by: Paul DiSclafani
FLUSHING, NY: Matt Harvey gives up a two run home run to Odubel Herrera and the Phillies bullpen shuts down the Mets (2-3) again, to take the rubber game from the NL Champs at Citi Field, 5-2. The much maligned Philadelphia bullpen, who had surrendered 15 runs in just 10.2 innings coming into the series, posted 6.1 innings of shutout relief over the final two games, allowing just one hit and striking out 7.
The Phillies (2-4) won just 4 games against the Mets last year and were 1-8 at Citi Field, but held the Mets to just 2 runs in the last two games, both coming on a 2-run home run by Yoenis Ceespedes.
Harvey (L, 0-2) was trailing 1-0 going into the sixth and after retiring nine straight and after getting Freddy Galvis on a strikeout to start the inning, gave up a single to Cesar Hernandez. Herrera then jumped on a 1-2 slider that didn’t slide and deposited it deep to right to make it 3-0 Philadelphia. Harvey struck out three in his six innings and walked two while allowing six hits.
Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson (W, 1-0) was cruising along and holding the Mets scoreless, tacking on five more scoreless innings to yesterday’s shutout and keeping the Mets off the scoreboard for 15 straight innings. But in the Mets sixth, David Wright (2 hits) doubled to deep right center with two outs, putting the first Mets runner in scoring position.
Hellickson then battled Cespedes for 10 straight pitches, with Cespedes fouling off four in a row before launching his first home run deep to left field to cut the lead to 3-2. That ended Hellickson’s day as he allowed just three hits and a walk, striking out five. He also had a hit in the third inning, moving Peter Bourjois to third and allowing him to score on a sacrifice fly for the first run of the game.
The Phillies tacked on runs against the Mets bullpen in both the eighth and ninth inning against Addison Reed and Logan Verrett, allowing Jeanmar Gomez (S, 2) to secure his second consecutive save.
The Miami Marlins (1-3) come into town on Monday to start a three game series. Steven Matz (4-0) and Jarred Cosart (14-13) are both making their season debuts. Matz was 2-0 at Citi Field last year.
JACOB DEGROM UPDATE: Jacob deGrom was still “stiff” this morning and Terry Collins confirmed that the Mets will skip his turn in the rotation on Wednesday against the Marlins. “He hasn’t thrown since Friday”, said Collins, “He probably won’t be able to throw tomorrow, so we can’t have him start on Wednesday if he hasn’t thrown. We are fortunate to be able to skip him.” Logan Verrett will get the start.
POSITIVES: David Wright had two of the Mets four hits and Yoenis Cespedes had the other two … Mets wore replica jerseys from their 1986 Championship season. Mets will done the uniforms, with orange and blue racing stripes, on Sunday home games … Mets started 2-3 in 2015 before embarking on an 11-game winning streak … Harvey threw first pitch strikes against 19 of the 25 batters he faced … Josh Edgin made his first appearance following Tommy John surgery last March and threw 27 pitches in Class A St. Lucie.
NEGATIVES: Mets had just seven hits in the last two games of the series … Curtis Granderson took the collar again (0-4) and is just 1-20 (.050) on the season … Mets had only five base runners … Mets still have not scored a run while Harvey has been in the game.