NEW YORK -- A rough fifth inning spoiled Corey Oswalt's otherwise positive performance in only his third Major League start. The 24-year-old has settled into a normal five-day routine for the Mets and is progressively feeling more comfortable.Oswalt threw six innings, giving up one hit and three earned runs while
NEW YORK -- A rough fifth inning spoiled Corey Oswalt's otherwise positive performance in only his third Major League start. The 24-year-old has settled into a normal five-day routine for the Mets and is progressively feeling more comfortable.
Oswalt threw six innings, giving up one hit and three earned runs while striking out seven, but ultimately took a 3-1 loss against the Phillies on Monday night in the nightcap of the Mets' doubleheader at Citi Field.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway said it was reassuring it is to see the young pitcher get into a routine.
"He got to work with Dave [Eiland] in between again, and we saw improvement from the first start to the second start and we saw another dramatic improvement to this start," Callaway said. "So he did a great job today."
After facing the minimum through four innings, Oswalt walked the first two Phillies batters to start the fifth. He retired the next two and intentionally walked Maikel Franco to face Phillies right-handed pitcher Aaron Nola at the bottom of the order. Nola cracked an opposite-field, bases-clearing double to open scoring for the Phillies.
"I think I just lost a little bit of focus," Oswalt said. "I was just kind of rushing things a little bit."
The Mets' offense rallied in the ninth inning, but it wasn't enough to complete the comeback. Wilmer Flores, who hit the walk-off home run in the 10th inning in Game 1 of the twin bill, plated Brandon Nimmo on an RBI double to right-center. After Michael Conforto walked, Devin Mesoraco came to the plate representing the potential winning run. But the Phillies brought in Victor Arano, who struck Mesoraco out to end the game.
Although Oswalt is in the rotation now, it is unknown what the second half of the season will look like for the starter. With Noah Syndergaard and Jason Vargas both making rehab starts in Brooklyn this week, it is possible he might be bumped from the rotation. On the other hand, with the Trade Deadline looming, Oswalt could remain in the starting mix.
Oswalt is the first Mets pitcher in club history to throw at least six innings and allow no more than one hit in a start that came within his first four career games.
It will be a day of Major League debuts as both the Mets and Phillies have starters taking the mound for the first time in the big leagues on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Right-hander Andrew Gagnon owns a 2.45 ERA in his last five starts at Triple-A Las Vegas and is looking to continue his success in New York. Gagnon will oppose Phillies' right-hander Enyel De Los Santos.
Erin Fish is an associate reporter for the Mets based in New York.