Tag Archives: Walker Lockett

Phillies blast four homers for second straight night to rally past Mets

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Maikel Franco homers for the second consecutive game

The Philadelphia Phillies (41-38) defeated the visiting New York Mets (37-43) by a 7-5 score on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

It was a second consecutive offensive explosion that carried the Phillies, with the club powering at least four home runs on successive nights for the first time in over a decade.
This time it was no blowout. The Phillies fell behind early. But rather than tuck their tails between their legs and accept defeat, as seemed to happen too often during their recent losing spell, the team showed renewed heart in fighting all the way back.
It was not at all a good night for Phillies starting pitcher Jake Arrieta. He never got it together while surrendering four earned runs over the first three frames to put the team into an early 4-1 hole.
The Mets started the game with three consecutive singles which led to their scratching out two runs in the top of the 1st inning. Solo home runs by Amed Rosario in the top of the 2nd and Dominic Smith in the top of the 3rd off-set a solo homer by Scott Kingery to leadoff the home 1st inning.
A solo home run off the bat of Rhys Hoskins, his 18th of the season, pulled the Phillies within 4-2 in the bottom of the 4th inning. In the top of the 6th, Jeff McNeil‘s RBI single countered that to push the Mets lead to 5-2.
The bottom of the 6th inning would prove decisive, as the Phillies put a big crooked five-spot up on the scoreboard. Bryce Harper started it by working a walk, and then J.T. Realmuto drilled a one-out double into the gap to put runners at second and third. Jay Bruce then grounded out with Harper scoring to make it 5-3, and Cesar Hernandez‘ infield single allowed Realmuto to roll home with the run that pulled the Phillies within a run at 5-4.
That’s when the Phillies again plugged in their power cords. Maikel Franco stepped in and rifled his second home run in as many nights. His 11th homer of the season was a two-run blast that pushed the Phillies on top for the first time all night at 6-5. Thomson then sent Brad Miller up to pinch-hit for Arrieta. Miller took a curveball and lifted it into the right field stands, giving the Phillies back-to-back homers and a 7-5 lead.

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Maikel Franco’s two-run rocket in the bottom of the 6th put the Phillies on top for the first time at 6-5.

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Those twin longballs appeared to irk Mets reliever Wilmer Font, who had come in for Mets rookie starting pitcher Walker Lockett. Font immediately fired a ball that nailed Kingery in the head. The Phillies hottest hitter was okay, thanks to his helmet and the angle of the blow.
Home plate umpire Joe West wasted no time, immediately signaling a warning to both benches. Already hot from seeing his top hitter get nailed, that warning got Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler justifiably enraged. He charged out of the dugout and was immediately tossed by West, Kapler’s second ejection in the last few days.

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Kingery gets nailed near the noggin. Joe West warns both benches. Gabe objects nicely (?) and gets run for the second time.

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That lead held into the top of the 8th when the Mets nearly tied it up. Again, it was new Phillies-killer McNeil trying to do the dirty work. His ground-rule double with a man on and two outs was challenged by Mets skipper Mickey Callaway, who thought it was a game-tying two-run homer. The umpires were judged to be right by the replay crew.
Thomson then made the move to bring in Hector Neris to face powerful Mets rookie first baseman Peter Alonso as the go-ahead run. Neris won the battle, getting Alonso to pop out to first base for the third out. Neris would come out again for the 9th inning with the Phillies still holding their 7-5 lead.
Robinson Cano started the frame by working a full count and then lacing a double to left field. One out later, Todd Frazier also worked the count full and then drew a walk. Neris would have to face the go-ahead run at the plate. He struck out Smith  on four pitches for the second out, and up stepped former Phillies catcher Wilson Ramos. Neris got him on a 4-3 ground out, and was awarded his 16th Save of the season as the Phillies won it 7-5.
After last night’s offensive explosion laugher, for the Phillies to not only rally from behind to win, but also to have the bullpen fight to hold the hard-earned lead was enormous. No, it wasn’t pretty, but they won’t all be pretty wins. A win is a win is a win, especially after a seven-game losing skid.
The Phillies have gotten themselves turned around in the right direction. Now they need to do the job, finishing off a sweep of the Mets on Thursday night.

SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING PERFORMANCE

PHILLIES – Jake Arrieta: 6 IP, 9 hits (2 homers), 5 earned, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts. 85 pitches, 50 for strikes.
METS – Walker Lockett: 5.1 IP, 5 hits (2 homers), 4 earned, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts. 82 pithes, 52 for strikes.

PHILLIES NUGGETS PLAYER OF THE GAME: MAIKEL FRANCO

He only had one hit in four at-bats, but it was a big one. Franco’s two-out, two-run home run finally pushed the Phillies in front by a 6-5 score after they had trailed all night.
Also, Franco made a nice defensive play in the top of the 4th inning. After Arrieta threw away a pickoff attempt while trying to get McNeil at first base, the runner rolled around to third. Alonso then chopped a grounder to Franco, who made a difficult throw to the plate to nail McNeil, keeping the Phillies within 4-1 at that point.

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Mets are a mess under manager Mickey Callaway as they open series with Phillies

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Mets skipper Mickey Callaway is under serious fire in New York

The Philadelphia Phillies (39-38) and New York Mets (37-41) both entered the 2019 season with high hopes. Each team was considered by most evaluators to be a genuine contender for a division crown and a postseason berth. Neither has seen their season play out as they would have hoped to this point.

The Phillies situation is well known by now to the frustrated and nearly mutinous fan base. The Phillies were 33-22 and riding high in first place in the division on May 29. They have gone just 6-16 since that time, and just three and a half weeks later are on a seven-game losing streak and have fallen out of even an NL Wildcard spot.

For the Mets, injuries and inconsistencies, their usual two bugaboos, have ganged up to derail what was their own promising start to the 2019 season. On April 24, nearly a month into the season, they were in first place following a 9-0 white-washing of the Phillies. But they went 13-15 in May, and are now 9-12 in June to this point.
The Mets have now lost star pitcher Noah Syndergaard to the IL for at least a couple of weeks. With Jacob deGrom not scheduled to pitch in this series, the Phillies hitters should feel fortunate to be missing their two best starters. However, as inconsistent as they have been performing of late, anyone appears capable of shutting down the Phillies bats.
Following this series, the Phillies will head out on the road for nine games within the division, three each in Miami, Atlanta, and New York. To say they are desperate at this point would be an understatement. The Phillies really need to win this series with the Mets in order to head out on the road feeling better about themselves and their chances of turning things around.

Our division rivals from New York are in town for four games at Citizens Bank Park.

Here’s the Ballpark Buzz: https://atmlb.com/2ZMDoqe 

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NEW YORK METS

TOP LINEUP THREATS

Pete Alonso: 24-year-old rookie first baseman is slashing .276/.366/.642 with 27 homers, 46 extra-base hits and 61 RBIs
Jeff McNeil: 27-year old Phillies killer is settling in as the starting LF and is slashing .342/.407/.494 with 25 extra-base hits
Michael Conforto: 26-year-old right fielder slashing .256/.374/.496 with 15 homers and 38 RBIs
Amed Rosario: 23-year-old shortstop has 26 extra-base hits and leads the club with nine steals
Wilson Ramos: 31-year-old catcher slashing .271/.347/.413 is second on the club with 40 RBIs, third with 34 runs scored
Dominic Smith: 24-year-old is slashing .320/.421/.515 in just 114 plate appearances backing up first base and left field
J.D. Davis: 26-year-old utility player hitting .272 with eight homers, 17 extra-base hits and 22 RBIs in just 202 plate apps

SPOTLIGHT PLAYER

Robinson Cano: The 36-year-old former superstar has not been anything like what the Mets hoped when they swung a big off-season trade with the Seattle Mariners, taking on Cano’s massive contract that still owes him $96 million more over the next four years.
An 8x American League All-Star who has two Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers in his trophy case mostly from his play with the Yankees in the prior decade, Cano won a World Series with the Bronx Bombers, helping defeat the Phillies back in the 2009 Fall Classic.
Cano is slashing just .228/.276/371 in 210 plate appearances. He has produced just four homers and 20 extra-base hits, scoring 18 runs and driving in 16, for the $24 million that the Mets are paying him this year. He seems to wake up against the Phillies, however. Cano has gone 7-15 (.467) in six games between the two NL East rivals this year.

SCHEDULED STARTING PITCHERS

MONDAY – Steven Matz: 5-5, 4.28 ERA, 1.371 WHIP, 75 hits over 73.2 IP across 14 starts with a 74/26 K:BB
TUESDAY – Walker Lockett: 25-year-old RH making just his second start this season, fourth of his career. Was traded twice this past off-season, from San Diego to Cleveland, and then the Tribe to the Mets in January.
WEDNESDAY – Jason Vargas: 3-3, 3.75 ERA, 1.333 WHIP, 54 hits over 60 IP across 13 appearances (12 starts) with a 47/26 K:BB

THE SKIPPER

To say that Mickey Callaway is under fire might be an understatement. Callaway is now in his second season at the helm with the Mets and has a cumulative 114-126 record to date.
In his playing days, Callaway was a right-handed pitcher who appeared in parts of five big-league seasons, making 20 starts and 20 relief appearances spread across three organizations between 199-2004.
Callaway recently had what can only be described as a full meltdown during an incident involving a New York reporter. Per Brian Fonseca of NJ.com, Callaway allegedly cursed out the reporter, Tim Healey of Newsday, and had him removed from the locker room following his postgame press conference on Sunday after Healey questioned his use of the bullpen:
“Callaway, wearing a black shirt, emerged from his office and walked past a reporter, who told him “see you tomorrow, Mickey.”
Callaway, still on edge from the loss, turned around and yell “Don’t be a smarta–, motherf—–.”
He later returned and engaged the reporter about the comment, which was not made maliciously, and Callaway raised his voice while he hurled expletives, telling a team public relations official to remove the reporter.
“Get the f—– out of here,” Callaway said. “We don’t need that s— here.”

SERIES WEATHER REPORT

Monday will be a partly cloudy, warm and humid evening with temps mid-80’s and light winds and only a low chance or rain. Tuesday and Wednesday are more of the same, except a bit more sun and a little less humid. All-in-all it will be good typical summer-time baseball weather. Report from The Weather Channel forecast.