Jay Bruce homered for the third straight game and drove in three runs as the Mets defeated the Phillies, 5-1, on Friday at Citizens Bank Park to lower their magic number for clinching a Wild Card berth to one. The victory gives the Mets at least a tie for one of the two N.L. Wild Card spots.
To read about the potential Wild Card scenarios, click here.
In case you missed it…
- Bruce went 3-for-4 with a solo homer, his 33rd, and a pair of RBI singles to pace the Mets' offense. His game-tying single in the fourth capped a nine-pitch at-bat and his fourth homer in six games increased New York's lead to 3-1 in the seventh. He added another RBI single in the eighth to give him 99 RBIs.
- Robert Gsellman (4-2) yielded one run and scattered seven hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in six innings to earn his second straight win against the Phillies.
- T.J. Rivera followed Bruce's RBI single in the fourth with one of his own to put the Mets on top, 2-1. Yoenis Cespedes' fielder's choice, an infield pop fly that bounced off the first-base bag, drove in Alejandro De Aza in the eighth.
To read the full AP recap and box score, click here.
Terry Collins on his young pitchers: "I can't even tell you how important they've been to the club. We've asked a lot of our young pitchers that have come up, be it [Matt] Harvey when he first came up or Jake[deGrom] or Noah [Syndergaard] and Steven Matz. But no one's been thrust into a pennant race like these guys…But the way they've handled the situations, they haven't been intimated and they continue to throw the ball over the plate. They've been very impressive."
Collins on the playoff push: "We had to take care of our own business and we've done that. And we're not going to stop doing it."
Bruce on his hot streak: "Swinging at pitches that I can hit and not missing them, that's the bottom line. That's the key to my success. I have confidence in myself. I have confidence in this team. Like I said from the very beginning, all I want to do here is contribute and help this team get to a World Series and win it. Over the last couple of days, week or so, I've been able to do that. It's been at the right time."
Gsellman on pitching in a playoff race: "It's been awesome to come up here and kind of thrown in the fire. It's kind of what you've been dreaming of all your life. It's been a lot of fun."
News and notes…
- The Mets' win guaranteed them of no worse than a Wild Card tie. They improved to a season-high 12 games over .500 and 15-2 after a scheduled day off.
- Going back to last Saturday's game against Philadelphia in New York, the Mets have outscored the Phillies 30-1 in the last 23 innings. New York has scored five or more runs in seven of their last eight games.
- Bruce's home run was the Mets' 105th on the road this season, tied with the 2000 club for the most in franchise history.
- Bruce has hit in six straight games, going 10-for-20 with four homers, eight RBIs and six runs scored. It was his first three-hit game since June 21 when he was still with the Reds.
- Cespedes has 22 RBIs in 23 games against the Phillies since he joined the Mets.
- Gsellman has surrendered three runs in his last 24 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.42.
- New York's bullpen has pitched 22 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings.
The Mets (86-74) will try to clinch a playoff berth outright against the Phillies (70-90) at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET on FOX. Coming off his shortest non-injury related outing of the year, Bartolo Colon (14-8, 3.42 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) will get the call in his final regular-season start of the season. Right-hander Phil Klein (0-1, 8.22 ERA, 2.40 WHIP) makes his second start and fourth appearance for Philadelphia after he was claimed off waivers from Texas on June 19.