MLB Wild Card: Phillies fall to 4-11 in season series vs. Mets

·4 min read

Phillies shut out again, have lost all 5 series to Mets this season originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

NEW YORK -- Maybe next weekend. Maybe then the Phillies can win a series against the 2022 New York Mets.

It didn't happen this weekend. The Phillies suffered a 6-0 loss at Citi Field on Sunday afternoon to fall to 0-5 in series against the Mets this season. The two teams close out their season slate with four games at Citizens Bank Park next weekend.

Sunday's loss dropped the Phillies to 4-11 on the season against the Mets.

The Phils are 59-40 against everyone else.

The Mets trotted out some stellar pitching in this three-game series and it did a job on the Phillies' bat rack. The Phils scored just two runs in the series, struck out a whopping 36 times and were shut out twice. In fact, they've been shut out in three of their last four games.

"We had some trouble scoring runs in this series, obviously," manager Rob Thomson said. "Part of it is due to good pitching and part of it is due to the fact that when the runs are at a premium, sometimes you try to do too much and I saw a lot of that today. We've just got to get back to basics, keep the line moving and not do too much. Have good at-bats and swing at strikes."

The Phils were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base.

The series opened Friday night with the Phillies winning, 2-1, in 10 innings, but they scored just one run in seven innings against Max Scherzer.

They were shut out, 1-0, Saturday night as Jacob deGrom and Aaron Nola hooked up in a brilliant pitchers' duel.

On Sunday, Chris Bassitt joined the club with five shutout innings. The Mets' bullpen did the rest.

The Phils played all three games without leadoff man and NL home run leader Kyle Schwarber in the starting lineup. He was limited to one pinch-hitting appearance because of a right calf strain.

Schwarber left Thursday's game against Miami in the fifth inning. The Phils lost that one, 3-0. It's not clear if Schwarber will be back in the lineup when the Phillies open a three-game series at Cincinnati on Monday night. After scoring just two runs in the previous four games, the Phillies could sure use him.

The Phils had their top pitcher on the mound Sunday, but even Zack Wheeler couldn't deliver a series win against the top team in the NL East. The Mets are 75-40 and 17-5 since the All-Star break with consecutive series against the division rival Braves and Phillies on the docket in the coming week. The Mets have played 16 series in the division this season. They've won 14 of them and split two.

Wheeler gave up a run in the first inning when Mets leadoff man Brandon Nimmo doubled high off the right-field wall and scored on a one-out bloop single by Francisco Lindor.

The Mets blew the game open with four runs in the fourth inning. Wheeler gave up a one-out double to Pete Alonso and allowed a two-out, RBI single to Mark Canha on an 0-2 pitch. Wheeler tried to go up and away but missed his spot over the plate and Canha made him pay.  Wheeler allowed two more hits in the inning, but neither was hit hard. He also walked a batter and was not helped by his defense in the inning.

Wheeler called his performance "frustrating" because he liked the way the ball felt coming out of his hand, especially his fastball.

"As far as how everything felt, today was one of the better days," he said. "I just didn't get the results."

Wheeler had entered the game with a 1.97 ERA in his previous 18 starts. The six runs he gave up were the most he's allowed since July 13 in Toronto. In his next four starts leading to this one, he'd allowed one run three times and two once while pitching seven innings three times and six once.

Wheeler will see the Mets again next weekend in Philadelphia. He will be looking for a better performance -- and some run support. The Phillies got the first two runners on base in the fourth and fifth innings against Bassitt on Sunday afternoon and both times came away empty.

Phillies hitters have struck out 49 times in the last four games. The team has fallen back to the third spot in the NL wild-card race. At 63-51, the Phils are 1 1/2 games up on Milwaukee for the third spot.

In addition to losing on the scoreboard Sunday, the Phils probably lost a reliever for a while. Corey Knebel left the mound with a strained lat muscle after throwing 14 pitches in the seventh inning. He will head back to Philadelphia for further examination and could end up on the injured list.

In need of wins, the Phillies will open a three-game series against the Reds in Cincinnati on Monday night. The Reds are 45-68. Noah Syndergaard will open the series against lefty Mike Minor.

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