After being shutout for eight innings, the New York Mets offense came to life in the ninth inning on Thursday. Staking closer Edwin Diaz to a 3-1 lead, it looked like the losing skid might come to an end. As Mets fans know, it’s never that simple.
Trying to salvage the final game of a four-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Mets bats were all but silent for the first eight innings in Thursday’s 6-3 loss.
The team didn’t record their first hit until the sixth inning, a single off the bat of Zack Wheeler.
Phillies starter Aaron Nola was excellent. The right-hander allowed just one hit in seven innings and punched out 10 Mets.
Not to be outdone, Wheeler was nearly as good. The Georgia native allowed just one run on two hits in six innings. The only blip on his radar was a sixth-inning home run by Bryce Harper.
Entering the top of the ninth, this looked like another game where the Mets would waste a tremendous start by leaving their bats at home.
Surprisingly, things began to change. Facing closer Hector Neris, Michael Conforto laced a one-out single to right. Then, on a full-count pitch, Todd Frazier ripped a home run to left to give New York their first lead of the day.
Three batters later, Dominic Smith scored on a ground ball off the bat of Amed Rosario to extend the lead to 3-1.
Frazier hits a 2-run shot to give the Mets the lead in the top of the 9th. #LGM pic.twitter.com/045asSyPoR
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) June 27, 2019
A year after saving 57 games for the Seattle Mariners, this looked like a lead Edwin Diaz was certainly capable of protecting.
However, this is the Mets, and our bullpen doesn’t make anything look easy.
Walking the leadoff man is a bad omen, and Diaz did just that with Cesar Hernandez. Three pitches later, Maikel Franco homered on an 0-2 pitch to tie the game.
Diaz was able to strike out J.T. Realmuto, the only out he recorded all afternoon. But another walk and a Scott Kingery single put two men on for Jean Segura.
Facing his former teammate, Segura roped a walk-off three-run home run to left center.
Absolutely amazin'. #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/HTlToJ2qZt
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 27, 2019
Diaz’s final line reads 0.1 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, K, 2 HR.
The 45th loss of the year for the Mets, this one was perhaps the most demoralizing.
“I was trying the best I could,” Diaz said through his interpreter. “It seemed like they were prepared for every pitch. Bad day for me.”
Unfortunately, there have been several bad days for Diaz in 2019. Thursday was his fourth blown save of the season. His ERA sits at 4.94, nearly three runs higher than last season’s total of 1.96.
Having lost seven in a row prior to this series, a visit from the Mets was just what the doctor ordered for the Phillies.
The sweep gets them back to five games above the .500 mark. Meanwhile, the Mets are now 11 games back in the NL East, and just three games ahead of the Miami Marlins in the loss column.
This was Philadelphia first four-game sweep of the Mets since August 27-30, 2007. That year, of course, was New York’s historic September collapse.
Don’t worry, this club won’t be anywhere near a division lead in September this year.
The Mets will return home and get right back on the horse on Friday. The first-place Atlanta Braves come to Citi Field for a three-game set.