NEW YORK — Nights like this are why Charlie Manuel used to say, "Baseball is a funny game."
Jacob deGrom has spent much of his career beating up on the Phillies. On Tuesday night, the Phillies beat him up in a 9-1 win at Citi Field.
• The kids fueled the victory and offered a glimpse of what the future might look like (see story). Rookie right-hander Ben Lively pitched seven strong innings and drove in four runs with a two-run single and a two-run homer, both against deGrom. Rookie Nick Williams had a three-run double. Rookie Rhys Hoskins was on base four times with a single, double and two walks. And, of course, J.P. Crawford had a hit, scored a run and played flawless at third base in his first big-league game. He also grounded into a double play and struck out twice, but all in all it was a nice debut.
• You will see a lot of Crawford over the final weeks of the season (see story).
• Lively doesn't light up the radar gun, but he commands what he has and has some deception in his delivery. He held the Mets, who scored 11 runs against Phillies pitching on Monday, to four hits and a run over seven innings. The run came in the first inning. He then racked up six scoreless. He got away with three walks and struck out four.
• Lively has turned in a quality start in eight of 11 outings.
• DeGrom was tagged for 10 hits and a career-high nine runs (three were unearned) in 3 2/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career. It was surprising to see deGrom knocked around like that by the Phillies. After all, he struck out the side in the first inning. And he had entered the game with some impressive numbers against the Phils — a 6-0 record with a 2.10 ERA in 10 career starts. He had been 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA (three earned runs in 19 2/3 innings) in three starts against the Phils this season. He had struck out 24 and walked just three in those three games. As Charlie used to say, "Baseball is a funny game."
• Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe it wasn't. On the day Crawford, a legitimate threat to his job, showed up, Freddy Galvis stroked three hits and drew a walk. He entered the game with just a .304 on-base percentage. Getting on base is Crawford's strength. His career on-base mark in the minors was .367.
• Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph, the opening day third baseman and first baseman, respectively, were both on the bench as the Phillies looked at rookies Crawford and Hoskins at those positions. Crawford, a natural shortstop, looked good at the position. He started a nifty 5-4-3 double play to end a Mets' threat in the eighth and get Hoby Milner out of trouble.
• Watch your back, Joe D., Odubel Herrera's hitting streak is at 19 games.
• In 26 games, Hoskins has an on-base percentage of .436.
• The series concludes on Wednesday night with a pair of hard-throwing right-handers — Nick Pivetta (5-9, 6.28) vs. Matt Harvey (4-4, 5.97).