It took 80 games but the Phillies have their first walk-off win of 2019. Jay Bruce smoked an RBI double over the centerfielder's head in the bottom of the 10th to give the Phillies a 5-4 win and a third straight victory over the Mets.
The Phillies came back from a two-run deficit to win Game 1, a three-run deficit to win Game 2 and a four-run deficit to win Game 3. The Mets' bullpen has been a total disaster, especially lately, which made beleaguered Mets manager Mickey Callaway's decision to pull starter Jason Vargas after just 77 pitches across 6⅓ mostly dominant innings even more strange.
The Phillies took advantage of that highly questionable decision in the sixth inning, scoring three runs on an RBI double by Cesar Hernandez and a game-tying, bases-loaded two-run single by Jean Segura, who homered an inning earlier.
Hernandez has six straight multi-hit games. Segura has nine home runs, just one fewer than he had last season.
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The Phillies are 42-38; the Mets are 37-44.
Happy to see you go
The Phillies were thrilled to see Vargas exit this game. The veteran finesse lefty matched a career-high with 10 strikeouts over 6⅓ innings and allowed just five of the 24 batters he faced to reach base.
Callaway, who has come under tremendous fire lately for the team's poor performance, his questionable managerial decisions and his tirade toward a Newsday reporter over the weekend, pulled Vargas after 77 pitches for reliever Seth Lugo. He did it despite the fact that every Mets setup man has failed this month to get the ball from the starting pitcher to closer Edwin Diaz.
From a Phillies perspective, it paid off, just as it did 24 hours earlier when Callaway turned to his worst reliever, Wilmer Font, with the game on the line in the decisive sixth inning.
Another stressful night for Pivetta
It was not a strong night for Nick Pivetta, who allowed a pair of solo homers and four runs total over 5⅔ innings.
The most surprising aspect of Pivetta's start was the lack of whiffs. Just two of the 40 fastballs he threw resulted in a swinging strike and both were by the opposing pitcher, Vargas. Pivetta struck out only three batters and two were Vargas, who singled in his first AB.
Pivetta allowed a baserunner in every inning and pitched out of the stretch to 17 of the 29 batters he faced.
In six starts since returning from his stint in the minors, Pivetta has a 4.30 ERA and has allowed nine home runs in 37 innings. The Phillies are 2-4 in those games.
Phillies starting pitchers have allowed 15 runs in 16⅔ innings in the series.
Add McNeil to the list
Of Phillie-killers, that is. The guy is just a really good hitter. Strong contact skills, sneaky power, hits pitchers from both sides. McNeil followed Tuesday's four-hit game by going 2 for 4 with a solo homer, an RBI double and a walk.
In 20 career games against the Phillies, McNeil has hit .456 with 11 extra-base hits in 85 plate appearances (36-79).
According to a source, Phillies first-round pick Bryson Stott is in Philadelphia for a physical. GM Matt Klentak had said Monday the Phillies expected to sign Stott this week. The deal could be completed as soon as Thursday morning.
The four-game series concludes tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 when Aaron Nola (6-2, 4.55) takes on Zack Wheeler (6-5, 4.69).
Wheeler has been as up-and-down this season as Nola. In his last start, Wheeler allowed one run to the Cubs over seven innings. His prior two times out, he allowed 14 runs on 20 hits in 10⅔ innings.
The Phillies faced Wheeler twice in one week in April. In those two games, Wheeler gave up three runs in seven innings in a Mets loss and went seven scoreless with 11 punchouts in a Mets win.
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