Things are at an all-time low right for in Phillies-land.
Getting swept by the Orioles at home. An ERA over 10 headed into tonight’s game for the entirety of the bullpen. Defensive miscues and brain cramps have abounded. With the Mets coming into town, there wasn’t much optimism as the series began on Friday night with Jacob deGrom scheduled to pitch. Luckily, deGrom was scratched, giving the Phillies the slightest twinge of hope.
Spencer Howard began the night on the bump, looking to rebound from a rough outing to begin his major league career. Things didn’t get off to a great start either. Howard walked the leadoff hitter Brandon Nimmo, then allowed a single to Michael Conforto that sent Nimmo to third. The Mets would bring that run in when Dominic Smith hit into a fielder’s choice that was nearly a double play had Didi Gregorius not dropped the ball on the exchange at second. In the second inning, the Mets got another when Andres Gimenez singled, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by J.T. Realmuto. Luis Guillorme singled him home and the Mets led, 2-0.
In their half of the frame, Gregorius doubled and Jean Segura singled to open things up. Jay Bruce popped up, bringing Alec Bohm up looking for his first major league RBI. He would come through with a ringing single to centerfield.
Roman Quinn followed that with a single that scored Segura and tied the score at 2. When the team headed out on defense, Howard in particular was looking for that ever elusive “shut down inning”.
He didn’t get it.
With two quick outs, Howard was looking good until Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano hit back-to-back home runs, putting the Mets back on top, 4-2. Then things got a little weird for a second. Wilson Ramos stepped up and hit a fly ball to right center field and.....well....
Franzke and LA at a loss, just like all of us. pic.twitter.com/zV0TsQpIR0— Nick Piccone (@nickpiccone) August 15, 2020
I don’t know, man. I just don’t know.
The score stayed that way into the bottom of the fifth. Walker Lockett, the emergency starter for the Mets, was actually pitching alright, going into the fifth under 50 pitches. He allowed a one out double to Rhys Hoskins, followed by a walk to Bryce Harper, bringing Realmuto to the plate. Realmuto continued his assault on
the Phillies’ checkbook National League pitching by smashing his 8th home run of the season.
It was a lead the Phillies’ bullpen actually held for much of the night. Howard had to depart the game in the fourth inning with what appeared to be a blister on his finger, so the bullpen needed to throw 5 2⁄3 innings worth of run prevention. Jose Alvarez, Blake Parker, Adam Morgan and Tommy Hunter did quite the admirable job tonight. They gave the team 4 2⁄3 innings of shutout ball, only allowing three hits and two walks during their combined outings.
In the ninth, Joe Girardi turned to Hector Neris to protect the lead, but the same story that has been told frequently this year played itself out again. The Mets got their first two runners on before a mound visit calmed Neris down and he retired the next two hitters. Robinson Cano though came through for the Mets, singling in Nimmo and tying the ball game.
The Phillies would have the final say and got leadoff singles from Quinn and McCutchen to open the inning. Hoskins fell victim to a nasty slider from Seth Lugo for the first out, but Bryce Harper, nearly a full year from his walkoff home run against the Cubs, was the next man up. His single to right field at first looked like it would be hit a little too hard to score Quinn from second, but an amazing slide and awful home plate defense from Wilson Ramos allowed Quinn to sneak his hand in under the tag.
Here's that final play at the plate. Roman Quinn's hand clearly got in. A difficult way for the Mets to lose. pic.twitter.com/DPg8hN77Og— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 15, 2020
Credit home plate umpire Mark Wegner for getting the call right at first and having replay confirm his call.
The Phillies escape tonight with a win and send their ace to the mound tomorrow.