NEW YORK — If only the Phillies could play the New York Mets every night.
On a night when the Phils had just one hit through six innings, they managed some late offense and pulled out a 7-2 win over the Mets at Citi Field.
The Phillies have won just seven of their last 18 games. Five of those wins have come against the Mets.
Coming in, the odds were stacked against the Phils as they had to face Jacob deGrom, the 2018 NL Cy Young winner.
DeGrom was tough. He struck out 10. But the Phils rallied to tie the game against him in the seventh. They took the lead against Edwin Diaz in the ninth. J.T. Realmuto led off the inning with a double, his second of the game, and scored on a base hit by Jay Bruce. Sean Rodriguez, Jean Segura and Bryce Harper all had hits to pad the lead.
Manager Gabe Kapler used his closer, Hector Neris, to get the final three outs in a five-run game. Kapler had previously used Adam Morgan, Tommy Hunter and Jose Alvarez for scoreless relief work. The skipper’s trust level in the rest of the bullpen is clearly pretty low.
The Phillies entered the game in third place in the NL East, 6 ½ games behind first-place Atlanta.
Scott Kingery showed some big power when he launched the first pitch of the game into the second deck above left field. Kingery was clearly looking to ambush a first-pitch fastball from deGrom and he got one. It came in at 98 mph, left the bat at 106 mph and traveled 433 feet.
DeGrom is de goods
Kingery’s leadoff homer apparently did not sit well with deGrom. He retired 15 of the next 16 hitters, allowing only a walk, and did not give up his second hit of the night until the seventh inning.
The Phillies tied the game in that inning on a walk, a double by Realmuto and an RBI infield hit by Cesar Hernandez. They eventually put runners on second and third with two outs. Having already used lefty-hitting Brad Miller as a pinch-hitter, Kapler used switch-hitter Andrew Knapp as the pinch-hitter. DeGrom struck out Knapp and the Phils left two men in scoring position in a tie game.
An inning later, Rhys Hoskins took a called third strike from Seth Lugo with a runner on second to end a threat. The Phils finally erupted in the ninth against the Mets’ bullpen.
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez pitched five innings and did a good job on everyone not named Pete Alonso. Alonso clubbed his 29th homer in the fourth and doubled home a run in the fifth. Velasquez got the first two outs in the fifth then gave up a two-out hit to Jeff McNeil to set up Alonso’s double.
Manager Gabe Kapler would not commit to Velasquez getting another start after the All-Star break, but the right-hander’s performance, coupled with the fact the Phillies don’t have many options, will probably get him another one.
Long ball lunacy
The Phillies only gave up one home run, not bad considering they were tagged for eight the previous two nights in Atlanta. The Phils have allowed 151 homers, most in the NL, in 88 games.
Odubel Herrera has been disciplined (see story).
Reliever Austin Davis was sent back to Triple A Lehigh Valley and Yacksel Rios was recalled.
The series continues on Saturday night. Jake Arrieta (8-6, 4.43) opposes Noah Syndergaard (5-4, 4.56).
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