Amed Rosario had three hits and three RBIs to lead the Mets past the Phillies, 8-2, on Sunday night in the Little League Classic at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.
Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) Rosario's two-run single capped a four-run second inning for the Mets. Jose Bautista and Kevin Plawecki had RBI singles when New York opened the frame with five consecutive hits. Jeff McNeil had a two-RBI base knock in the fourth and Rosario added another run-scoring single in the sixth. Dominic Smith had a pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth.
2) Rosario matched his career high with three RBIs and finished with three or more hits for the third time in five games. Bautista and Plawecki each scored twice and collected two hits apiece as did McNeil. Every Met -- including Vargas -- had a hit except for Michael Conforto, who finished 0-for-5.
3) Jason Vargas took a shutout into the sixth inning but was lifted after allowing a two-run homer to Carlos Santana and a double to Wilson Ramos. It marked the second straight start the 35-year-old worked into the sixth after he failed to do so in his first 12 outings of the season. Vargas (3-8) was charged with two runs on six hits with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings en route to his first victory in nearly three months.
4) Seth Lugo, Drew Smith and Daniel Zamora combined to allow two hits while striking out xx over 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Michael Avallone, SNY.tv | Twitter |
It doesn't seem to matter that the Mets trail the Phillies by 14 1/2-games in the N.L. East, because going back to the end of Philadelphia's five-year run atop the division in 2012, New York has dominated the matchups. With their win tonight, the Mets took the five-game series and improved to 8-5 against the Phils this year. Going back to 2012, they've taken 20 of the last 26 series between the two clubs.
Competing in the Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, it was one of the Mets' elder statesmen who stole the show in front of the potential stars of tomorrow. Perhaps answering critics and fans who wondered how Corey Oswalt and not Jason Vargas could be relegated to the bullpen, the southpaw turned in his second consecutive strong outing. It doesn't necessarily prove much in the long-term -- Vargas' struggles go back to the start of last year's second half so it's impossible to say this year has been an anomaly-- but he has back-to-back strong starts, the second of which came against a team competing for a divisional title.
On the offensive side of things, Amed Rosario continues to show signs that he's figuring things out. It's been an understandably frustrating situation for the shortstop, the club and fans, but it's important to remember that Rosario is 22 years old. He's a baby and by the club's own admission -- off the record or on -- he was lacking some of the basic fundamentals he should have learned in the minors. The key for Rosario, as with all successful big leaguers, is consistency. He's starting to develop it and the result is a player beginning to fulfill expectations.
News and notes...
The Mets finished 7-4 on their 11-game road trip and have won 10 of 16 overall. New York improved to 8-5 against Philadelphia this season and 46-24 (.657) since the beginning of 2015. They have won 20 of their last 25 series between the two teams.
Rosario is batting .367 (18-for-49) with three doubles, two homers, 12 RBIs and 10 runs scored in his last 11 games. He was caught stealing for only the third time in his last 16 attempts in the second inning.
McNeil has hit safely in his last seven starts, going 11-for-32 (.344) with two extra-base hits, six runs and two RBIs in that span.
Vargas snapped a seven-start winless streak dating to May 30. He entered Sunday 1-4 with an 8.91 ERA in eight starts on the road this season.
Smith was added to the roster from Triple-A Las Vegas as the 26th man prior to the game.
The Mets (54-69) return home to Citi Field to begin a four-game series with the Giants (61-64) on Monday night at 7 p.m. on SNY.
Zack Wheeler (8-6, 3.75 ERA/3.43 FIP, 136 K, 1.227 WHIP) opens the homestand looking for a career-high seventh straight win after allowing one run over five innings against the Orioles on Wednesday. The right-hander has a 2.82 ERA in 14 starts since the beginning of June and has surrendered two runs or fewer 10 times in that span. He has a 2.04 ERA during his six-game winning streak. Wheeler allowed one run over six innings to defeat the Giants on May 9, 2017. He is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in four career starts against San Francisco.
Derek Holland (6-8, 3.83 ERA/3.91 FIP, 132 K, 1.307 WHIP) gets the call for the Giants looking to snap a stretch features one win in his last 12 appearances -- including eight starts -- despite a 2.82 ERA in that time. The southpaw blanked the Dodgers over 4 2/3 innings despite allowing 10 baserunners, including four walks. Holland surrendered three runs over six innings in his lone career start against the Mets in 2011.