Wednesday night’s game between the Phillies and Mets went the way that many of the games between these teams have gone: An underwhelming starter and a variety of relievers silenced the bats, while the opposing starter was victimized by a couple of home runs. The only difference was that this time, the Phillies were the team that followed that formula to victory.
After a lengthy stretch of mediocre-to-poor outings that made people question his future with the team, Zach Eflin delivered his second straight quality start. It wasn’t the cleanest performance, as he didn’t retire the side in any of his five innings. But he struck out nine, and didn’t allow any runs, so the Phillies will take it.
The Phillies have notoriously struggled against some unimposing starters this season, but for whatever reason, they’ve had success against Noah Syndergaard. His ERA for his three previous starts versus the Phillies was 5.51, and that number rose higher on Wednesday. He gave up three runs in four innings before a high pitch count drove him from the game.
Early in the season, the Phillies envisioned that they’d win a lot of games behind the bats of Rhys Hoskins and Odubel Herrera. While a series of slumps prevented that from happening for most of the season, on Wednesday the pair provided the majority of the offense. Hoskins started things off in the first inning:
This is the 32nd time we have probably tweeted about this.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 19, 2018
What a home run from Hoskins for his 32nd of the season! pic.twitter.com/rw1keatvAi
And Herrera added a two-run shot in the fourth:
Oh another home run, you say?— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 19, 2018
We'll take it! pic.twitter.com/sId14j9tES
There were contributions from a few others too. J.P. Crawford made a beautiful play at shortstop (although he might have injured himself), Jose Bautista added an insurance run with an RBI double, and five relievers combined to throw four innings of scoreless relief.
With the win, the Phillies remain 5.5 games behind the Braves - with a four-game series coming up. The playoffs may still be a longshot, but by finally winning a series against the Mets, at least they’ve given themselves a chance.