After his Mets pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter Friday, manager Buck Showalter kept stressing how quickly they could have lost the no-hitter, the shutout and their small lead against a strong Phillies lineup.
They found out the hard way Saturday night how true that was.
There was not a no-hitter to protect this time, just a one-run lead in the seventh inning, but Adam Ottavino was unable to hold it, allowing three runs, and the Mets lost to the Phillies, 4-1 at Citi Field.
The Mets loaded the bases with two out in the bottom of the eighth, but Brandon Nimmo — the go-ahead run at the plate — grounded out to end the inning. The Mets, who had shown a knack this season for situational hitting, left 13 men on base and went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Ottavino entered with a 1-0 lead to start the seventh but walked J.T. Realmuto with one out. Recent Mets-killer Kyle Schwarber came up next and made him pay, crushing a two-run homer to give the Phillies the lead.
Ottavino then walked Alec Bohm, who came around to score on a two-out double by Odubel Herrera to put the Phillies ahead 3-1.
Rhys Hoskins gave the Phillies an insurance run in the eighth with a solo homer off Sean Reid-Foley, who later exited the game with an apparent injury.
The bullpen letdown, plus a lack of run support from the Mets offense, spoiled a strong start from Taijuan Walker, who returned from the injured list to throw five shutout innings.
Walker’s season debut, on April 11 against the Phillies, had lasted just two innings before he was pulled with shoulder irritation that was eventually diagnosed as bursitis. Following a minor league rehab start and a simulated game, Walker was activated off the injured list for the start Saturday.
After Walker threw a perfect first inning, the Phillies finally broke into the hit column in the second inning as Nick Castellanos led off with a single. But Walker quickly picked him off leaning at first base.
The Phillies put runners on the corners with two outs in the third inning, but Walker escaped by getting Hoskins to fly out to center field.
Kyle Gibson had quieted the Mets’ bats early, despite some command issues, stranding five runners through the first four innings.
The Mets finally took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning without the ball ever leaving the infield — except on a Phillies error. After Nimmo walked, Starling Marte hit a comebacker to the mound that could have been a double play. But Gibson’s throw to second sailed into center field, putting runners on the corners with one out.
Francisco Lindor came up next and hit a swinging bunt to first base. Hoskins charged to field it and fired home, but Nimmo dove in just before the tag to put the Mets on the board.
Jose Alvarado relieved Gibson and struck out Eduardo Escobar and Jeff McNeil to leave the bases loaded.
Trevor May, who had given up a pair of runs in each of his last two outings, replaced Walker in the sixth and delivered a scoreless frame with the help of some bad Phillies base running.
Herrera led off with a double on a fly ball that popped out of Marte’s glove, and took third on a fly out. May then induced a ground ball to Lindor with the infield in. Lindor immediately threw to third, but Herrera was well off the bag, allowing Escobar to chase him down for the out.
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