After one of their most improbable victories in franchise history, the New York Mets will look to build on the positive momentum of an 8-7 comeback victory over the host Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
The Mets scored seven runs in the ninth inning. Over the past 25 seasons, they had been 0-330 when trailing by at least six runs entering the ninth.
New York will now attempt to win again in the second game of a four-game series on Friday.
“You can never give up on us,” Brandon Nimmo, who tied the game with a two-run single in the ninth, said in a postgame interview on SNY. “This team doesn’t give up.”
Despite going hitless in his first four at-bats, Nimmo refused to wilt.
“I’m an optimist and I just keep going until they blow the whistle,” he said. “When it’s my turn, I give everything I’ve got. It seems every guy on this team has the same mentality.”
The Mets will send ace Max Scherzer (4-0, 2.61 ERA) to the mound on Friday. Scherzer is 16-4 with a 2.60 ERA in 27 career starts against the Phillies.
Scherzer has won 15 straight decisions. In his latest outing, Sunday against the Phillies, he wasn’t as sharp, giving up five hits and four runs in six innings. However, he emerged with a 10-6 victory.
“That’s what it’s about: coming here and having your ballclub win,” Scherzer said after that outing. “It’s not about me. It’s not about my stuff. It’s about going out there and doing everything you can for the team to come out with a win. That’s why tonight’s a great night. Everybody had a hand in it.”
The Phillies will attempt to erase the memory of the maddening loss and snap a four-game losing streak.
Philadelphia lost on the road to the Mets last Sunday and were swept in a two-game series by the Texas Rangers before the latest stunning defeat.
“You’ve gotta bounce back,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “This is as tough as it gets. You’re going to have these during the course of the year, and you’ve got to find a way to turn it around.”
After rallying to reach .500, the four consecutive losses have dropped the Phillies to 11-15 with three games remaining in the series against the first-place Mets.
“There’s a lot of fight in that room,” Girardi said. “They’ll come out fighting.”
Bryce Harper — who had a home run, a double and two RBIs on Thursday — said the Phillies must respond immediately. There’s no time to pout.
“We just weren’t able to close it out,” Harper said. “That’s not a pitcher reference. It’s a team reference. They battled and beat us. We can’t sulk. We’ve got to move on and get ready to go (Friday).”
The Phillies will send Kyle Gibson (2-1, 2.93 ERA) to the mound. Gibson is 1-3 with a 4.15 ERA in six career starts against the Mets.
It’s unclear whether Philadelphia’s Nick Castellanos will be in the lineup Friday after being hit by Adonis Medina on the right wrist in the sixth inning and exiting for a pinch runner. X-rays were negative, and Girardi labeled the right fielder as day-to-day.
Castellanos homered and knocked in three runs before leaving the Thursday game.
–Field Level Media