Nola strikes out 11, pitches Phillies past Mets 4-2

Nola strikes out 11, pitches Phillies past Mets 4-2

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Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Aaron Nola struck out 11 in seven impressive innings to stay unbeaten at Citizens Bank Park, pitching the Philadelphia Phillies past the New York Mets 4-2 on Friday night.

Asdrubal Cabrera hit an RBI double off former teammate Noah Syndergaard during a three-run first inning, and Nola made the early lead stand up.

Nola (14-3) one run on three hits with one walk while lowering his ERA in 2.24. The All-Star is even better at home, improving to 9-0 with a 2.00 mark in 12 starts in Philadelphia this season.

Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save in as many chances.

Syndergaard (8-3) allowed four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks in 5 2/3 innings.

Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro also drove in runs for the playoff-contending Phillies.

Austin Jackson had three hits and an RBI for the Mets.

Cabrera’s double put the Phillies ahead and Williams followed with an RBI single. Cabrera, traded from the Mets to Philadelphia last month, scored on Carlos Santana‘s double-play groundout.

That was more than enough for Nola, who struck out the side in the first and retired nine of the first 10 Mets. The only batter that reached during that stretch, Jose Bautista, got on because of an error by second baseman Cesar Hernandez. It made it 94 errors for Philadelphia, which began play second in the majors to St. Louis (95).

New York got its lone run off Nola in the fourth. Jeff McNeil led off with a single, the first hit off Nola, went to third on Jackson’s single and scored on Todd Frazier‘s sacrifice fly.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: An MRI on the left index finger of RF Brandon Nimmo revealed no structural damage. Nimmo, who was injured on Thursday, was not in the lineup Friday but could play on Saturday. . Reliever Bobby Wahl was placed on the DL with a right hamstring strain and LHP Daniel Zamora was recalled from Double-A Binghamton. Zamora made his major league debut, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

UP NEXT

Mets ace Jacob deGrom (7-7, major league-best 1.81 ERA) opposes RHP Jake Arrieta (9-7, 3.33) in the fourth game of the five-game set on Saturday afternoon. DeGrom is 6-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 career starts against the Phillies and struck out seven in eight shutout innings of a 3-0 win on July 11. Arrieta is 2-2 with a 1.99 ERA in eight career starts vs. the Mets.

Phillies run all over Noah Syndergaard; Aaron Nola earns 14th win

Phillies run all over Noah Syndergaard; Aaron Nola earns 14th win

BOX SCORE

After being blown out in Game 1 and holding on to win Game 2 of Thursday’s doubleheader, the Phillies won Friday night’s game against the Mets in the first inning.

They ambushed Noah Syndergaard for three runs in the first, which was all Aaron Nola needed in a 4-2 win.

Nola has been literally unbeatable this season when given a bit of run support – he’s 13-0 with a 2.20 ERA when the Phillies score at least three runs.

The Phils had little trouble with Syndergaard’s high-90s fastball in the opening frame, swinging and missing just once in his 21 pitches. The three first-inning runs were more than Syndergaard had allowed in his last nine first-innings combined.

For the Phillies, this was a quality win against a top-tier pitcher and a good sign for their upcoming games against fellow stingy right-handers Jacob deGrom (Saturday), Stephen Strasburg (Tuesday) and Max Scherzer (Thursday).

With the win, the Phillies are 68-54 with 40 games left. They’re on pace to go 90-72.

Running at will

The Phillies’ game plan was to run early and often against Syndergaard, who takes forever to deliver the ball with men on base. The Phillies stole five bases off Syndergaard – Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco, Jorge Alfaro twice and Carlos Santana – and started the runner from first on two other occasions.

It’s the right thing to do against Syndergaard, who has allowed 89 steals on 103 attempts in his MLB career.

They were the first two steals of Alfaro’s career and Franco’s third. It was Santana’s second as a Phillie.

Syndergaard had averaged about 14 pitches per inning over his last five starts. In this one, he threw 115 pitches in 5⅔ innings, an average of more than 20 per frame. 

Inside Nola’s start

Prior to Friday’s game, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler downplayed a New York reporter’s question about whether it upsets him that Nola doesn’t get as much national Cy Young attention as Scherzer or deGrom. A few hours later, Nola went out and pitched yet again like a Cy Young winner.

The crazy thing was that this was far from Nola’s best night, especially from a control standpoint in the middle innings. And yet, the line still read: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K.

Nola is 14-3 with a 2.24 ERA in 25 starts. It is the exact same ERA Roy Halladay had through 25 starts in his Cy Young season of 2010.

He has allowed just four home runs in 12 home starts this season. Since Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004, the only pitcher to allow fewer than five home runs in double-digit starts at CBP was Halladay in 2011.

Pat Neshek worked a scoreless ninth for his third save. The Phillies are trying to limit the number of times Seranthony Dominguez pitches on consecutive nights.

Quinn starts again

Roman Quinn started in center field for the second straight game. While Kapler won’t indicate whether to expect more starts moving forward for Quinn over the slumping Odubel Herrera, it seems like a safe bet that if Quinn continues to produce in all three phases, he’ll continue to play.

Friday night, he hit his first career big-league triple on a deep flyball to left-center that Austin Jackson couldn’t snare. The ball caromed off the wall and if it wasn’t played perfectly by leftfielder Jack Reinheimer, Quinn could have had an inside-the-park home run.

More on the Quinn-Herrera situation here (see story).

Cesar coming around

Hernandez’s on-base percentage has been below .360 one day all season. In that regard, he’s done his job as a leadoff hitter.

But entering Friday’s game, he was hitting just .258, 36 points lower than his batting average the last two seasons. 

After a prolonged period without driving the ball, Hernandez has looked good the last two nights, going 4 for 8 with a double, a walk, two steals and four runs scored.

He has a stolen base in back-to-back games after stealing just one in his previous 38 games.

Up next

Another big-time pitching matchup is on tap for Saturday. It’s Jake Arrieta (9-7, 3.33) vs. Jacob deGrom (7-7, 1.81).

On Sunday, Nick Pivetta (7-9, 4.37) faces veteran lefty Jason Vargas (2-8, 8.10).

More on the Phillies

NL Cy Young race likely will be a battle between NL East aces

NL Cy Young race likely will be a battle between NL East aces

CLOSE

Jacob deGrom on his outing in the 2-1 loss to Atlanta Matt Ehalt, Staff Writer, @MattEhalt

With the season winding down, the top candidates are starting to emerge in the awards races. Several should come down to the wire. 

The only Met who will be in the mix for one of these is Jacob deGrom, who is vying for the Cy Young Award.

Here is a look at deGrom and who he is competing against:

Jacob deGrom, Mets

17-7, 1.81 ERA, 24 starts, 159 innings, 195 strikeouts, 0.97 WHIP

DeGrom leads MLB in ERA by a considerable amount, but he has history working against him since every starting pitcher to win the award has at least won 13 games in a full season. He has a chance, though, to get there with nine starts left.

Max Scherzer, Nationals

15-5, 2.19 ERA, 25 starts, 168.2 innings, 227 strikeouts, 0.88 WHIP

Scherzer is the back-to-back winner, and has a strong case for a three-peat. He leads MLB in strikeouts, and owns the best WHIP in the National League. Scherzer figures to be deGrom’s biggest competition, and it will be a fun battle to watch.

Aaron Nola, Phillies

13-3, 2.28 ERA, 24 starts, 154 innings, 149 strikeouts, 1.00 WHIP

Nola seems likely to finish third no matter how he closes out the year. Nola is a tick below Scherzer and deGrom in the categories, but he has established himself ahead of the other candidates. He’s solidified himself as one of the game’s best young pitchers.

Miles Mikolas, Cardinals

12-3, 2.85 ERA, 24 starts, 151.1 innings, 102 strikeouts, 1.05 WHIP

Mikolas returned to the United States after pitching in Japan, and has produced a stellar season. He will be in the mix to finish below the three aforementioned candidates. Mikolas is not as reliant on strikeouts as the other top contenders.

Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks

12-8, 3.00 ERA, 25 starts, 156 innings, 158 strikeouts, 1.05 WHIP

Greinke is one of two Diamondbacks to make this list, and it seems he is flying under the radar. He’s producing another strong season, and helping Arizona contend for a second straight playoff berth. His reputation should help him.

Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks

10-4, 3.18 ERA, 25 starts, 155.2 innings, 190 strikeouts, 1.03 WHIP

Corbin, a free agent to be, has produced a stellar season that should get him paid in the offseason (perhaps by the Yankees). He’s racking up strikeouts, and is helping a contender. It’s possible Greinke and Corbin could finish fourth and fifth.

More: Mets’ Mickey Callaway on Ronald Acuna, hitting batters as retaliation for success

More: Mets set franchise scoring record in first game with Phillies, but fall in nightcap

More: Mets GM interviews expected to include Blue Jays execs Tony LaCava and Ben Cherington

 

Bautista drives in 7, Mets set record in 24-4 win over Phils

Bautista drives in 7, Mets set record in 24-4 win over Phils

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New York Mets’ Jose Bautista, center, high-fives Wilmer Flores after Bautista hit a grand slam during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jose Bautista hit a grand slam and had a career-high seven RBIs and the New York Mets set a franchise record for runs, forcing the Phillies to use two position players for the final three innings of a 24-4 victory in the first game of a doubleheader Thursday.

Corey Oswalt (2-2) allowed four solo homers in six innings, Amed Rosario hit a leadoff homer and had three RBIs and the Mets took advantage of four errors to score 11 unearned runs.

The Mets have scored more than 15 runs in consecutive games for the first time in franchise history. They beat Baltimore 16-5 Wednesday night.

Rhys Hoskins, Maikel Franco, Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro went deep for the Phillies, who entered two games behind Atlanta in the NL East.

Outfielder Roman Quinn gave up a homer to Michael Conforto on his second pitch – a 79 mph fastball. He got five outs, gave up seven runs and threw 42 pitches. Infielder Scott Kingery went the final 1 1/3 innings and allowed two runs.

Mets right fielder Brandon Nimmo left the game after injuring his left index finger hitting a grounder to third base with two outs and the bases loaded in the third inning. Nimmo fell to the ground as the ball rolled to Franco, who was late tagging third but threw to first to easily get the out. X-rays on Nimmo’s finger were negative. Bautista replaced him.

Phillies starter Ranger Suarez (1-1) gave up eight runs – four earned – and 11 hits in four innings. Mark Leiter Jr. allowed seven unearned runs and four hits in one inning.

After Alfaro’s shot cut it to 5-4, the Mets had a 10-run fifth. Suarez balked in a run and exited after Bautista followed with an RBI single. Another run scored on Alfaro’s throwing error on Oswalt’s sacrifice and Rosario drove one in on a fielder’s choice grounder.

Hoskins then dropped Austin Jackson’s two-out fly ball for an error and another run scored. After Wilmer Flores’ RBI single, Bautista connected for his 10th homer. Bautista had a chance to hit another slam when he faced Quinn in the eighth but walked on a 3-2 pitch over his head. He added an RBI double off Kingery.

GRAB A BAT

Mets lefty Jerry Blevins lined an RBI single for his first career hit off Kingery in the eighth.

GOING DEEP

Bautista has 13 seasons of double-digit homers since 2005. Only Albert Pujols has more with 14.

TRAINER’S ROOM

METS: It’s uncertain how much time Nimmo will miss.

PHILLIES: Lefty Aaron Loup (left forearm strain) and lefty Austin Davis (low back tightness) were placed on the 10-day disabled list. Suarez and right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. were recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

UP NEXT

RHP Zach Eflin (8-4, 3.57 ERA) goes for the Phillies and LHP Steven Matz (5-9, 4.35) starts for the Mets in the second game.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

The Mets absolutely demolished the Phillies 24-4

The Mets absolutely demolished the Phillies 24-4

The first game of Thursday’s doubleheader against the Mets in Philadelphia didn’t go so well for the Phillies. The pitching staff — which included two position players — served up 24 runs on 25 hits and seven walks. The defense also committed four errors.

The most damage came in the top of the fifth inning when the Mets hung a 10-spot. That inning featured a balk, two errors, and a grand slam from José Bautista. In the seventh, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler called on position player Roman Quinn to pitch. Quinn gave up a leadoff home run to Michael Conforto. After José Reyes singled, Quinn uncorked a wild pitch, which moved Reyes into scoring position. Kevin Plawecki then knocked him in with a single. In the eighth, the Mets jumped on Quinn again as he loaded the bases, then forced in two runs with walks and gave up a two-run double to Plawecki. Kapler brought in another position player, Scott Kingery, to pitch. Kingery gave up an RBI single to reliever Jerry Blevins before getting out of the eighth inning. Kingery gave up two more runs in the ninth before the game went in the books.

Kingery, by the way, was pitching so slowly that his velocity wasn’t being picked up by the radar guns at Citizens Bank Park, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

In total, the Phillies’ pitching staff gave up 11 earned runs. It’s the most unearned runs a team has allowed since May 5, 2016 when the Giants gave up 17 runs, only six of which were earned, to the Rockies. The only other time that happened in the 2000’s was on September 28, 2000 when the Blue Jays gave up 23 runs, 10 of which were earned, to the Orioles. A team has yielded 11 or more unearned runs in a single game only 11 times since 1943. The 24 total runs the Phillies allowed were the most a team has allowed since… the Mets gave up 25 to the Nationals on July 31 this year.

Thankfully for Phillies fans, Thursday afternoon’s contest was only broadcast on Facebook Live. Which, by the way, is another one of Major League Baseball’s brilliant marketing ideas. When games are broadcast on Facebook Live, they’re blacked out everywhere else, which includes cable TV and MLB.tv.