Four games. Four wins.
Shut down for most of the night by New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom, the Phillies rallied for five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning Monday night and came away with a 5-3 victory in front of 10,782 at Citizens Bank Park.
DeGrom shut the Phils out for six innings and Miguel Castro followed with a scoreless seventh inning, but the Phillies rallied against Trevor May and Aaron Loup in the eighth.
Loup hit Bryce Harper with a pitch with the bases loaded for the Phillies’ first run. J.T. Realmuto singled home the tying run. The Phils went ahead, 4-2, on a two-run throwing error by third baseman Luis Guillorme. Didi Gregorius capped the rally with a sacrifice fly to right.
The Phillies are 4-0 on the season.
Bullpen does it again
Starter Matt Moore, in his Phillies debut, labored through a 31-pitch third inning and allowed two runs in the fourth inning. He did not make it out of the inning.
The bullpen, which delivered 7⅓ scoreless innings in a season-opening three-game sweep of Atlanta, was masterful once again in keeping the game close.
Brandon Kintzler, Sam Coonrod and Connor Brogdon combined on 4⅔ shutout innings to give the offense a chance to rally in the eighth.
Jose Alvarado allowed three hits and a run in the ninth. Mets cleanup hitter Pete Alonso, the potential go-ahead run, flied out to the warning track in right field to end the game.
The Phillies’ bullpen was the worst in the majors last year with a 7.06 ERA. In four games this season, it has allowed just one run in 13 innings.
Hector Neris got the night off as manager Joe Girardi does not like to use relievers three straight days.
deGrom the great
The Mets ace, winner of two NL Cy Young awards, allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out seven in six innings. He seemed to have plenty left in his tank when he exited at 77 pitches. His pre-game target was said to be 100 pitches. The Phils were happy to see him go.
The Mets are 0-1. Their season-opening three-game series was postponed in Washington after four Nationals players tested positive for COVID-19.
The Phillies had a chance to get something going early against deGrom when Rhys Hoskins clubbed a pitch off the top of the wall in right-center. It looked like Hoskins thought the ball went over the wall as he slowed up for a second between first and second base. Hoskins chugged around second and was cut down at third base for the second out of the inning.
The Phillies also made a couple of miscues in the field. Most damaging was centerfielder Adam Haseley’s misjudging a fly ball that dropped in for a hit that loaded the bases in the Mets’ two-run fourth inning.
Gregorius committed a throwing error at short in the fifth inning but Kintzler was able to pitch over it.
DeGrom’s fastball topped out at 102 mph in the second inning. Gregorius singled to left field on the pitch. According to research by Kenny Ayres of the Phillies media relations department, it was the hardest thrown pitch to be struck for a base hit in the majors since Baltimore’s Renato Nunez singled on a 102.2-mph fastball from the Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman on August 14, 2019. It was the hardest thrown pitch to be struck for a hit by a Phillie since Ryan Howard singled on a 102.2-mph fastball from Atlanta’s Mauricio Cabrera on September 2, 2016.
Right-hander Chase Anderson makes his Phillies debut in the second game of the series Tuesday night. Marcus Stroman will pitch for the Mets.
The series concludes on Wednesday afternoon with Aaron Nola going against Mets lefty David Peterson.