After a stellar 2021 season, all eyes were on Ranger Suarez as he took the bump on Monday night. After limited work in the spring, Suarez would have his pitch count limited to “around 60” according to Joe Girardi.
Brandon Nimmo began the evening by lacing a single on the second pitch of the game.
Starling Marte then ripped a ground ball back to Ranger, which bounced off his glove towards Alec Bohm. The third basemen then fired the ball down the right field line, putting both runners in scoring position with no outs.
Bohm was then tested on back-to-back plays at the hot corner, making them both. Unfortunately for the Phils, Nimmo would come home to score on a Pete Alonso ground out to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. New Met, Eduardo Escobar made his presence felt with an RBI single to right field, which brought home Marte.
J.D. Davis then drew a walk, which was followed up by a bloop single to right by Mark Canha, bringing home the third run of the inning.
Taijuan Walker made quick work of the top of the order in the bottom of the first, retiring the Schwarber, Realmuto, Harper trio in order.
Once again Alec Bohm would find a bouncing ball come his way to start off the top of the second. The former first round pick then sailed his throw over Rhys Hoskins head, for his second error in as many innings.
After a sacrifice bunt moved McCann to second, the ball once again found its way to third on the next two plays. Bohm made them both and received a sarcastic, yet loud cheer from the Citizens Bank Park crowd.
The Mets starter returned to the mound for the bottom of the second and retired the red and white in order again.
With the Phillies already down three to nothing, the top of the third inning started more dramatically than fans would have hoped for. Pete Alonso chopped a pitched to the left side, leading to a third throwing error charged to Alec Bohm at third base.
With two outs in the top of the third and runners on first and second, Power Ranger’s day was done as he hit 63 pitches.
Nick Nelson would be first out of the arm barn as he made his Phillies debut. The right hander hit 98 mph as he tiptoed out of trouble to end the inning, striking out Luis Guillorme.
David Peterson entered to start the bottom of the third inning, as Tajuan Walker’s evening was complete. The 2021 All-Star threw two perfect innings while striking out four. Walker is still working his way back from January knee surgery, which may explain the early exit.
Jean Segura led off the bottom half of the frame with a base hit but was subsequently picked off first base a couple pitches later. Peterson issued a one out walk to Bohm, but retire the next two Phils, ending the third.
The top half of the fourth saw Nick Nelson settle in and make quick work of the New York squad.
A double play with runners on the corners stalled Philadelphia’s momentum to complete the fourth.
Nelson returned to the bump to begin the fifth. The former Yankee did so effectively, retiring the heart of the Met lineup in order. The bottom of the inning saw an Alec Bohm double, but no other offense from Philly.
To start the top half of the sixth inning, Nick Nelson continued his sensational first day on the job by punching out J.D. Davis. MV3 then gave phans a chance to leave their seats with this sliding grab in the sixth.
Nice little sliding catch from Bryce Harper near the wall! pic.twitter.com/7jYD77CDyz— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 12, 2022
Later in the contest, Harper appeared to be experiencing pain in his throwing arm. Although the right fielder would remain in the ballgame.
Bryce Harper was holding his right elbow. And seemed to be in some discomfort pic.twitter.com/wXcrxKNPFN— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) April 12, 2022
The Mets tacked on their fourth run of the game as Francisco Lindor drove in James McCann in the seventh.
Fast forwarding to the bottom of the eighth, the offense finally came alive for the Phillies after seven dull innings.
Alec Bohm walked to lead off the inning, the third time in the game that he reached base safely. A pinch-hitting Johan Camargo singled to push Bohm to third.
The top of the order then came to the dish as Kyle Schwarber grounded into a fielder’s choice to bring home Bohm. The RBI was the third of the season for the 2014 first round pick.
J.T. Realmuto followed that up by decimating a full count pitch well into the left field bleachers for his first home run of 2022.
JT Realmuto leads the Phillies with 11 HR’s in the 7th inning or later since the start of 2020— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) April 12, 2022
JT has hit the most HR’s in his career in the 7th and 8th inningspic.twitter.com/hkjB4DbBQo
Now trailing 4-3, Bryce Harper stepped to the dish to face Joely Rodriguez who remained in the game after the homer. Unfortunately, it was Rodriguez who bested Bryce, striking out the two-time MVP.
As Nick Castellanos loomed, Buck Showalter made the move to right hander Seth Lugo. Castellanos displayed tremendous plate discipline throughout the at bat, drawing a two-out walk.
Following the walk, Rhys Hoskins took his turn and delivered a rocket down the left field line. Nick Castellanos channeled his inner Bryce Harper, hauling his way around the bases to score from first. The RBI was the fourth of the 2022 season for Hoskins.
Nick Castellanos is the fastest player in Phillies history to wear No. 8. pic.twitter.com/7KLNmOYTiI— Jonny Heller (@JonnyHeller) April 12, 2022
Sir Didi Gregorius came through huge delivering a go-ahead RBI double. This was the second run driven in on the new campaign for Didi and it could not have come at a better time.
After four hits across the first seven innings, the Phillies plated five runs to come from behind and take their first lead of the game.
Credit has to be given to Nick Nelson for allowing the Phillies back into this game, thanks to his four innings of one run ball. Seranthony Dominguez was once again effective in his one and one third inning pitched.
Now for the final frame.
Joe Girardi made the move to Brad Hand to try to lock down the win.
Dom Smith was the first victim as Hand picked up his second strikeout in the red pinstripes.
Simon Muzziotti, who made his MLB debut as a defensive replacement, was tested thanks to a James McCann fly ball. The 23-year-old made the play without incident to record the second out.
As the Philly faithful rose to their feet with two away in the ninth, Brandon Nimmo took his crack at his former teammate.
It was the 32-year-old left-hander that won the battle, locking down the win and striking out Nimmo. The save was Hand’s first as a Phillie. Seranthony Dominguez was credited with his first win in the bigs since 2019.
Monday night’s victory cemented that things are certainly different in Philadelphia this season.
The bullpen allowed just one run across six and a third innings pitched, and the offense came alive when we thought they were dead.
The message is clear after the win, don’t count the Phillies out of a game this year.