The best moments from Phillies' smashing win in London

June 8th, 2024

Saturday marked the beginning of the 2024 MLB London Series, the third time Major League Baseball has hosted regular-season games in the United Kingdom. And Game 1 of the two-game set looked pretty familiar to Phillies fans.

Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos went deep for the top scoring offense in Majors, and lefty starter Ranger Suárez had another solid start as the Phils defeated the Mets, 7-2.

Game 2 of the London Series is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. ET on Sunday on ESPN. But before we get to that, here are the top highlights and moments from an entertaining day at London Stadium:

1. Harper celebrates homer with soccer-inspired slide

Bryce Harper got every bit of a high sweeper from Sean Manaea, clubbing it with his Phillie Phanatic bat deep into the right-field seats to tie the game at 1.

Harper then celebrated his 321st career homer in style -- with a slide on his knees in front of the Phillies' dugout, as if he was celebrating a goal in the World Cup. Harper then got up and yelled, "I love soccer!" repeatedly as he made his way through the high-five line.

2. Whit hits the mark in big Phils fourth inning

The Philies batted around in the fourth inning and ended up knocking Mets starter Sean Manaea from the game with two outs in the frame. After Bryce Harper's homer, the Phils got an RBI single from Edmundo Sosa, which preceded Whit Merrifield's three-run home run, his third of the year. Two batters later, Kyle Schwarber stung an RBI single to center field.

The Phillies scored six runs in the fourth, which matches their highest-scoring inning of the season. They also plated six runs in the ninth inning against the Rockies on May 25.

3. Phillies fend off Mets in ninth

New York didn't go down quietly. The Mets loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against right-hander José Ruiz. However, he ended the threat quickly by getting J.D. Martinez to bounce into a game-ending double play.

The triumph pushed the Phillies' record to 45-19. Their .703 win percentage is the best in the big leagues.

4. Nick brought his stick to London

Nick Castellanos provided some insurance in the eighth inning with a 415-foot solo shot that soared down the left-field line. The ball came off his bat at 113.1 mph, which is Castellanos' fastest exit velocity on any batted ball during the Statcast Era (since 2015).

5. Like a video game

It has been fun to watch Ranger Suárez pitch this season. But what is it like to catch him? Phillies backstop J.T. Realmuto had high praise for the left-hander before today's game.

Suárez allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings, striking out six and allowing eight hits and one walk. He finished the day with a 1.81 ERA, a tick ahead of Yankees sensation Luis Gil for the Major League lead. He is the first pitcher to reach 10 victories this season.

6. Mets crack scoreboard first

Starling Marte came into the London Series swinging a hot bat, going 10-for-22 with six RBIs over his previous six games. He kept rolling in his first at-bat as he lined a changeup down the left-field line for an RBI double to score Francisco Lindor. Just like that, the Mets mustered more earned runs off of Suárez than they got against him over five innings when he faced them on May 15.

7. Think Bader's got this one? He'll tell you himself

Mic'd up for the live broadcast, Mets center fielder Harrison Bader made it perfectly clear to everyone -- especially right fielder Starling Marte -- that he had drawn a bead on this Alec Bohm fly ball in the fifth inning. "That's a guy with some big shoulders," Bader quipped about avoiding a collision with his outfield-mate.

8. Mercury to the field: Don't Stop Me Now!

When you're in London, your mascot race doesn't feature sausages. It certainly doesn't feature U.S. presidents. Instead, it features Winston Churchill, King Henry VIII, a member of the royal guard and Freddie Mercury.

The lead singer of Queen got off to a late start, but then he turned on the jets and raced past all of his costumed competitors -- waving to his adoring public all along the way.

9. First pitch

Matthew Broderick, star of stage and screen as well as an avid Mets fan, tossed out the game's first pitch to Mets catcher Tomás Nido.

10. From England with glove

Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor is one of the most stylish players in the game. So of course he showed up to the London Series with a United Kingdom-themed glove.