Phillies’ London Trip Ends in Frustration

The Philadelphia Phillies travel across the Atlantic to take on the struggling New York Mets. Even though the Mets split a four-game series with the Diamondbacks and swept the Washington Nationals, they are still a dysfunctional club, and it shows. The Phillies run through the Mets in game one but, unfortunately, run into plenty of missed opportunities. The Phillies’ London trip ends in frustration.

Bryce Harper celebrated with a soccer slide. His fourth-inning game-tying home run was a catalyst for a six-run inning. Ranger Suárez was a little wild coming off being hit in his pitching hand a week prior. That did not stop him from becoming the season’s first 10-game winner. That led to the Philadelphia Phillies beating the New York Mets 7-2 on Saturday in Major League Baseball’s third London Series opener. Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson got his 200th regular-season win (200-137). The Phillies move to 45-19 for the MLB’s best record. They have won four in a row and seven of eight.

Harper was a triple shy of the cycle. Harper has a team-high 15 homers. The Phillies are 22-0 when Harper has an RBI. Bryce pulled a sweeper from Sean Manaea over the Mets bullpen in right. The two-time NL MVP then did a soccer slide in front of the Phillies dugout and proclaimed, “I love soccer!” high-fiving teammates.

Harper sparked a six-run fourth, which caused a chain reaction. Starling Marte’s RBI double in the first was the only offense the Mets could muster in the first eight innings. He seemly let his team down when he pursued Sosa’s fly ball but pulled up, and it bounced in front of him. Edmundo Sosa’s two-out single to right gave the Phightins the 2-1 lead. Whit Merrifield hit his third homer of the season that dropped into the Phillies bullpen. Kyle Schwarber chased Manaea off the hump with an RBI single. The only other scoring was when Nick Castellanos added an eighth-inning homer and watched from the batter’s box until he knew it was inside the left-field foul pole at London Stadium.

Ranger Suárez (10-1) allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings for the Phillies. Suárez said through a translator he was “a little wild today with my pitches” before making adjustments. His ERA rose from 1.70 to 1.81. Even when Ranger is not great, he still produces.

The Phillies were seemingly cruising to a sweep in London against the New York Mets. But missed opportunities for huge innings by the offense, a rare bad day by the bullpen, and a goofy game-ending double play left the Phillies with a disappointing 6-5 loss.

It started in the first. The first three Phillies batters reached base, and it looked like they were picking up where they left off yesterday. Unfortunately, Alec Bohm hit into a double play, giving the Phillies just one run in what looked like it might have been a huge inning.

The Phillies added to their lead in the fourth due to RBI hits by Edmundo Sosa and Whit Merrifield. But J.T. Realmuto’s strikeout with two outs and the bases loaded once again floundered on the opportunity to put this game out of reach.

The Phillies re-took the lead courtesy of newly promoted David Dahl’s home run in the seventh. The Phillies once again passed up a chance to pile on when they left two men on base in the frame. They go into the 9th with a 4-3 lead.

This being the Mets, you couldn’t rule out the possibility that they’d have a ninth-inning meltdown. And sure enough, the Phillies mounted a threat. The Phillies loaded the bases thanks to a Cristian Pache single, a J.T. Realmuto hit-by-pitch, and a Bryce Harper single. Alec Bohm walked to bring in a run and put the tying and winning runs in scoring position. But once again, the Phillies blew an opportunity for an even bigger inning. This time, it was an unconventional double play off the broken bat of Nick Castellanos.

The Mets were having much trouble against the Phillies’ starter Taijuan Walker. Walker located his pitches as well as he has all season, limiting the Mets to just one hit over the first five innings.

Walker ran into trouble in the sixth inning when the Mets got two men aboard. Rob Thomson let Walker exit on a high note and go to the normally dependable bullpen. Unfortunately, they had a down game. Gregory Soto allowed a double and a single that tied the game at 3.

Jose Alvarado was asked to close it out. Unfortunately, it looked like Alvarado was too amped from too much rest, or maybe he had a bad game. He couldn’t locate his pitches. He allowed two hits, two walks, a hit batsman, and a passed ball, allowing the Mets to take a 6-4 lead. It was a disappointing finish to an otherwise fun trip. They head home Monday before heading to Boston to take on the Red Sox.

Al Zaffiri
Al Zaffiri

Al is one of the two co-creators of Edge of Philly Sports. Al started radio and podcasting in 2012 and covering sports in 2015. A lifelong Philly sports fan since watching the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers with his grandfathers at age 7. Al always looks at the other side of the hot topics and gives his different outlook on those topics. Web and Graphic Design.

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