Mets, Brandon Nimmo ravage terrible Phillies bullpen again, keep season alive with win

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A sweep was ideal, but a series win was a prerequisite to a potential playoff berth. The Mets accomplished the latter against the Phillies thanks to their second come-from-behind rally in as many days, keeping their playoff push alive with just 10 games remaining in the compressed 60-game season.

Brandon Nimmo was Thursday’s late-night hero in the Mets’ 10-6 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. He tied the game at 6-6 in the sixth inning with a two-run double and, finally, lifted a go-ahead moonshot to right field off Brandon Workman in the ninth to break the tie game. The Mets stormed back from a three-run deficit to a victory, taking the three-game series over the Phillies before returning to Flushing for their final homestand of the year.

Robinson Cano added insurance runs in the ninth with a two-run home run to right field off Garrett Cleavinger. The veteran second baseman has eight home runs and a .321 average on the year. The Phillies bullpen entered Thursday with the worst ERA (7.05) in the league and the Mets quickly took advantage of their misfortunes.

The Seth Lugo experiment took a wrong turn in the Mets’ win. He pitched just 1.2 innings in his fifth start of the year that went askew at an unfortunate juncture.

Lugo surrendered three consecutive home runs to Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm and Didi Gregorius in the first inning. A triple to Jean Sugura and RBI single to Adam Haseley gave the Phillies a 4-3 lead and erased the Amazin’s three-run offensive effort in the top of the first against right-hander Aaron Nola.

Luis Rojas understandably gave Lugo a chance to bounce back in the second inning, because doing otherwise would prompt a bullpen game. But Lugo coughed up a two-out home run to Harper in the second, followed by a double, hit by pitch and RBI single to give the Philles a 6-3 lead. Lugo left the second inning, head down and shoulders slumped, having recorded his worst outing of the year.

Erasmo Ramirez, who has a 0.73 ERA on the year, kept the Mets in the game with 2.1 scoreless innings in relief of Lugo. Chasen Shreve piggybacked with 2.1 scoreless innings and three strikeouts while Jeurys Familia contributed with 1.1 innings.

Edwin Diaz pitched for the third straight day, despite the Mets’ four-run lead in the ninth. He walked two and hit a batter to load the bases for Andrew McCutchen, who grounded out to end the game, but not before Diaz hurled 29 pitches. The closer will presumably be unavailable for Luis Rojas in at least the series opener against the Braves on Friday.


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