Mets’ center fielder, Brandon Nimmo, fought his way through a seven-pitch at-bat against Taijuan Walker to lead off the game with a walk. Walker retired the two and three hole hitters on balls in play before Mets’ first baseman, Pete Alonso, looped a first pitch sinker toward the right field line that landed fair and sliced into section 109 for an RBI ground rule double.
Walker was solid through the next three innings, allowing just a single to Mets’ left fielder and eight hole hitter, Rafael Ortega, before running into a jam in the fifth inning. With one out, Ortega got his second single off Walker which was followed by a single by catcher, Omar Narvaez, and another by Nimmo to score Ortega and give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
With one out and two men on and Mets’ shortstop, Francisco Lindor, ahead 3-2 in the count, Walker caught Narvaez sleeping at second base with a pick off for the second out. On the next pitch, he got Lindor swinging to end the inning.
Taijuan Walker might have the best pickoff move in baseball. pic.twitter.com/JvtV9pQ46w— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) September 23, 2023
Mets’ starter, Tylor Megill, kept the bats in check throughout the early innings, surrendering just a one-out walk to Trea Turner in the bottom of the first and a two-out double to Kyle Schwarber in the bottom of the third inning.
The offense finally got to Megill in the bottom of the sixth. After a one-out, 1-2 curveball clipped Harper on his back knee, Alec Bohm reached first on an infield single before JT Realmuto smashed a two-out, first-pitch fastball to the left field seats to take the lead and record his 20th homer of the year.
J.T. Realmuto is hitting below .200 at home this season…BUT HE COMES THROUGH!!!— Just Baseball (@JustBB_Media) September 23, 2023
He brings three home with a massive bomb to take the lead. This team is looking dangerous heading into the final stretch…pic.twitter.com/ZsyHuzcEc8
The Phillies squandered leadoff runners in both the fourth and fifth innings on a single by Bryce Harper and a double by Nick Castellanos, who were both left stranded without much fuss from their colleagues.
Matt Strahm came on in the seventh inning to relieve Walker, setting the side down in order.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Johan Rojas singled to center, stole second and reached third on a bad throw by Narvaez before Kyle Schwarber would single him home. It was Schwarber’s 100th RBI of the year, hitting the triple digit plateau for the first time in his career.
Lindor eeked a homer into the left field planter boxes off Gregory Soto with two outs in the top of the eighth to cut the lead down to one.
Francisco Lindor breaks his own record for most HR by a Mets shortstop with number 27pic.twitter.com/Ap3r8MH4Yh— Amazin' Army (@WE_ARE_MET_FANS) September 23, 2023
Craig Kimbrel came in to close it out for his third appearance in as many games and blew the save after Mets’ third baseman, Brett Baty, smacked a 2-2 fastball to deep right center to knot up the score and send the proceedings to extras.
Brett Baty ice in his veins! Mets tie it up! pic.twitter.com/zdGleFVS6v— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 23, 2023
The Mets brought in lefty reliever, Brooks Raley, to pitch the bottom of the ninth. Rob Thomson played the matchup by pinch hitting for Brandon Marsh with Cristian Pache, who worked a five-pitch walk and made his way around to third base after a sacrifice bunt by Johan Rojas and a groundout by Schwarber, ultimately being left stranded after a Turner groundout ended the inning and sent the game to extras.
Seranthony Dominguez came in to handle the top of the tenth inning, loading the bases with two walks to go along with the ghost runner, before striking out Mets’ first baseman, Pete Alonso, to end the frame.
The Mets elected to intentionally walk Harper to allow righty, Adam Ottavino, to face fellow righty, Alec Bohm. Bohm made them pay.
Turner pilfered his 29th steal of the year, padding his could-be record.
Zach Wheeler takes on Jose Quintana in game three of the series tomorrow at 4:05pm.