PHILADELPHIA — On April 11 at Citizens Bank Park, Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm was famously caught on camera telling one of his teammates, “I hate this place.”
His team may have similar feelings of hatred for playing the Mets, who moved to 14-5 against the Phillies this season after Sunday’s win, which may have been their craziest of the year.
On Sunday, the two National League East rivals wrapped up their season series. The excruciatingly long game was a 10-9 win for the Mets thanks to two stunning home runs by Mark Canha (one in the top of the ninth) and another chance to melt down the Philadelphia bullpen. Bohm and the Phillies likely had profane thoughts running through their minds again while watching this development.
Facing a Mets starting pitcher making his major league debut, the Phillies hit him right away. Jose Butto gave the Phils four runs in the first inning, three before getting a single out. While fielding a major league batter for the first time will certainly stick in Butto’s memory, so will the first five batters he faced upon reaching base.
After that horrible start, Butto settled in to throw blank frames in the second and third. He was also short of a ground ball to lead off the fourth, but Bohm had other plans. Part of the first offense included Bohm unloading on Bhutto for a three-run home run. He liked it so much he decided to do it again in the fourth, this time drilling one from the right foul pole.
Two homers and six RBIs made it look like Bohm would love the friendly confines of his home field on Sunday. However, a number of factors helped spoil the Phillies’ good moment, one of which was their own starting pitcher.
Kyle Gibson was not sharp at all. The veteran right-hander walked three Mets and fanned another record eight hitters over him. But his four runs (only two of which were earned) were fewer than Butto’s seven, putting the Phillies in prime position to win the ugly. Then Mother Nature put her stamp on things.
A 46-minute delay occurred in the sixth inning, the third time during the Mets’ rain-interrupted road trip. This seemed to make up for it. Returning rested for the seventh inning, Pete Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach found some grass for singles, setting up Mark Canha for his own rainmaker.
Canha got the first pitch heater he was looking for. Reliever Connor Brogdon — the first shortstop of the day to turn a Phillies win into a loss — tried to go in and out, and Canha got him up and out. It was just the third homer Brogdon had allowed all season and certainly prompted thoughts of doom and gloom to match the weather. Canha’s home run tied things at seven, making a Philly crowd that watched their team blow two different three-run leads wish they had left during the storm.
Those who stayed were rewarded so soon. A player with nine years of service did something he had never done before. Jean Segura, who was initially cleared after Saturday’s doubleheader, struck out Matt Virling. Unlike Canha, who went after the first pitch, Segura had to wait until the seventh to hit his improbable home run. When it landed just over the left field wall, Segura had the first hit of his long career.
Canha said I see the one clutch home run and put you up another one.
David Robertson threw 36 pitches on Saturday. Needing a win, however, Phillies manager Rob Thomson sent him in for the save on Sunday. Jeff McNeil doubled, Canha bat gave the Mets the lead and the boos reached a crescendo. Making matters worse, Thomson replaced rookie Tyler Cyr with Robertson, and the first batter of his career also took him deep. Brandon Nimmo’s insurance shot in the ninth put the Mets up by two runs, and finally, everyone in the red-wearing building could agree.
On Sunday afternoon, through sunshine, rain, an epic Mets comeback and a late 9th-inning rally by the home team that didn’t last long, Citizens Bank Park was once again a place the Phillies and their fans hated to be. .