The Least You Should Know:
Jon Niese started for the Mets, and while he struggled, managed to get through six innings while allowing three runs.
Ramon Ramirez and Robert Carson each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.
Mike Baxter led off the game with a solo home run and Scott Hairston hit a solo home run in the second inning.
Josh Thole went 0-for-4, and he is now 0-for-his-last-25 at the plate - he also committed a passed ball in the sixth inning.
After Hairston singled in the fourth inning, Kyle Kendrick retired 13 batters in a row before Daniel Murphy singled in the eighth inning.
Niese really had to battle today. Like last week, his cutter was sitting up in the zone and the Phillies put some good swings on it. But he threw a couple of curveballs to get out of some innings and was able to manage a passed ball by Thole and his own error in the sixth to only allow three runs. While it wasn't a pretty outing for Niese, he was able to hang in and not allow a crooked number to the Phillies. Earlier this year, the box score might not look as good as today's did for him.
The Mets offense was non-existent today, and did nothing to give Niese much breathing room as a result. Outside of the homers from Baxter and Hairston, they were back to swinging early in the count against Kyle Kendrick and had a lot of quick offensive innings. They drew no walks against Kendrick who entered the eighth inning having thrown just 70 pitches. That isn't the approach which brought them success earlier this year and it's been a recurring theme in the second half.
I like Josh Thole. I've seen how hard he works, whether it's at voluntary workouts before Spring Training or before a game during the regular season. But he just hasn't positively contributed in a consistent manner this season. He started his season strong, going with a line drive approach at the plate, and he was much more mechanically sound behind the plate. But he regressed after his concussion, and it's been really ugly at times for him both offensively and defensively. Today featured a passed ball, a weird throw to second base, and weak contact off the bat. So it goes for Josh...
By the way, Ty Wigginton has crushed the Mets this season. He is now 14-for-33 against the Mets and 15 of his 40 RBI on the season have come at the expense of the Mets as well. Unreal.
All-in-all, this was a good series against the Phillies. A sweep would have been nice, but the Mets have played well at Citizens Bank Park this season, and despite the loss today, there were a lot of positives to come out of these games on an individual basis. Both Niese and Harvey didn't have good stuff but gave their team a chance to win, the bullpen continued to excel, and they got some key contributions from Kelly Shoppach, Lucas Duda and Ike Davis. It would be great if they could continue this positive momentum and carry it through to the end of the season so to create something positive going into the winter.
W.B. Mason Post Game Extra
The Mets head to Miami tonight and open a three-game series with the Marlins tomorrow night at Marlins Park, with R.A. Dickey facing Nathan Eovaldi at 7:10 pm.