With 2 HRs -- and 1 massive bat flip -- Canha caps Mets' domination of Phils

August 22nd, 2022

PHILADELPHIA -- Mark Canha put the exclamation point on the Mets' 2022 domination of the Phillies on Sunday afternoon -- and he made sure everyone at Citizens Bank Park knew it.

As his go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning -- his second of the day -- sailed over the left-field wall, Canha launched his bat high into the air before eventually spreading his arms wide and looking skyward as he rounded first base. It was in that same spot one inning earlier that Phillies second baseman Jean Segura had leaped into the air and pumped his fist, sending his helmet tumbling off his head, after hitting a go-ahead homer of his own.

So did Segura’s eccentric trip around the bases inspire the big celebration from the usually reserved Canha? 

“Maybe,” Canha said following New York’s wild 10-9 win. “When that happened, I kind of just told myself, 'All right, it's your turn next time. You're going to do it again. You're going to win it.'”

It’s hard to blame Canha for having that mindset. After all, the Mets had already erased a pair of sizable deficits on the day, including falling into a 4-0 hole in the first inning.

They rallied to tie the game at 4 in the top of the fourth, only to have Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm hit his second three-run homer of the game in the bottom half. Three innings later -- and after a 46-minute rain delay -- Canha hit a three-run shot of his own to tie the game at 7.

For Canha, it was his third career multi-homer game -- and his first since Aug. 25, 2019, as a member of the A's. He finished the day 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs, while also making an inning-ending sliding catch in the sixth inning before delivering the first of his two homers in the following frame.

“We come out and we expect to win every day,” Canha said. “If we go down four runs in the first inning, we still expect to win until the game is over. That's what winners are made of.”

The Mets have shown that time and again this season, particularly against the rival Phillies. In fact, erasing a four-, three- and one- run deficit in one afternoon wasn’t even the Mets’ wildest win in Philadelphia this year. That came on May 5, when they scored seven runs in the top of the ninth inning to turn a six-run deficit into an 8-7 victory.

Their win probability in that game dipped as low as 0.2%. On Sunday, it bottomed out at only 7.1%.

“That's been kind of our calling card all year and that's what we do,” Canha said. “That's what we do every day -- we fight and we grind out these at-bats. That's part of our philosophy is that if you do that enough, this is how it manifests itself, and stuff like this can happen.”

That’s also been Canha’s personal approach in a season that hasn’t gone the way he had hoped at times. He hit just one home run over a 40-game span from June 25-Aug. 17 -- and he’d been waiting all year to have a moment like the one he had in the ninth inning on Sunday.

“It's just emotional, just a really good feeling,” Canha said. “I feel like I haven't had too many big clutch moments like that this year, so it's nice to finally get one.”

As for where the bat flip ranks in his baseball career?

"That was the best one," said a smiling Canha, who had to take a peek to make sure it wasn’t going to land on him.

It was a fitting end to a season series in which the Mets went 14-5 against the Phillies. The 14 victories matched the Mets' record for most wins vs. the Phillies in the 61-season history of the rivalry.

But while the Mets may be done with the Phillies this year -- in the regular season, at least -- they have another rival awaiting them in the Bronx on Monday. Max Scherzer will take the hill on Monday to open a two-game series against the Yankees that will conclude a stretch in which the Mets play 13 games in 12 days against the Phillies, Braves and Yankees.

“Good club, a really good team,” manager Buck Showalter said of facing a Yankees organization that he managed from 1992-95. “We just played one, we played one in Atlanta and we'll play another good one tomorrow. We'll grind it for nine innings and see what the baseball gods do.”