Mets look to take another from Phillies

The Mets and Phillies are running out of games to try to catch the Chicago Cubs for the second National League wild card. New York and Philadelphia are both four games out, but their three-game series this weekend at Citi Field is off to an intense start.

On Friday night, the host Mets walked off the Phillies on a bases-loaded walk to rookie Pete Alonso, who had given his team a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth and set the Mets up to win with closer Edwin Diaz finishing the game.

Diaz, however, suffered his seventh blown save -- and second in as many appearances -- when he gave up a game-tying, two-run home run to the Phillies' J.T. Realmuto in the top of the ninth. But Diaz, who has allowed 14 ninth-inning home runs this season, was absolved by Alonso's plate patience moments later.

"You pick each other up, that's what good teams do," Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters. "It's a special trait that this team has. What we've been through this year, if we can make our goal and get in the playoffs, I like what we're going to be able to do. Because we're going to have a uniqueness to us that is going to be very valuable in a postseason."

The Phillies lost star Bryce Harper when he was hit on the right hand by a Steven Matz pitch in the third inning. Harper left the game with a deep bruise, but he got good news after the game when X-rays were negative for anything more.

"Of course, we're in the stretch right now so if I can be in there, I'm going to be in there. But I have to be careful, too," Harper told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Mets send right-hander Marcus Stroman (7-12, 3.28 ERA) to the mound Saturday. Stroman is 1-1 with a 4.55 ERA in six starts as a Met following his trade from Toronto in July.

Stroman struck out six in six-plus innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, in a no-decision on Sunday at Philadelphia. He is 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA in four career games (two starts) vs. the Phillies.

The Phillies have lefty Drew Smyly scheduled to start Saturday. Smyly (3-6, 6.65 ERA) is 2-1 with a 4.57 ERA in eight starts with the Phillies. He'll be making his first career start against the Mets.

The Mets have won five of their past seven games, with Alonso batting .355 (11-for-31) in his last seven games. Alonso has three home runs and six RBI during that time.

"I've got to do whatever I can to help this team win," Alonso told the media. "I just want to step up and just be clutch and just be as productive as I possibly can. It's crunch time for us."

New York third baseman Todd Frazier enters Saturday with 1,000 career hits after a single on Friday.

The Phillies have lost three straight after winning three in a row. They have used a team-record 55 players this season, with Jose Pirela setting the mark when he made his team debut Friday. Pirela went 1-for-3 with a walk while seeing action in both left field and right field.

--Field Level Media
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