NEW YORK — The Phillies lost Bryce Harper early on Friday night and made an unexpected comeback six innings later, only to fall to the Mets, 5-4.
With the Phillies losing by two and down to their final two outs, J.T. Realmuto tied the game with a two-run smash off beleaguered Mets closer Edwin Diaz, who has now allowed 11 runs and three homers to the Phillies in just 6⅔ innings this season.
It was Realmuto's third straight game with a home run and second straight game with a tying home run late. He tied Thursday's game with an eighth-inning solo shot in Cincinnati. He's up to 23 on the season.
The Mets came back to win it when reliever Nick Vincent hit Jeff McNeil to load the bases and walked Pete Alonso on a full count to force in the game-winning run. It's the second straight game Vincent has taken a walk-off loss.
Harper exited in the bottom of the third after being hit by a 92 mph sinker on the right hand by Mets lefty Steven Matz. The severity of the injury is not yet known but the Phillies have initially labeled it a contusion. More clarity should come tonight.
The Phillies, after losing to the Mets, are 4½ games behind the Cubs for the NL's second wild-card spot, pending the result of Friday's game between the Cubs and Brewers in Milwaukee. When the Phillies' game ended, the Cubs were down five runs in the seventh inning.
1. Still can't get 'em in
The Phillies, again, just didn't do enough hitting with runners in scoring position. They were 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine runners, including the bases loaded in the second inning, a man at second with no outs in the third inning and a man on second with one out in the seventh.
After ranking 10th in the majors by hitting .267 with runners in scoring position in the first half, the Phillies have hit just .242 with RISP since the All-Star break, 22nd in baseball.
The Mets were 4 for 6 with runners in scoring position. What do you think was the difference in the game?
2. Eflin solid again
Zach Eflin pitched well, allowing two runs over five innings. It's his third straight strong start, following a seven-inning, one-run performance against these Mets last Sunday and a six-inning, two-run start the previous weekend.
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler spoke Friday afternoon about the importance of this final month for Eflin, who still needs to prove and solidify himself as a mid-rotation major-league starter.
The recent returns from Eflin have been promising as he's gotten back to using his sinker more frequently. In his last start, he threw a season-high 39 sinkers. In this one, he struck Pete Alonso out swinging twice with sinkers and retired Wilson Ramos twice with sinkers.
The only reason Eflin's night lasted only five innings was because the Phillies put runners on the corners with two outs in the top of the sixth and Kapler pinch-hit with Phil Gosselin, who walked.
Eflin is 8-11 with a 4.31 ERA in a career-high 140 innings.
3. Maikey loves the Mets
Maikel Franco got a rare start because of how he'd hit Matz in the past. With two more hits against the Mets lefty, Franco is 7 for 13 lifetime off Matz with a double, triple and homer.
Franco has just destroyed the Mets in 2019, hitting .333 with a .685 slugging percentage, six homers and 16 RBI in 14 games. He tied the game Friday night with a two-out RBI single up the middle in the sixth.
Against all other teams this season, Franco has hit .218 with a .356 slugging percentage.
4. So does Segura
Another Phillie who has worn out the Mets is Jean Segura. He doubled twice down the third-base line Friday, singled before Realmuto's homer and is hitting .375 with 11 extra-base hits in 12 games against the Mets this season.
Segura has 35 doubles overall this season, the second-most of his career. He has been quietly steady of late, staying between .280 and .290 over the last 34 games.
5. Up next
Any series in which the Phillies don't have Aaron Nola is a challenging one to win. They are fortunate to miss Jacob deGrom again but won't have the pitching matchup advantage in either of these final two games.
Since May 1, the Phillies are 40-46 in games pitched by anyone other than Nola.
Saturday night at 7:10 — LHP Drew Smyly (3-6, 6.65) vs. Marcus Stroman (7-12, 3.28)
Sunday afternoon at 1:10 — Vince Velasquez (6-7, 4.80) vs. Noah Syndergaard (10-7, 3.97)
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