With Friday’s game rained out, Saturday brought the wonderful day/night doubleheader, a baseball fan’s dream. Zach Eflin would square off with Marcus Stroman in what turned into a pitcher’s duel.
The Mets opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, loading the bases on a walk to Brandon Nimmo, a single to Jeff McNeil and a two out walk to Michael Conforto. That brought Yoenis Cespedes to the plate, who has been disappointing to a team that was looking forward to his thump returning to the lineup this year. It did here as he singled home Nimmo and McNeil, putting the Mets up 2-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, Cespedes got Eflin again when he tagged him for a solo home run and pushed the lead to three. The Phillies, though, struck in the top of the fifth. Jay Bruce doubled to lead off, then went to third on a Scott Kingery single. Adam Haseley doubled next, scoring Bruce and sending Kingery to third with nobody out. Logan Forsythe was intentionally walked to load the bases for Eflin. It appeared the Stroman got lucky when Eflin hit a soft fly ball into the alley, but Nimmo bobbled it, dropping the ball and allowing two runners to score. Jean Segura would ground out next, scoring Forsythe and putting the Phillies ahead, 4-3.
From there, Eflin took over. He was magnificent, pitching into the 8th inning before he was relieved by Seranthony Dominguez, who got the final out of that inning, ending a meager Mets threat. Hector the Protector, after allowing a leadoff double, got the next three batters out relatively easily, saving his 11th game of the season and securing the win.
Game 2 for the Phillies was....
...not as good.
It started off fine.
Bryce Harper, currently on pace to have an 8 WAR season, hit his 18th home run of the season, registering his 60th RBI to boot. However, Vince Velasquez could not make that lead last even an inning, as he gave up a solo home run to Jeff McNeil, tying it up at one.
In the fourth, the Phillies trudged ahead, plating a run thanks to some clutch hitting from Logan Forsythe, who drive home Adam Haseley and gave the Phillies the lead. That lead would last, though, for all of one inning. In the bottom of the fifth, Velasquez allowed a one out single to Amed Rosario, who was followed by Brandon Nimmo. Nimmo, whose error in the first game allowed two runs to score and was the turning point of that game, was anxious to make up for it and did so, drilling a two-run home run that gave the Mets the lead, 3-2. In the sixth, Yoenis Cespedes hit a leadoff home run that pushed the score to 4-2 and officially ended Velasquez’s day.
Rick Porcello, the Mets’ starter, would make that lead hold for seven strong innings, his sinker inducing groundball after groundball. He gave way to the Mets bullpen in the eighth. That inning went rather smoothly, but in the ninth, boy did things get fun.
Edwin Diaz, hoping to save the game, got the first out easily, then allowed a single to Forsythe, followed by a double to J.T. Realmuto. Though it was slightly controversial that Forsythe was held at third, it ended up not mattering as Rhys Hoskins grounded out to second, scoring Forsythe anyway. With Realmuto on second and Jean Segura up, the controversy really turned up when Segura singled but again, the runner was held up at third. THAT mattered a whole lot when Andrew McCutchen grounded out to end the game.
There was no discussion after the game about why Realmuto was held up, mostly because this isn’t real!
The two teams hook up on Father’s Day to decide the series.