Philadelphia Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado, suspended three games earlier in the day by the Major Leagues, allowed three crucial runs and two crucial walks in an eighth-inning appearance Sunday, allowing the New York Mets enough to breathe with an 8-7 victory that wasn’t complete until a dramatic homerun hit was disallowed in the next inning.
Welcome to Mets-Phillies 2021.
Alvarado threw just three strikes in an 11-pitch outing just hours after appealing MLB discipline for his role in an eighth-inning bench-clearing incident Friday against New York in Philadelphia. But his appearance was just one of many headlines in what turned out to be a roller coaster of emotions for both clubs in front of a national Sunday Night Baseball audience.
Philadelphia thought it had rallied to tie the game, 8-8, in the bottom of the ninth off a three-run homer by Rhys Hoskins. But the marking was annulled because the ball hit the outfield railing, which according to ground rules leaves the ball in play at Citizens Bank Park.
“I mean, it’s a replay. I mean, that’s what the replay system is for,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “I mean, obviously, it’s frustrating that it goes against us, but I guess they were right. I mean, I’m assuming and you know I’ve said all the time that the idea is to get the marks right. It’s frustrating because we thought we fixed it And then it’s like, you know, it’s hard. “
Hoskins was sent back to second base, while only two runs scored for 8-7.
“I think the guys in the dressing room have only seen what was displayed on the board,” Hoskins said, “so (they) had clear evidence to turn it around. And that’s what it was.”
Bryce Harper then struck out to end the game.
“I thought he had come off the metal, I guess he was right,” Mets first baseman Pete Alonso said in his postgame interview on SportsCenter. “I thought we had it very well seen. I think they got it right.”
The Mets took two of three from their division rival in a weekend series that won’t soon be forgotten. New York endured another bad night from offseason acquisition Francisco Lindor, who went 5-0, but came back on the strength of a three-run double in that eighth inning from Alonso.
“I’m just looking to get the ball to most of the field,” Alonso said. “I was very happy to have taken advantage of a heater there.”
Andrew McCutchen and Didi Gregorius homered for the home team, which used three pitchers in what turned out to be an eighth of six runs for the Mets. But Alvarado, visibly upset with his command in the eighth, and his bullpen teammates couldn’t protect an advantage, much to the delight of the Mets’ bench.
“We didn’t beat him, we beat the Philadelphia Phillies,” Alonso said. “It doesn’t matter who’s on the mound.”
After an upside-down start to the season, the Mets are now at the .500 (11-11) mark and tied for first in the National League East with the Washington Nationals. The Phillies are one game behind.
“It was a big step forward for us,” Alonso said. “We’re going to start filming here. It’s a new month and I’m excited.”
Alvarado also received an undisclosed fine for inciting the incident by taunting Mets outfielder Dominic Smith after a late-inning strikeout. Smith and New York pitcher Miguel Castro also received undisclosed fines for their role in the incident.