Steady rain Friday meant the New York Mets got at least another 24 hours to marinate in the afterglow of one of the most surprising wins in franchise history — and gave the Philadelphia Phillies an extra day to ponder one of their biggest collapses.
Weather permitting, the longtime National League East rivals will resume their series Saturday in the middle game of a three-game set in Philadelphia.
The starters for Friday’s postponed game — the Mets’ Max Scherzer (4-0, 2.61 ERA) and the Phillies’ Kyle Gibson (2-1, 2.93) — were pushed back a day, though another rainy forecast makes the clash of right-handers no sure thing.
The game Friday — which was called more than six hours before the scheduled first pitch — was rescheduled as part of a doubleheader in Philadelphia on Aug. 20.
The Mets won the series opener Thursday night in stunning fashion. They scored seven runs in the top of the ninth to edge the Phillies 8-7. It was the first time New York had overcome a ninth-inning deficit of at least six runs since a 9-6, 11-inning win over the Montreal Expos on Sept. 13, 1997.
It also was the latest potential mile-marker victory in a hot start for the Mets, who are 19-9 and are the only team in the NL East with a winning record. New York scored five ninth-inning runs in a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on April 25, four nights before five pitchers combined on a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over the Phillies.
“Every team develops a personality as the season progresses, and this one’s answered a lot of early season challenges,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “So we’ll see if it bodes well (and) if our curiosity is going to be satisfied. But a night like tonight makes you realize what could be.”
The loss dropped the Phillies seven games behind the Mets and continued the struggles for Philadelphia’s relievers, whose ERA entering Friday was 4.50 — tied for fifth-worst in the majors.
It was the biggest ninth-inning collapse for the Phillies since May 10, 1994, when they gave away a seven-run lead in a 9-8, 15-inning loss to the Atlanta Braves. The meltdown Thursday wasted a gem from starter Aaron Nola, who allowed just one run and three hits over seven innings.
“It shouldn’t have happened tonight,” said Phillies closer Corey Knebel, who was charged with his first blown save after giving up three runs on four hits. “Nola, awesome outing; the game is on me. We’ve got a six-run lead going into the ninth. It can’t happen.”
Scherzer and Gibson each pitched for their respective teams during last weekend’s three-game series between the Mets and Phillies at Citi Field.
Scherzer extended his regular-season unbeaten streak to 24 starts Sunday, when he earned the win after allowing four runs over six innings in New York’s 10-6 victory. Gibson didn’t factor into the decision April 30 after allowing an unearned run in 4 1/3 innings in the Phillies’ 4-1 win.
Scherzer is 16-4 with a 2.60 ERA in 27 career starts against the Phillies, and Gibson is 1-3 with a 4.15 ERA in six starts against the Mets.
–Field Level Media