NEW YORK — Mets manager Terry Collins may grumble at the notion of baseball’s expanded rosters in September. But rules are rules, and Collins is doing his best to exploit them, hoping this everyone-plays brand of September baseball will help his club reach October.
Collins used six pitchers Friday in a 10-5 win over the Phillies, extending many of them beyond their usual roles to give the Mets a 1 1/2-game National League Wild Card lead over the Cardinals. With eight games to play, New York also temporarily moved a half-game up on the Giants for the best record among NL Wild Card contenders.
Michael Conforto hit his first home run since August for the Mets, who toppled Philadelphia’s bullpen with a six-run rally in the fifth inning and a three-run outburst in the seventh. Though the Phillies fought back on a Darin Ruf two-run homer in the sixth inning and loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, they never found consistent answers for New York’s relievers.
Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson could not escape the fourth inning, giving up six runs on seven hits and three walks. Collins did not have nearly as much patience with rookie Gabriel Ynoa, removing him after only two innings. Making his second career start in place of Jacob deGrom, who recently underwent season-ending elbow surgery, Ynoa allowed two runs on five hits.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Batting around: Conforto’s three-run, opposite-field home run off Frank Herrmann capped a six-run fifth for the Mets, who entered the inning trailing, 3-1. After a hit and two walks loaded the bases, Curtis Granderson and Kelly Johnson plated three runs on a pair of RBI singles and a Roman Quinn fielding error. That brought up Conforto, who gave the Mets a four-run lead with his first home run since Aug. 7.
Hellickson’s early exit leads to shaky ‘pen: Hellickson pitched the second shutout of his career in his last start on Saturday against the Marlins, but he allowed seven hits and six runs in just 4 1/3 innings against the Mets. The Phillies’ bullpen allowed four more runs to prevent any shot at a comeback.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Source: Mets News / Mets top Phils with rallies, maintain WC spot