Yesterday at Citi Field the Mets captured their 4th consecutive series at home, defeating the Phillies by the score of 11-2. After being utterly dominated by Cole Hamels on Tuesday night, the Mets dusted off their bats and responded with their second greatest offensive performance in a game at Citi Field. On the mound, Zack Wheeler (6-8, 3.60 ERA) was brilliant once again, allowing just two runs over 6.2 innings for his sixth consecutive quality start on route to the victory.
Kyle Kendrick (5-11, 4.92 ERA) avoided trouble in the early frames thanks to some spectacular defense from CF Ben Revere. The speedster from Philadelphia made a diving catch to rob Curtis Granderson of a hit in the 1st and then perfectly timed a leaping grab at the wall in the 4th to rob Lucas Duda of a solo home run.
Despite some excellent defense in the outfield, Kendrick struggled to miss many bats and paid for it dearly. After loading the bases on two singles and a walk from Lagares, Tejada and Granderson respectively, Daniel Murphy stepped into the box with an opportunity to do some damage. Before even getting a chance to get the bat off of his shoulder, Kendrick threw a wild pitch, ushering in the Mets first run of the ball game. With the score knotted at 1-1, Murphy stepped back into the box and crushed a hanging sinker over the left field fence for his 1st opposite field home run of the year, and 8th total of the season.
Things remained relatively quiet until the 7th inning when Jimmy Rollins stepped in as a pinch hitter and slugged his second home run in as many days. After Dana Eveland pitched himself into a jam in relief of Wheeler, Jeurys Familia came into the game and slammed the door shut with just one pitch, getting Marlon Byrd to ground out to David Wright.
The Mets offense exploded in the home half of the frame. Granderson led off the inning with an opposite field double. After Murphy grounded out, the Phillies walked David Wright in order to facilitate the lefty-lefty matchup between Mario Hollands and Lucas Duda. Duda, who is hitting just .167 against lefties this year, made the Phillies pay by shortening up his burgeoning power stroke and slapping the ball into left field for an RBI single.
The wheels quickly fell off for Phillies bullpen from there. Travis d’Arnaud ripped and RBI-double down the left field line followed by a run scoring error on the pitcher Justin De Fratus. With Jeurys Familia waiting on deck, Philadelphia skipper Ryne Sandberg neglected to walk Ruben Tejada, who stroked his third single of the day into left field for an RBI, making the score 8-2.
With one hit in just two career at-bats under his belt, Jeurys Familia stepped up to the plate apparently unfazed by the task at hand. With a 1-0 count, Familia smoked a 91 mph fastball into left field for the first RBI of the relief pitcher’s young career.
The Mets would cruise into the finish line from there, but not before Lucas Duda crushed his 19th home run of the season into the Pepsi Porch in right field, far out of the reach of Ben Revere. Since the All-Star break, Duda leads the NL in home runs (5), RBI (11) and runs scored (11). July has been a month to remember for Duda, who is quickly solidifying himself as the Mets everyday cleanup hitter.
“I’ve been impressed, mostly, with just the consistency with which this team has played the last month or three weeks or however long it’s been,” Wright told Anthony DiComo. “It seems like we’re consistently going out there winning series against some quality teams. Hopefully that continues, because that’s what it takes. You can’t just get hot for a couple weeks and try to ride that. You’ve got to consistently get better as a team and we’re doing that.”
With an off day on Thursday, the Mets will have a chance to do some serious damage in the wild card race, with the beleaguered Giants heading to New York to kick off a four game series on Friday night. Though the Giants currently reside atop the wild card standings, they dropped 6 consecutive games before salvaging the final game of their series in Pittsburgh yesterday afternoon. The Mets have to hope that the Giants don’t find their groove in Flushing.
Jon Niese (5-6, 3.23 ERA) will get the series started for the Mets against right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (5-8, 3.94 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.