Mets stun Phillies with 7-run rally in the ninth
PHILADELPHIA -- Less than a week after tossing a no-hitter against the Phillies, the Mets did something perhaps even more improbable on Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Trailing by six runs entering the ninth inning, the Mets pulled off their largest comeback in 25 years in an 8-7 victory over the same club it had no-hit just six days earlier. It marked the first time New York erased a six-run deficit entering the final inning since Sept. 13, 1997, when the Mets scored six in the bottom of the ninth against the visiting Montreal Expos to turn a 6-0 deficit into a 6-6 tie. Bernard Gilkey would hit a walk-off three-run homer two innings later for a 9-6 victory.
"This doesn't happen every day," said Brandon Nimmo, who hit a game-tying two-run single.
In fact, it's happened only on three days in the 60-season history of the franchise, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The other instance came on July 17, 1973, against the Braves.
"We just strung a lot of good at-bats together by some good hitters," manager Buck Showalter said.
Let's take a closer look at the string of at-bats that turned a 0.2% win probability entering the ninth inning into a shocking victory.
Starling Marte leadoff single
Phillies 7, Mets 1
Win probability: 0.5%
Marte, who had accounted for the Mets' only run to that point with a sixth-inning homer, beat out an infield single to kick things off -- and even that itself was improbable. The hit came on a pitch that was just 0.57 feet off the ground, making it the lowest pitch Marte recorded a hit against since June 18, 2015 (0.39 feet).
As unlikely as that hit was, guys weren’t starting to come around just yet.
"I'm an optimist, but you know ... " Nimmo said, before trailing off with a laugh.
Francisco Lindor two-run homer
Phillies 7, Mets 3
Win probability: 1.3%
One batter later, Lindor jumped all over a first-pitch fastball from James Norwood, crushing a 421-foot homer to snap an 0-for-18 skid. Though the needle barely moved on the win-probability model -- still giving the Mets just barely a 1% chance to pull off a win -- it moved significantly more in the visitors' dugout.
"Probably Lindor," Showalter said about the moment he started to think a comeback was possible.
While the Mets still had a long way to go, the feeling clearly shifted at that point -- especially with the Phillies scrambling to get closer Corey Knebel up in the bullpen.
"It was just one of those euphoric moments that just kind of took over," Marte said through team interpreter Alan Suriel. "After that, that's when the lineup really got it going and they were battling and battling, and we were able to take it to another level.”
Mark Canha RBI single
Phillies 7, Mets 4
Win probability: 7.9%
With two on and one out, Canha welcomed Knebel to the game with a comebacker that shot off the closer's leg and trickled away for an RBI single to cut the deficit to three.
That brought the potential tying run to the plate as Dominic Smith stepped in with only one out ...
Phillies 7, Mets 4
Win probability: 3.2%
Though Smith worked the count full, he chased a curveball in the dirt for strike three. Down to their final out, the Mets passed the torch to pinch-hitter J.D. Davis.
Davis RBI double
Phillies 7, Mets 5
Win probability: 11.1%
After laying off a pair of high pitches, Davis roped a line drive into the left-field corner to score Jeff McNeil from second base. Davis pulled into second with a double, while third-base coach Joey Cora held Canha at third to put two in scoring position for Nimmo.
"I'd say after Lindor's home run I started thinking about it," Nimmo said. "And then it became really real, especially after J.D.'s [double]. It was like, 'OK, here we go.'"
Nimmo two-run single
Mets 7, Phillies 7
Win probability: 43%
Nimmo took advantage of a Knebel curve out over the middle of the plate, roping it into center field for a game-tying two-run single that sent the New York dugout into a frenzy.
"I don't think it was shock, I think it was just happiness," Lindor said. "It's like, 'Yes, we're doing it!' We all believed it [could happen], but it's just like, 'It's happening, it's happening.' You don't have too many nights like that."
Marte added: “Once Nimmo tied the game up, that’s when I said, 'Let me stand in there and do what I have to and get that base hit.'”
Marte RBI double
Mets 8, Phillies 7
Win probability: 83.3%
Marte wasted no time doing exactly that, smashing a first-pitch fastball off the left-center-field wall for the go-ahead double.
"The game doesn't end until that team gets 27 outs," Marte said. "So we go out there, we compete and we hope to be victorious."
The latter has come true more often than not this season for a team that has won games courtesy of a five-run ninth inning (April 25 vs. Cardinals) and a seven-run ninth inning -- oh, and thrown a no-hitter.
All that, and it's only May 5.
"A night like tonight makes you realize what could be,” Showalter said.