Saturday was full of highs and lows for the Phillies, as they split their day/night doubleheader with the Mets. Game one was an absolute dud, as Zack Wheeler wasn’t sharp for the second game in a row, and the offense couldn’t get anything going. However, the nightcap proved to be an entirely different story. Spot starter Bailey Falter was masterful, while everyone in the starting lineup aside from Edmundo Sosa recorded a hit. The Phillies have been brutal against the Mets all season, but at least they managed to secure one victory on Saturday.
Zack Wheeler struggled to find the strike zone all afternoon in game one, issuing a surprising four free passes while striking out six in 5.1 frames. He allowed four earned runs, as did Nick Nelson in a completely forgettable relief outing, dooming a Phils offense that couldn’t figure out any of the Mets’ hurlers. Phillies hitters racked up seven hits on the day, but failed to capitalize on a multitude of opportunities, stranding a total of thirteen runners. Rather unsurprisingly, they lost 8-2.
After a deflating loss to start the day, the Phillies completely flipped the script in the second half of their doubleheader, and it all started with Bailey Falter. The swingman had a rocky first inning, loading the bases and allowing a run to score on a wild pitch, but was nails after that. Over 6.0 innings he surrendered only two hits and two walks while fanning three. José Alvarado continued his excellent stretch, punching out two in a clean seventh inning. Newly acquired David Robertson gritted out a two inning save, working around two walks and a hit to close things out.
Much like Falter, the Phillies’ offense did a complete 180 in game two, racking up 11 base knocks off of Mets pitching. They tied things up with a run in the first, and took the lead with two more on a third inning Alec Bohm single. An incredible hustle triple from Kyle Schwarber in the eighth paved the way for another insurance run, and it was smooth sailing.
There’s no getting around the fact that the Mets have had the Phillies number this year. Too many times the Phils have looked completely lifeless against this strong Mets squad. Quite frankly, one win doesn’t do much to change that. However, for Phillies fans everywhere it completely changed their weekend. A brutal Saturday afternoon was turned into a thrilling Saturday night, and they were able to salvage the second game in a doubleheader from an extremely tough opponent. If the Phillies wind up facing the Mets in October, we’ll all be hoping for a repeat of game two.