Mets lose 5-2 to Phillies, get set for wild-card game
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — After helping celebrate Ryan Howard, the New York Mets quickly shifted focus their attention to Madison Bumgarner.
Cesar Hernandez hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning, and the Phillies beat the playoff-bound Mets 5-2 on Sunday in Howard’s farewell game in Philadelphia.
Howard got several standing ovations from the crowd, and Mets players clapped for him during a pregame ceremony and when he left the game in the ninth.
Now, the Mets get ready to face one of the best postseason pitchers in baseball when they host San Francisco in a wild-card game Wednesday at Citi Field.
“Everybody knows what a good pitcher Bumgarner is, but we have a good pitcher, too,” outfielder Yoenis Cespedes said through an interpreter.
The defending NL champion Mets clinched the top wild-card spot on Saturday so manager Terry Collins gave most of his regulars a day off and ace Noah Syndergaard was pushed back to start against the Giants.
“He’s a great pitcher,” Collins said. “You can’t let him get ahead of you. If you do, you’re in trouble. If Noah pitches like he can, we’ll be fine.”
The Mets have won at least one series in each of their last four trips to the postseason. To advance this year, they’ll have to beat a guy who is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his last five postseason appearances.
“The man can pitch,” Kelly Johnson said of Bumgarner. “He’s one of the best in the game. He’s also like having a DH in the lineup. You’re going to face tough pitchers in the playoffs. Our guy is pretty good, too.”
Mets starter Gabriel Ynoa allowed one run and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. Defensive miscues cost New York in the seventh.
Andres Blanco started the inning against Erik Goeddel (2-2) with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored the tying run on a double error by first baseman Lucas Duda, who booted pinch hitter Cody Asche’s grounder and then threw it wild to first.
Hernandez ripped a single to right to make it 3-2 and Jimmy Paredes followed with a sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead.
Maikel Franco was 4 for 4, including an RBI single in the third that gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead.
Colton Murray (1-1) pitched one inning in relief of Jerad Eickhoff to earn his first career win despite allowing a run. Hector Neris finished for his second save.
The Mets took a 2-1 lead in the seventh when Kevin Plawecki lined a double to right-center. The ball initially froze center fielder Odubel Herrera, who couldn’t recover in time to track it down.
Matt Reynolds hit a double with two outs in the sixth and scored on Alejandro De Aza’s single to tie it at 1-1.
Eickhoff gave up one run and four hits, striking out eight in six innings. He finished the season 11-14 with a 3.65 ERA.
Syndergaard (14-9, 2.60 ERA) was 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA in four postseason appearances last year, including three starts.