Phillies

Phillies 7, Mets 2: Phillies break through against Mets' bullpen after struggling to hit Jacob deGrom

Phillies 7, Mets 2: Phillies break through against Mets' bullpen after struggling to hit Jacob deGrom

BOX SCORE 

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.

Big power

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.

Velasquez’ night

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.

Suspended

Odubel Herrera has been disciplined (see story).

Transaction

Reliever Austin Davis was sent back to Triple A Lehigh Valley and Yacksel Rios was recalled.

Up next

The series continues on Saturday night. Jake Arrieta (8-6, 4.43) opposes Noah Syndergaard (5-4, 4.56).

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Gabe Kapler’s non-answer on Nick Williams’ future speaks volumes

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USA Today Images/Jay Biggerstaff

Gabe Kapler’s non-answer on Nick Williams’ future speaks volumes

ATLANTA — Nick Williams has become a forgotten man on this Phillies roster. He was brought back from Triple A when rosters expanded in September, but entered Tuesday night with just one at-bat in 13 games since his return.

Williams was a key piece in the big rebuild trade that sent Cole Hamels to the Rangers in July 2015.

But time seems to be running out on the 26-year-old outfielder and manager Gabe Kapler’s response to a question on Tuesday about Williams’ future seemed to confirm that idea.

The question went like this:

Do you think Nick Williams has a future in this organization?

Kapler’s answer went like this:

“Um, I think he has the talent. He’s a gifted athlete from every perspective.”

That was it.

Kapler did not answer the question directly and that was telling. Williams will probably be on the move this winter, along with Maikel Franco and others.

Williams was in a tough spot from the get-go this season. The team is not comfortable playing him in center field and the acquisitions of Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen, both former NL MVPs, left him with no corner spot to get at-bats. Williams was sent to Triple A four times during the season. He .316 with 10 homers, 25 RBIs and a .955 OPS in 190 at-bats at Triple A, but struggled in sporadic action in the majors. Entering Tuesday night, he was hitting .157 with a .459 OPS in 102 at-bats at the big-league level.

“I think he’s put in a lot of work and people have put in a lot of work thinking about him,” Kapler said. “I don’t know. I think he’s struggled with some things this season.”

Williams, at times, has looked beaten and worn down this season. He seems to be the epitome of someone who’d benefit from a change of scenery. His name has come up in trade discussions before and he likely will be shopped this winter. Like Kapler said, Williams has talent. Maybe a different team can unlock it.

For now, don’t look for Williams to get a bunch of playing time over the final two weeks of the Phillies season.

Kapler said Williams was “behind a few guys on our roster.” He mentioned Brad Miller and Jay Bruce as two of them.



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At the Yard podcast: How much could final 2 weeks affect Gabe Kapler's job status with Phillies?

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USA Today Images

At the Yard podcast: How much could final 2 weeks affect Gabe Kapler's job status with Phillies?

Will Gabe Kapler get a third season as Phillies manager? What organizational changes might we see this offseason? Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman discuss.

• Will 82-80 mean anything different to Phillies' decision-makers than 80-82?

• Is Gabe Kapler managing for his job?

• How much will final two weeks affect Kapler?

• If Phillies do make a managerial change, who might be top candidates?

• Background on exciting young pitching prospect Ethan Lindow.

• Offseason plans for Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard.

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