Phillies, up by 10, stave off Mets
The Mets fell behind by 10 runs early and finished just short of what would have been the largest comeback victory in team history, losing 10-8 to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.
New York’s NL wildcard lead was cut to a half-game over St. Louis and San Francisco, which played at San Diego later Saturday.
Philadelphia’s Maikel Franco and Darin Ruf each hit long a home run for the second consecutive night as Philadelphia built a 10-0 lead by the fourth.
Sean Gilmartin (0-1) fell behind 3-0 after 12 pitches and left having allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Jay Bruce hit his first career pinch-hit home run with one out in the ninth. Eric Campbell and Michael Conforto then drew walks before Michael Mariot got his second save by retiring Lucas Duda on a popup and Travis d’Arnaud on a comebacker.
Gavin Cecchini got his first two major league hits and drove in two for the Mets, who brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth and the winning run in the ninth, but could not overcome the early onslaught. T.J. Rivera also had two RBIs.
Pressed into a spot start because Noah Syndergaard has strep throat, Gilmartin made more work for New York’s exhausted bullpen. Philadelphia sent 11 to the plate in the first, and the Mets had to use six relievers after calling on 16 pitchers during the first two games of the series.
Franco’s 25th homer was a 422-foot blast to center that made it 3-0.
After Ruf’s three-run blast made it 10-0, Mets manager Terry Collins pulled some of his regulars to give them rest in a blowout. His bench players then pieced together some timely hits and the Phillies defense struggled during a nearly historic rally.
The Mets got their biggest comeback victory when they overcame an eight-run deficit to win 11-8 at Houston on Sept. 2, 1972.
The Mets got four runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. In the eighth, Hector Neris allowed Cecchini’s RBI double, but then got Rivera to fly out to center and Brandon Nimmo to pop up to end the threat.
Mets: Syndergaard (strep throat) was scheduled to throw a bullpen session. Depending on how Syndergaard feels, Collins said the righty could pitch Monday or Tuesday in Miami . ... INF Wilmer Flores (wrist) is still unable to hit. Collins said Flores wasn’t close to hitting.
Phillies: With the lefthanded Gilmartin on the mound, Ryan Howard was held out of the lineup.
Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman (2-2, 3.13 ERA) makes his sixth major league start in the final home game for the Mets. The lanky rookie struggled against the Phillies in his first start, allowing four earned runs in six innings, but has only allowed seven earned runs over his next 22 innings (2.86 ERA).
Phillies: RHP Jake Thompson (3-5, 5.62 ERA) pitches Philadelphia’s final road game of the season. Although it was expected that he would be shut down along with Vince Velasquez, Thompson is instead looking for his third straight win.
Phillies catcher A.J. Ellis (34) congratulates relief pitcher Michael Mariot after Saturday’s 10-8 win over the New York Mets.