P. Crawford was due up. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Gabe Kapler had used a pinch hitter in that situation, but unexpectedly, Crawford was allowed to bat. Here’s how that turned out:
Right back in it!— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 18, 2018
Crawford clears the bases with a triple!
Down just one now. pic.twitter.com/eKmhQV0qR1
Cesar Hernandez tied the game with a sacrifice fly, but the Phillies lost an opportunity to add more runs when Rhys Hoskins was ruled to have committed batter’s interference.
Apparently, the Phillies’ hitters felt satisfied with that brief outburst of offense, because that was the only offense they managed. It felt like a matter of time before the Mets were able to go back on top. It was only a question of which hitter was going to be the hero. In the top of the seventh, the answer revealed itself:
Michael Conforto’s RBI double gave the Mets a 5-4 lead. In the top of the ninth, after new Phillie-killer Jeff McNeil (three hits on the night) added an insurance run with an RBI single, Conforto essentially killed off any dreams of a comeback:
My early impression was incorrect. The game wasn’t listless as much as frustrating. But does it really matter? In the end, the Phillies played the Mets, and once again, found themselves on the losing side.