For far too often this year, the shutdown inning has eluded the Phillies. Whether that’s subjective or objective, there has been an issue with the team’s pitching staff being unable to prevent the opposition from scoring after they themselves have gone ahead. Tonight, the issue reared its ugly head yet again and deflated the team all the way around.
Zach Eflin was on the hill for the Phillies when he was given a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Mets had scored first on a Dominic Smith sacrifice fly in the second inning, but the Phillies loaded the bases in the fourth thanks to singles from Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos with no one on, then a walk to Rhys Hoskins with one out. Taijuan Walker was the Mets’ pitcher at this time and that Hoskins at bat in particular felt as though it lasted for ages. Up came J.T. Realmuto and the Phillies looked like they were in business. Indeed, Realmuto delivered, lining a ball past the second baseman into right field and plating two.
JT Realmuto batting with the bases loaded brings home 2 runs!! pic.twitter.com/gliuhjLxn3— Brodes Media (@BrodesMedia) May 29, 2022
They would load the bases again, but Kyle Schwarber flied out to end the inning, sending Eflin back out to the mound with a lead.
He couldn’t even get an out before relinquishing the lead for good.
Francisco Lindor walked, Pete Alonso singled him to third base and Jeff McNeil did the damage.
It’s another in a line of scenarios this year where the offense gives them a bit of a lead and the pitching gives it right back. At times, they may have been able to bounce back, either the offense or the pitching, but neither was able to do so this evening. Eflin would be left in the game to save the bullpen a bit, giving up three more runs in the fifth inning, effectively ending the game when Luis Guillorme walked, Starling Marte doubled, then Lindor came to the plate.
Oh, did we mention the defense struggled again tonight?
Two Phillies converge on a fly ball. Neither of them catch it. It's a two-run triple for Francisco Lindor and a six-game RBI streak -- the longest of Lindor's career.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 29, 2022
Mets 6, Phillies 2, bottom five. pic.twitter.com/KpJbyPt7r8
“Two Phillies converged on a ball in the air, and I—
I saw neither get a glove on it.
And that has made all the difference.”
It did not make a difference, but we of course cannot go a game without some Phillies gaffe in the field costing the team some runs.
The bullpen looked shaky yet again, James Norwood in particular, calling into question his spot on the roster, but it did not matter. This game was over the minute Eflin gave back the lead.
This was just a depressing game to watch, on national television no less. And look: another one tomorrow night. Huzzah.