Things you should know about today's game...
1) With the Mets leading by a run and a man on first and two outs in the eighth, Jose Reyes dropped an easy pop-up that would have resulted in the third out of the inning. Instead, Jerry Blevins surrendered a game-tying double to Andres Blanco.
2) The Phillies scored four times off Rafael Montero and Sean Gilmartin in the 10th. Montero retired one batter and was charged with four runs (three earned) on three hits.
3) Zack Wheeler labored through five innings but allowed just a first-inning solo home run to Odubel Herrera. The right-hander allowed four hits and two walks with a season-high seven strikeouts.
4) Jay Bruce had an RBI single and Yoenis Cespedes scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first for the Mets, who have tallied just 12 runs in their last 48 innings. New York had one hit after the sixth inning.
Post-game reaction from Matt Citak...
What a disheartening loss. After leading for most of the game, the Mets wound up handing the Phillies the win thanks to a dropped pop-up by Reyes in the eighth. When you look as lost at the plate as Jose has throughout the first 14 games, you simply cannot afford to make mental mistakes like that, especially in a high-pressure situation at the end of the game.
Wheeler was not sharp tonight, allowing a home run to Herrera along with a walk and a single in the first inning as he needed 25 pitches to get through the opening frame. The high pitch count early on limited Zack to just five innings, but the 26-year old bounced back after his shaky start to finish off strong, racking up seven strikeouts while stranding five runners on base.
Wheeler has struggled a bit with his command thus far this season, averaging 18 pitches per inning through his first three starts. He needs to lower that number in order to help take some pressure off the guys in the bullpen, who have already been called upon a ton this year.
The one player that has really impressed (and surprised) me in the bullpen this season has been Smoker. The lefty has surrendered just two runs on six hits while striking out 11 batters in 7.1 innings. The movement on his changeup has made it look downright unhittable at times, and if he can keep it up, it will provide Terry with another strong left-handed option that he can rely on late in games.
With New York having now blown three saves in six chances, the return of Jeurys Familia could not come any sooner. Luckily the Mets will only have to survive one more game before order is (hopefully) restored in the bullpen.. >>To follow Matt on Twitter, click here.
Post-game reaction from Michael Baron...
That was an awful game. The offense was non-existent, Wheeler struggled, and their defense wasn't good, featured by a brutal night for Jose Reyes. In all, they found a way to lose a game they once again led with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Mets really got what they deserved for their fourth straight loss.
Just when it didn't look like it could get worse for Reyes, it does. He did get a hit tonight but didn't do much else right. His drop on a routine pop-up simply cost the Mets the game and further extended an already overtaxed bullpen. He's clearly frustrated, but he's becoming a liability at this point. Something will have to change, either with his play or his role, and soon.
It was a slog for Wheeler. He needed 99 pitches to get through five innings, looking great at times while fighting himself at others. But he found a way to keep the Phillies down, stranding five baserunners thanks in part to his ability to miss bats when he needed to. It's a process for Wheeler - he's going to have these ups and downs. But he should only start to get better as he pitches more and the weather improves. >> To follow Baron on Twitter, click here.
Highlights from the game...
News and notes...
The Mets have scored just 10 runs during a season-high four-game losing streak, which matches their longest streak from last season. During the previous five games -- all wins -- the Mets tallied 37 runs.
New York has held a lead with two outs in the eighth inning twice in the last three games, losing both.
The Mets swept the Phillies last week at Citizens Bank Park, outscoring them 23-11.
Blevins allowed his first inherited runner of the year to score after stranding the first 11.
Montero has allowed 15 hits and eight walks in 6 2/3 innings this season. He has a 9.45 ERA.
What they said after the game...
Reyes on his error and awful start: "That was my ball. I have to catch that fly ball in that situation. That's my ball. ... It's still early. I'm going to be better than this. It's a tough moment right now. No one as a player wants to be like this."
Terry Collins on Reyes: "He's a veteran guy, he's been through a lot. ... I don't know if he's ever got off to this kind of start before. ...but it's part of the game you have to learn to get through and being a veteran guy he's got to be able to handle it mentally."
The Mets (7-7) will try and snap their four-game losing streak as they continue their three-game series against the Phillies (5-8) at Citi Field on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on SNY.
Robert Gsellman (0-1, 9.28 ERA, 1.688 WHIP) will try and get untracked in his third start of the season after surrendering 11 runs in his first 10 2/3 innings. The 23-year-old faced Philadelphia three times in his first eight Major League appearances in 2016, going 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA and 1.105 WHIP.
The Phillies will send their own struggling youngster to the mound in Vince Velasquez (0-2, 9.00 ERA, 1.889 WHIP), who the Mets defeated last Wednesday in Philadelphia. The right-hander shut out New York for six innings in his first start against them, but has allowed 11 runs (eight earned) on 15 hits in 14 1/3 innings since for a 5.02 ERA in three starts.