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Not the usual suspects: Phillies 4, Mets 3

The Phillies’ win was mostly thanks to guys not named Harper or Wheeler

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets
Didi Gregorius was one of the unexpected heroes for the Phillies on Friday
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

What if I told you that the Phillies played a game in which both Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler started, but neither man played a major part in the outcome? What if I told you that instead, the supporting cast actually stepped up for the Phillies? It sounds implausible, but that’s what happened when the Phillies defeated the New York Mets 4-3 on Friday.

Harper was just 1-4 with a double and didn’t factor in the scoring. In fact, he came up with runners on the corners with nobody out in the eighth, and to just about everyone’s surprise, he didn’t get the run home.

Zack Wheeler got the start, and it wasn’t his show either. A high pitch count caused him to leave the game with two runners on in the sixth. (And believe it or not, Jose Alvarado actually stranded those runners!)

Joe Girardi didn’t factor much into this one either because he (checks notes) vehemently argued about Matt Joyce checked swing.

That’s Girardi’s fourth ejection of the year, and I gotta say, that was a weird hill to die on.

So without a huge contribution from Harper, how did the Phillies score their runs? The first came when J.T. Realmuto singled, stole a base, advanced on a fly ball, and was driven home by a sacrifice fly. Manufacturing a run is apparently allowed!

A Brad Miller home run gave the Phillies another run, Matt Vierling drove one in with a sacrifice fly (two sac flies in one game!), and Didi Gregorius came through with a clutch RBI single after Harper failed to get the run home.

With a shorter than usual start from Wheeler, the bullpen was forced to cover four innings, and for the most part, they were good.

Archie Bradley wasn’t good though, giving up two runs in the eighth. It looked like Bradley had gotten out of the inning when Kevin Pillar was called out at second base. But even though the Mets had already used a challenge, they were still allowed to ask for a replay.

Bradley was removed in favor of Ian Kennedy attempting to record a four-out save, and at that point, most Phillies fans assumed that the team was about to move one blown save closer to the season record. But Kennedy retired all four batters that he faced, and the Phillies emerged with a tough, and crucial win.

It’s nice knowing that the big stars can have an off night and the Phillies can still find a way to win. That said, if Harper wants to have another one of those four RBI days tomorrow, I certainly wouldn’t complain.