Last week, Jay Bruce hit two home runs to help the Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the first time in his Met career he had gone deep twice in a single game. Tonight, he did it again. This time he hit a three-run home run with the Mets down 2-0 in the sixth and after the Phillies tied it 3-3, Bruce un-tied it with a two-run laser beam in the bottom of the 8th. The Mets (8-7) snapped a four-game losing streak with the 5-4 win.
Bruce, who now has six home runs in the first 15 games of the season, hit only eight home runs in his 50 games with the Mets last season.
Starter Robert Gsellman (ND), put the Mets in a hole, allowing the Phils to score single runs in the fourth and fifth innings for a 2-0 lead while Vince Velasquez was having his way with the Mets offense. The Mets had just one hit, a double by Bruce in the first inning, and two walks as they batted in the bottom of the sixth and Velasquez had retired 10 in a row.
Then Gsellman, of all people, led off the sixth with a single, but was erased on Curtis Granderson’s 1-6-3 double play. But the Mets finally got to Velasquez before he could get the third out. Asdrubal Cabrera singled to center and Yoenis Cespedes worked out a walk to keep the inning going. Then Bruce hit a line drive over the right field wall for his fifth home run, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead.
Gsellman got the Phillies 1-2-3 in the seventh and had already thrown 98 pitches, but with manager Terry Collins using 6 pitchers last night in the final three innings, he sent him back out there to start the eighth. Aaron Altherr greeted Gsellman’s first pitch and hit a ground rule double to left, prompting Collin to have a quick hook and bring in Jerry Blevins.
Blevins got Osdrubal Herrera on a grounder that moved Altherr to third for the first out, then struck out Maikel Franco. But light hitting Michael Saunders fisted a ball into short left that Cespedes dove for but couldn’t come up with and the Phillies tied the game 3-3. Once again, the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.
With gloom and doom settling into the minds of the dwindling number of fans toughing it out at a cold, wet Citi Field, Cespedes greeted Edubray Ramos (L, 0-2), who relieved Velasquez, with a single to center on a 3-0 pitch. That brought up Bruce, who took the first pitch for a ball, then lined a shot to the same part of the ball park in right field, just clearing the right field wall for his sixth home run and giving the Mets a 5-3 lead.
Addison Reed came on in the ninth and gave up a run on a sacrifice fly after Freddie Galvis tripled, but earned his fourth save and made a winner of Hansel Robles (3-0), who got the final out of the eighth, a strikeout.
Noah Syndergaard (1-0) starts the rubber game tomorrow against Aaron Nolan (1-0). Syndergaard is 4-0 lifetime against Philadelphia with a 1.37 ERA and 30K in four career starts.
TWO INJURIES IN THE FIFTH
Both Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda left the game with injuries suffered in the fifth inning. D’Arnaud banged this throwing hand on the batter’s bat as he attempted to throw out a runner stealing. Duda left the game with a hyperextended left elbow after he made contact with runner Cesar Hernandez on a throw from Gsellman that was offline. Later in the inning, with Altherr hitting, d’Arnaud hit his bat on this follow through, bruising his right wrist.
FAMILIA READY TO RETURN
Jeurys Familia will return to the Mets on Thursday night after sitting out the first 15 games during his suspension for domestic violence.
POSITIVES: Bruce had three hits (2-HR and a 2B) and five RBI on the night and leads the Mets in home runs (6) and RBI (14). He has his average up to .309 … Mets pitchers struck out 11 Phillies … Jose Reyes went 0-3 and his average dropped to .094 … David Wright went through drills with the team during the day and even took batting practice … Renee Rivera, who took over for d’Arnaud in the sixth, had another hit and is batting .316 for the year
NEGATIVES: Cespedes ran through a stop sign in the first inning and was thrown out at the plate on Bruce’s double, as he tried to score from first. At least this time he slid …
Paul DiSclafani is a featured writer on “A View From The Bench”, which has been recognized by Major League baseball as one of the top 100 blog sites.