Phillies Blow Two Late Leads in Loss to Mets

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R
Phillies 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 3 0 0 2 8
Mets 0 2 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 3 9

The Philadelphia Phillies carried leads into both the bottom of the 9th and 12th before dropping a series opener to the host New York Mets at Citi Field.

Just when it looked as if the visiting Phillies were going to play a major spoiler role on Thursday night in New York, the host Mets rallied.

And then just when it looked as if the visiting Phillies were going to play a major spoiler role on Thursday night in New York, the host Mets rallied – again.

This second rally was climaxed by a walkoff three-run home run off the bat of Asdrubal Cabrera and provided the hosts with a key 9-8 victory that kept the Mets tied for the NL Wildcard lead, a half-game in front of the Saint Louis Cardinals.

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Neither starting pitcher threw poorly in this one, but neither dominated either. Adam Morgan allowed five hits and walked two over five innings, striking out eight batters.

26-year old right-hander Seth Lugo went five innings for the Mets, allowing three earned on four hits and two walks while striking out four batters.

The Phillies largely built a lead on long balls. Ryan Howard and Cameron Rupp went back-to-back off Lugo to lead off the top of the 5th inning. Howard’s 23rd and Rupp’s 16th put the Phils on top by a 3-2 score.

In the top of the 8th inning, Maikel Franco drove his 23rd homer of the season out to right-center field, pushing the Phillies ahead once again at 6-4.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin, who has been considering a change in the closer role, decided to give Jeanmar Gomez another shot with that two run lead in the bottom of the 9th. It would prove to be the wrong decision.

Gomez allowed a leadoff single to Brandon Nimmo, and then with one out, a no-doubt-about-it crusher of a home run to right-center off the bat of Jose Reyes that tied the game at 6-6.

In the top of the 11th inning the Phillies again took a two-run lead thanks to two hits, three walks, and a hit batsman.

Mackanin then went to rookie Edubray Ramos to try to nail it down in the bottom of the inning. Again, the decision didn’t work out for the Phillies skipper.

After retiring the first batter, Ramos walked pinch-hitter Michael Conforto on four pitches to again bring the tying run to the plate. When Reyes followed with a base hit, the winning run stepped to the plate.

Cabrera was the batter, stepping in and driving a 1-0 offering well out over the right field wall to give the home team and crowd a euphoric moment fitting for late September baseball.

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There remain three games still in this long weekend series, three more chances for the Phillies to play the spoiler.

But the Mets have proven extremely resilient for the past month and a half, and the Fightins’ are gonna have to fight hard to the finish each game if they want to put a crimp in New York’s postseason hopes.

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