Hottest team in baseball cooled off as Phillies lose to Mets


Bryce Harper's night was short and Spencer Howard's night was even shorter as the Phillies' five-game win streak ended in New York.

The Phillies, the hottest team in baseball, cooled off in a forgettable 5-1 loss to the Mets.

Rhys Hoskins homered to give the Phillies a first-inning lead but Spencer Howard was hurt by two tough left-handed Mets hitters in particular: Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto. McNeil doubled twice off the Phillies rookie and Conforto singled in a run.

Conforto's RBI single and one of McNeil's doubles came on hanging changeups from Howard. McNeil's other double was on a four-seam fastball high in the zone but not high enough.

Howard retired the first six batters he faced but allowed three runs in four innings. He has a 5.66 ERA ERA through five starts. His opponents have hit .318. Lefties have hit .354 and slugged .708.

The Phillies are 19-16. This was their first loss of the season to the Mets after four wins. 

Sunday afternoon will be a treat with Aaron Nola opposing Jacob deGrom. As accomplished as the two pitchers are, they are both pitching as well as they have in their entire lives. Nola has a 2.45 ERA and the lowest WHIP in the NL (0.86). DeGrom has a 1.76 ERA and leads the NL with 12.7 strikeouts per nine.

Two injuries

Jay Bruce re-injured his left quad Saturday night. It will likely require a return to the injured list, Joe Girardi said.

Roman Quinn went through concussion protocol after banging into the wall in right-center.


Defensive miscue

The Mets scored their third run on a sacrifice fly ... to second base. Andres Gimenez popped a ball up to shallow right-center field with runners on second and third and one out. Neil Walker was under it to make the catch but an alert Todd Frazier read it well and scored.

Probably Harper's ball to call off.

Harper tossed

Harper, 7 for his last 47, was ejected after arguing a fair-foul call in the fifth inning. 

Harper lined a ball past first base during his at-bat. It was ruled foul and he later grounded out to third to end the inning.

First-base umpire Roberto Ortiz didn't let Harper say much after the inning ended, tossing him quickly after Harper began a conversation about the play from about 10 feet away.

Harper was not happy about the quick hook and was demonstrative in his explanation to Joe Girardi in the Phillies' dugout.

Hoskins stays hot

Hoskins' first-inning home run off Seth Lugo was impressive. He fell behind in the count with two strikes but still connected with a short, powerful swing on a 96 mph fastball to homer 411 feet to left-center. 

It was Hoskins' eighth home run this season and seventh in his last 11 games. He had seven homers in his previous 74 games.

Suarez debuts

Left-hander Ranger Suarez relieved Howard in his season debut. Suarez was activated off the COVID-injured list Monday after missing all of camp and the first month of the season. 

He gave up two hits and walked two, allowing two runs in 1⅔ innings. Shaking off rust is the priority for Suarez.