The Mets-Phillies bout in Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park Thursday night was one of those where the fans could leave early, knowing that they saw all the pertinent action in the game.
At least that’s how it looked up until the ninth inning, when the Mets stormed back with one of the most improbable comebacks we’ll ever see. Ron Darling, Mets color commentator and baseball lifer, even said he’s “never seen anything like it,” to close the broadcast.
The score would remain mostly unchanged to the ninth inning, save for a Starling Marte solo home run that made it 7-1 Phillies. The Phillies’ win probability would stand still at 99 percent from the top of the fifth until a few batters into the ninth.
Phillies reliever James Norwood was tasked with playing garbage man. All he needed to do was record three outs before coughing up six runs. He would only record one out before things got dicey and Phillies manager Joe Girardi needed to go to his closer, Corey Knebel.
The bleeding didn’t stop there. The Mets would get seven runs in the ninth before their closer, Edwin Díaz, needed to face just three hitters to nail down the save.
It all started innocently enough. Marte reached on an infield single. But then Francisco Lindor homered to make it 7-3. Pete Alonso followed with a double. After an Eduardo Escobar lineout, Jeff McNeil singled. With the tying run on deck, that’s when Girardi summoned Knebel. Mark Canha reached on an infield single that scored Alonso, but then Dom Smith struck out. It was two outs with the Phillies clinging to a 7-4 lead.
Even after all that, it still should’ve been over. The Phillies still had a 97 percent chance to win it.
But then J.D. Davis doubled home McNeil and it was 7-5 with runners on second and third and it started to feel like a possibility.
Brandon Nimmo tied the game with a single. And then Marte nearly went deep again, but it was enough for a go-ahead double.
In the span of 29 pitches, the Mets got seven runs on eight hits. This is the first time the Mets overcame a six-run deficit in the ninth inning to win since 1997, per Sarah Langs.
The Mets now move to 19-9, owners of the highest win total in baseball. The Phillies fall to 11-15.