The Phillies couldn't do what so many other teams have done to the Mets this season when Jacob deGrom pitches: Stay in the game long enough to eke out a win.
The Phils were completely shut down by deGrom, whose ERA is a microscopic 1.71. They lost 3-1 in a game that included a 41-minute rain delay after the top of the fourth which did not affect either starting pitcher.
The fastest pitch all day from deGrom came with two outs and two strikes on Rhys Hoskins in the eighth inning. With Hoskins representing the tying run, deGrom blew a 98 mph fastball right on by him.
Over the last 18 years, the only pitcher with an ERA this low in at least 25 starts was Zack Greinke in 2015.
Despite deGrom's league-best ERA, the Mets are just 11-14 in his 25 starts because they rarely score runs for him. However, they've now won three of his starts in a row, and he remains in a close competition with Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola for the NL Cy Young award.
Jake Arrieta started for the Phillies and pitched well but was hurt by another poor throw on a pickoff.
Luis Garcia gave up two runs in the seventh on a solo home run by Devin Mesoraco and an RBI triple from Jeff McNeil.
The Phils scored their only run in the next half-inning when deGrom couldn't catch a throw at first on a potential double play. The ball trickled past him and Nick Williams came around to score (an unearned run), but Odubel Herrera had made a turn around first base and was nabbed before he could slide back in safely.
The loss makes the Phillies 68-55. They're one game back in the NL East pending the Braves' result tonight against the Rockies.
The Mets are 7-5 against the Phillies and 18 games under .500 against everyone else.
Why no Bour?
Justin Bour is one of the few major-leaguers with good numbers against deGrom, so it was quite a surprise to see Carlos Santana get the start at first base.
Bour is 8 for 22 (.364) with two homers and a double lifetime off deGrom. It's not a huge sample, obviously, but why not get all the offense you can against an ace like this?
Santana made outs in his first three at-bats before singling to begin the ninth.
Bour struck out on three pitches as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
This will likely be the first question asked of Gabe Kapler after the game. Stay tuned to hear the reasoning.
Decent day for Hoskins
Hoskins went 2 for 4 off of deGrom with a single, double and stolen base. Hoskins has reached base in 6 of 14 plate appearances against deGrom and 10 of 20 against deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.
Unfortunately for the Phils, they put two men on base in only one of seven innings against deGrom.
Jake does his job
Arrieta gave the Phillies six more very good innings but was pinch-hit for to begin the bottom of the sixth.
Arrieta caught Austin Jackson looking with two men on base to end his outing. It was his third strikeout of Jackson and sixth of the game. For the third time all season, he did not walk a batter.
Arrieta's ERA is down to 3.26, and he's allowed two earned runs or fewer in 15 of 24 starts.
The lone run he allowed came after an errant pickoff attempt advanced a runner from first base to third base. It was Arrieta's fourth error of the season and all four errors have come on bad pickoff attempts.
With Santana's error to begin the sixth, the Phillies have 96 on the season, most in the majors. To put in perspective how high this error total is, the Phillies averaged 81 per season from 2008-11.
In the fourth inning, Wilson Ramos took a two-seam fastball from Arrieta directly off his wrist. It looked like he didn't expect as much movement as Arrieta had on the pitch, and the result was a passed ball.
Ramos was clearly in some pain and was checked on by Phillies trainer Scott Sheridan but stayed in the game. He went 0 for 4 with a strikeout and three groundouts, including a 6-4-3 double play in the ninth.
The Phillies and Mets finish up their five-game series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Sunday night at 7:10 in the 2018 MLB Little League Classic.
Nick Pivetta (7-9, 4.37) faces 35-year-old lefty Jason Vargas (2-8, 8.10).