Those scenarios will become clearer as the weekend progresses. More important on Friday was the notion that the Mets will continue playing into next week.
They made that much official in the same way they won so many September games, relying on a rotation replacement — this time rookie pitcher Robert Gsellman — to guide them into the later innings. Gsellman held the Phillies to one run in six innings, before a late offensive outburst sucked any remaining drama out of the game.
Rene Rivera on clutch win
NYM@PHI: Rene Rivera discusses big 5-1 win
Mets catcher Rene Rivera discusses the performance of Robert Gsellman in the Mets’ important 5-1 win over the Phillies
After the Phillies jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Cameron Rupp‘s second-inning sacrifice fly, the Mets went ahead for good on consecutive two-out RBI singles by Jay Bruce and T.J. Rivera in the fourth. Bruce added a solo homer in the seventh inning to chase Phillies starter Alec Asher, who allowed three runs in total.
The elements played a significant role on a cold, windy and damp night at Citizens Bank Park. Multiple players watched near-home runs die at the warning track, including Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, who also whiffed on a popup that the wind pushed directly onto the first-base bag.
Granderson’s fantastic catch
NYM@PHI: Granderson makes a clutch grab at the wall
Curtis Granderson reaches up to make an impressive grab at the center-field wall to rob Jimmy Paredes of an extra-base hit in the 6th
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bruce on the loose: It was only a week ago that Bruce was slumping badly enough for the Mets to use him exclusively as a bench player. He has reversed course dramatically on this road trip, hitting his fourth homer in six games off Asher in the seventh. Bruce also knocked RBI singles in the fourth and eighth innings, giving him eight RBIs over that same six-game span.
Bruce’s RBI single
NYM@PHI: Bruce rips an RBI single to right field
Jay Bruce hammers a liner to right field for an RBI single that scores Yoenis Cespedes to tie the game at 1 in the top of the 4th inning
Big Piece going out in a big way: Howard kicked off the weekend the Phillies will spend appreciating his career by doubling off the base of the center field wall. That followed what will likely be one of many standing ovations this weekend as he stepped into the box. Maikel Franco advanced to third and scored on a Rupp sac fly to give the Phils an early lead. The double was Howard’s 286th of his career, placing him 10th on the Phillies all-time list, one behind Richie Ashburn.
Six strong: Though Gsellman has had trouble the third time through batting orders this season, he had no problem facing the Phillies for a second consecutive game. Again relying heavily on his mid-90s sinker, Gsellman struck out four batters in the third and fourth innings alone, finishing with seven punchouts. He has struck out 15 with a 0.60 ERA his last two starts.
Gsellman’s big strikeout
NYM@PHI: Gsellman fans Asher to escape trouble
Robert Gsellman strikes out Alec Asher to strand runners at the corners and end the bottom of the 2nd inning
Pop up, down and up: Easily the game’s most bizarre moment unfolded in the top of the eighth, when Yoenis Cespedes lifted a popup toward Howard at first. The wind carried the ball out of Howard’s reach, where it landed directly on the base and bounced straight up into the air. That allowed Alejandro De Aza to score from third base, though Howard did recover in time to throw out Jose Reyes at second, on what officially went down as an RBI fielder’s choice. More >
Must C: Popup lands on first
Must C Curious: Mets score on bounce off first base
Yoenis Cespedes pops the ball up and it bounces off the first-base bag, allowing Alejandro de Aza to score on a fielder’s choice
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Mackanin came out to argue with first-base umpire Will Little, disputing that Cespedes went around on a swing in the eighth inning. But Little tossed Mackanin almost immediately after he left the dugout — the first time Mackanin has ever been ejected.
NYM@PHI: Mackanin ejected by umpire in the 8th
Pete Mackanin gets ejected from the game in the top of the 8th inning after arguing balls and strikes
GALVIS EXITS WITH TIGHT HAMSTRING
After beating out a bunt single in the fifth, Freddy Galvis appeared to feel something in his hamstring but stayed in the game. Andres Blanco, however, was called upon to pinch-hit for Galvis his next at-bat, two innings later. The Phillies announced that Galvis left the game with right hamstring tightness. Blanco finished the game at shortstop.
Mets: Bartolo Colon will make his final regular-season start when the Mets and Phillies reconvene Saturday for a 1:05 p.m. ET game at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets considered starting Colon in Friday’s game, but opted to keep him on regular rest instead.
Phillies: It will be a bullpen game in the middle game of the series for the Phillies, who will start Phil Klein (0-1, 8.22 ERA). Although he was mainly a starter at Triple-A this season, Klein doesn’t figure to last long, as the last time he pitched more than 1 1/3 innings was nearly a month ago.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Source: Mets News / Bruce plates 3 as Mets clinch 163rd game