Harvey, Tejada lead Mets to series win over Philly
By Anthony DiComo and Todd Zolecki
NEW YORK -- Nine runs, 16 hits, a breezy victory in front of more than 32,000 fans at Citi Field -- this sort of thing has become almost routine for the Mets as they continue chugging toward their first National League East title since 2006.
The Mets moved another day closer to that goal with a 9-4 win Wednesday over the Phillies, maintaining their 6 1/2-game NL East lead. Ruben Tejada hit an inside-the-park home run, Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes added more traditional shots and the Mets cruised from there, despite an uncharacteristic outing from Matt Harvey, who was experiencing dehydration symptoms.
"You've got to be able to forget the night before," Mets manager Terry Collins said, referencing his team's lone loss Tuesday in the three-game series. "You have an ugly night, it happens. It's a part of the game. You have to move on and be ready for the next game."
The Mets certainly were, rapping out nine of their 16 hits against Phillies rookie starter Aaron Nola -- like Harvey, a former No. 7 overall pick. Nola lasted just four innings, giving up two of the Mets' three home runs.
"It wasn't one of [Nola's] better performances, but the defense really wasn't the greatest today," said Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin. "We didn't come up with great plays."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Inside-the-parker: With two outs in the second and a man on base, Tejada lifted a ball down the right-field line, where Domonic Brown made an unsuccessful lunge to grab it. As the ball drifted further down the line, Brown tumbled into the concrete area behind the wall, suffering a possible concussion. With no one around to back up Brown, Tejada sprinted around the bases for a two-run, inside-the-park home run. The exit velocity as tracked by Statcast™ was 74.5 mph, which is the lowest exit velocity of any home run tracked this year.
"When I saw him in the stands, I tried to run as hard as I could," Tejada said. More >
Nola, defense stumbles: Nola had allowed just one earned run in 15 innings in his previous two starts, but he allowed nine hits and six runs in just four innings against the Mets. It was the worst start of his nine-start career, but the Phillies' defense played a big part in it. From Brown going head-over-heels over the right-field wall to balls bobbled to ground balls under the gloves of Ryan Howard and Andres Blanco, the Phillies' defense extended the second and third innings for Nola, arguably leading to five of those runs.
"An inch here, an inch there and it could have been a different story," Mackanin said. More >
Harvey dehydrated: Electric early, Harvey hit 98 mph while striking out the side in the first inning en route to retiring 10 of the first 11 batters he faced. But Erik Kratz tagged Harvey for a two-run double in the fifth, Darnell Sweeney homered off him in the seventh and Harvey wound up allowing four runs in all. A Mets spokesman said afterward that Harvey was experiencing dehydration symptoms. More >
Respect for Howard: The Phillies had runners at the corners and one out in the seventh, trailing 7-4, when Howard stepped to the plate against Mets left-hander Sean Gilmartin. Mackanin is sitting Howard against left-handed starters, but did not pinch-hit for Howard in this situation. Howard, who is hitting .137 with a .439 OPS in 102 plate appearances against lefties, hit into a double play.
"When we had our discussion, [I said] 'I'm not going to play him against lefties, but I won't pinch-hit for him,'" Mackanin said. "He's been hitting against lefties for a long time, and I'm not going to be the one to pinch-hit for him."
"The ball is just travelling out. I guess these balls fly a little better because I don't know where it's coming from." -- Sweeney, who has three homers in 24 at-bats since joining the Phillies following the Chase Utley trade. He had nine homers in 472 at-bats with Triple-A Oklahoma City.More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Mets have lost ground in the NL East race just once in the last 14 days. Their lead has nearly doubled over that time, from 3 1/2 games to 6 1/2.
FROM THE TRAINER'S ROOM Daniel Murphy departed after three innings with left quad discomfort. The Mets classified it as "mild," announcing that they removed Murphy "as a precaution." More >
Brown left the game in the fourth inning with concussion concerns after flipping over the right-field wall. He traveled back to Philadelphia for further testing. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Phillies: The Phillies do not play Thursday, but they resume action Friday night at 7:10 ET against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Rookies Adam Morgan (5-4, 4.03 ERA), Alec Asher (0-1, 6.35 ERA) and Jerad Eickhoff (1-2, 2.84 ERA) will pitch Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Mets:Jacob deGrom kicks off the Mets' final three-city road trip of the year in a 7:10 p.m. ET game on Friday in Miami. Following Thursday's off day and a three-game series in Miami, the Mets will move on to Washington for three and Atlanta for four before returning home to Citi Field.