PHILADELPHIA — Never say never.
On a night the Mets were listless, cooked, kaput, they finally found their bats in the ninth inning and didn’t stop the tidal wave until they had scored seven runs against the Phillies.
In their most improbable victory of the season, the Mets rallied from six runs down in their final at-bat to win 8-7 at Citizens Bank Park, their biggest ninth-inning comeback in 25 years, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Starling Marte’s RBI double against Corey Knebel delivered the go-ahead run, but this was a complete team comeback. Brandon Nimmo stroked a two-run single to tie the game in an inning that also included a key pinch-hit double from J.D. Davis with two outs.
The ninth-inning magic even overshadowed the Mets’ comeback in St. Louis on April 25, when they scored five times with two outs in the ninth inning in overcoming a two-run deficit.
This one included a two-run homer from slumping Francisco Lindor to begin the comeback against James Norwood. Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil had hits to begin the next wave. Mark Canha’s RBI single off Knebel’s leg brought in another run before Dominic Smith struck out for the second out. Davis, Nimmo and Marte then delivered in succession.
Taijuan Walker’s final inning was the fourth, when he surrendered consecutive homers to Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos, burying the Mets in a 7-0 hole. The homers were the first two allowed this season by Walker.
The Phillies sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning and scored four runs, three of which were earned. After Kyle Schwarber walked leading off, Lindor booted Alec Bohm’s grounder for an error and Harper delivered an RBI double. Castellanos followed with an RBI ground out and J.T. Realmuto’s single extended the Phillies’ lead to 3-0. Rhys Hoskins walked and Jean Segura’s RBI single preceded two straight outs to conclude the inning.
Lindor’s error changed the inning’s complexion: a possible double-play ball had turned into another Phillies base runner. Bohm hit a slow grounder the following inning that Lindor briefly juggled — it became an infield single. Castellanos’ RBI fielder’s choice widened the Mets’ deficit to 5-0.
In his previous start against the Phillies, last Saturday, Walker fired five scoreless innings in which he allowed two hits and two walks. Walker’s first start of the season against the Phillies came here on April 11, when he departed after two shutout innings with shoulder discomfort that was later diagnosed as bursitis. He spent the next 2 ¹/₂ weeks on the IL.
Adonis Medina was a bright spot in relief for the Mets. The right-handed reliever pitched 2 ²/₃ innings of scoreless relief behind Chasen Shreve. The lefty Shreve pitched 1 ¹/₃ shutout innings.
Phillies starter Aaron Nola surrendered only three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts over seven innings. The right-hander, who lasted 101 pitches, allowed singles to Alonso and McNeil in addition to Marte’s homer.