The Mets (89-69) fell to the Phillies (61-97) by a score of 7-5. The Mets held a 5-0 lead in this game after two home runs in the first inning, but Logan Verrett and the bullpen blew the lead in the ugliest game Mets fans have seen in a long time. Wild pitches, ejections, hit batsmen, they were all present.
The Mets jumped over Phillies starter Alec Asher in the first inning, after a Curtis Granderson double, a walk to David Wright, and a 3-run home run by Daniel Murphy. They tacked on even more after a walk to Yoenis Cespedes and a 2-run home run by Michael Conforto. The Mets jumped to a 5-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, starter Logan Verrett worked around a couple baserunners.
Verrett struck out the side in the bottom of the 2nd, and in the top of the 3rd, Yoenis Cespedes was hit by a pitch on his left hand. Fortunately, x-rays were negative and Cespedes only has a contusion. Kirk Nieuwenhuis would pinch-run and remain in the game in center field. Verrett ran into trouble in the bottom of the 3rd after allowing consecutive singles. A fantastic sliding catch by Kirk Nieuwenhuis induced a double play, but Verrett walked Aaron Altherr to set up a 2-run double by Darin Ruf. The lead was cut to 5-2. The Mets threatened in the top of the 4th, but to no avail, but Wilmer Flores was removed for a pinch-runner with lower back stiffness. Ruben Tejada replaced him.
Verrett worked out of trouble in the bottom of the 4th, but was not so lucky in the 5th. After getting a groundout to lead off the inning, Verrett hit Odubel Herrera with a pitch, a pitch that looked intentional enough for the home plate umpire to warn both benches. The Mets had been hit twice in the game so far; Cespedes and Nieuwenhuis. Verrett lost Aaron Altherr to a walk and Erik Goeddel was able to get Darin Ruf to pop out. Jon Niese, in to face Cody Asche, was not so lucky, allowing an RBI single before getting a sharp groundout. The Mets lead was cut to 5-3.
After Michael Cuddyer reached on a fielding error by Cody Asche, pinch runner Eric Young Jr. stole 2nd with one out. Unfortunately, the Mets didn’t convert and left Young at 2nd. In the bottom of the 6th, things really fell apart. After Hansel Robles got Brian Bogusevic to line out to left, Robles was ejected from the game (along with manager Terry Collins) after a pitch sailed at Cameron Rupp‘s head. Reliever Bobby Parnell inherited a full count and walked Rupp on 1 pitch, then walked pinch hitter Chase d’Arnaud. A wild pitch advanced the tying runs into scoring position, and Freddy Galvis converted with a single to center, taking 2nd on the throw to the plate. The game was tied at 5-5. Dario Alvarez entered and got Odubel Herrera to pop out for the 2nd out, but then hit Aaron Altherr with a pitch on his back foot. Carlos Torres relieved him, and two wild pitches allowed the go-ahead run to score before he struck out Darin Ruf.
Both teams were turned aside in the 7th and the Mets were turned aside in the 8th before Tyler Clippard unleashed the 7th wild pitch of the game, scoring Andres Blanco (leadoff double) from 3rd. The Phillies led 7-5. Ken Giles retired the side in the 9th to end an ugly game.
What an absolutely ugly game. Between the two teams, there were 10 walks, 7 wild pitches, 4 hit batsmen, 2 ejections, a passed ball, an error, and a ball thrown at Cameron Rupp’s head. Gary Cohen called it a candidate for the worst game in MLB history. It truly was something to behold. After Alec Asher’s incredible struggles in the 1st inning, the Mets bullpen (sans their best relievers, of course) one-upped him.
As the Mets battle for home field advantage, these games simply can’t happen. When Robles was ejected in the 6th, I didn’t comprehend Bob Geren‘s decision not to bring in Addison Reed. Bobby Parnell, who has certainly been better later, was absolutely no help, as he gave up the lead after a couple walks and a line-drive single to Freddy Galvis. Through that ridiculous 6th inning, neither Reed nor Clippard entered the game. Instead, it was a combination of Parnell, Dario Alvarez, and Carlos Torres who gave up the lead.
Thank goodness, though, nothing is broken in Yoenis Cespedes’s left hand. Wilmer Flores’s stiff back may be more of a concern, but it does not appear like Cespedes will be out for a lengthy period of time.
POSITIVES: Daniel Murphy and Michael Conforto continue to show more power than expected, Murphy with his career-high 14th home run of the season and Conforto with his 9th. Curtis Granderson was 2/5 with a double and a run scored, while Addison Reed pitched a clean outing in relief. Dario Alvarez made an appearance and retired a lefty, so that’s something.
NEGATIVES: The bullpen, the manager, the bench coach, and the downright ugliness. The game was on the line in the 6th inning, and the failure of Bob Geren or Terry Collins (whoever was making the decision) to bring in Addison Reed or Tyler Clippard is downright insulting to the fans. Bobby Parnell, Dario Alvarez, and Carlos Torres, all of whom are coming off either injury or ineffectiveness, were entrusted to a key inning. The three relievers, at least two of which will not be on the postseason roster, failed the test. Somehow, Geren felt the need to bring Reed and Clippard in after the fact. Too late, buddy. Aside from Addison Reed, all the relievers were guilty to some extent, even if they weren’t charged with a run. Logan Verrett, apart from the 2nd inning, was shaky during his entire start. The offense blew multiple opportunities after converting on their opportunities in the first inning.
The Mets take on the Phillies in the series finale tomorrow at 12:05, a changed game time to accommodate the weather forecast. Sean Gilmartin or Tim Stauffer (likely both, since neither were used tonight) will face off against Jerad Eickhoff.
WPA Winners: None over .100
WPA Losers: Bullpen (-.505) (-.633 without Goeddel, Alvarez, and Reed, who had net positive contributions)
- Daniel Murphy hits a 3-run home run, Mets up 3-0, 1st inning (.157)
- Michael Conforto hits a 2-run home run, Mets up 5-0, 1st inning (.108)
- Freddy Galvis hits a 2-run single, game tied 5-5, 6th inning (-.237)
- Aaron Altherr scores on a wild pitch by Carlos Torres, Phillies up 6-5, 6th inning (-.167)
- Darin Ruf hits a 2-run double, Phillies down 5-2, 3rd inning (-.104)
- Cody Asche hits an RBI single, Phillies down 5-3, 5th inning (-.102)