Phils Insider

Phillies clinging to their playoff lives after another big early lead is blown

Phils Insider

Home runs ruled the night in Thursday’s game between the Phillies and New York Mets.

Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm and Didi Gregorius hit back-to-back-to-back homers with one out in the first inning against Mets starter Seth Lugo.

Harper hit a second homer of the game in the second inning.

But Mets leadoff man Brandon Nimmo had the biggest homer of the night when he clubbed a tie-breaking solo shot against Brandon Workman leading off the ninth to help lift the Mets to a 10-6 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Workman also allowed an RBI triple in the ninth and rookie Garrett Cleavinger, making his big-league debut, served up a two-run homer to Robinson Cano as the Mets built a comfortable lead.

The Phils’ bullpen ERA of 7.17 is the worst in the majors.

Since joining the Phils before the trade deadline, Workman has allowed 22 hits, including three homers, and nine runs in 11⅔ innings.

It was the second night in a row that the Phils lost to the Mets. The bullpen blew leads both times.

The Phils led this one, 6-3, after two innings. They did not score the rest of the night. The Mets rallied for three runs in the sixth and tied it on a two-run triple by Nimmo against reliever Blake Parker.

The nine-inning game lasted four hours, 12 minutes.

The standings 

The Phils are now a game under .500 at 24-25 with 11 games remaining. They currently hold the eighth and final NL playoff spot but are just a half-game up on St. Louis and one game ahead of Milwaukee.

 

The Phils trail seventh-place San Francisco by a game.

Aaron Nola’s night

It was a grind for the right-hander for much of the night. His 21-inning scoreless streak at home came to an end in the first inning when he walked the first two batters of the game on his way to falling behind, 3-0, on an RBI double by Dominic Smith and a two-run single by Cano.

Nola righted himself, stayed in the game and put up zeroes through the fifth while his teammates clubbed their way to a 6-3 lead.

Nola struck out the first batter in the sixth then gave up a solo homer to Pete Alonso on his 101st pitch of the game. He walked the next batter and was removed.

In all, Nola allowed five hits, five runs and a season-high five walks over 5⅓ innings.

Bullpen blues

Parker inherited a runner from Nola when he took over with the Phils up two runs in the sixth. Parker walked the first batter he faced then got the second out of the inning before giving up a two-run triple to Nimmo to tie the game.

Tommy Hunter and David Phelps combined on 2⅓ innings of scoreless ball before Workman gave up the homer in the ninth.

The previously struggling Phelps struck out the side in the eighth.

Homer notes

The Phils had not hit back-to-back-to-back homers since April 23, 2017 when Cesar Hernandez, Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera did it in a 5-2 win over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

Harper, who had just one homer in his previous 24 games, homered in the first and second innings.

His homer in the first hit the batter’s eye in center field and was estimated at 433 feet. His homer in the second was a 445-foot bomb off the facing of the third deck in right field.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harper became just the fourth Phillie ever to homer in the first and second innings of a game, joining Jimmy Rollins (April 12, 2007 at the Mets), Gary Redus (July 7, 1986 at Atlanta) and Freddy Leach (June 19, 1928 at Brooklyn). Von Hayes also homered two times within the first two innings of a game but both were in the first inning on June 11, 1985 against the Mets.

Health check

The Phillies have been hard-hit by injury and they may have suffered another one when Jean Segura was hit on the back of the elbow by a 97 mph fastball from Jeurys Familia in the seventh inning. Segura left the game. There was no immediate word on his condition.

If Segura has to miss time, the Phillies will be in trouble in the infield as they only have four others on the active roster — Scott Kingery, Alec Bohm, Didi Gregorius and Phil Gosselin. The Phils let veteran infielders Neil Walker and Ronald Torreyes go in recent days, though Torreyes cleared waivers and remains in the organization if the Phils want to put him back on the 40-man roster. 

Already, Jay Bruce, Spencer Howard, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Garlick, Jose Alvarez and Rhys Hoskins are on the injured list, and J.T. Realmuto hasn’t played since Saturday because of a quad/hip strain. The Phillies hope Realmuto will be able to play over the weekend.

 

Up next

The Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays will play a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park on Friday. First pitch is 4 p.m. Toronto will be the “home” team in the first game. The Jays, who swept the Phils in a doubleheader last month, are right in the American League wild-card chase so it’s an important day for both clubs.

The Phillies had not completed their pitching plans for the doubleheader. Zach Eflin will start one of the games.

The Jays will send lefty Robbie Ray (2-4, 6.85) to the mound in Game 1 and right-hander Ross Stripling (3-3, 5.88) will start the second game. The Jays added both pitchers at the trade deadline.