Dominic Smith delivered a walk-off RBI single in the eighth inning, allowing the Mets to escape Game 1 of a doubleheader with a 2-1 victory.
An ugly stretch of Mets futility Friday meant a franchise icon’s record is now shared, but the afternoon into early evening wasn’t a total bust for manager Luis Rojas’ crew.
Dominic Smith delivered a walk-off RBI single in the eighth inning, allowing the Mets to escape Game 1 of a doubleheader with a 2-1 victory over the Phillies at Citi Field.
Smith, batting after Pete Alonso had been intentionally walked with the automatic runner on second base for extra innings, slapped a single through the middle against Ranger Suarez and was swarmed by teammates, who tore off his jersey on the field.
Victory came after Aaron Nola struck out 10 straight Mets batters to match a record held alone by Tom Seaver for the past 51 years.
The Mets were in trouble in the seventh inning, trailing 1-0 and facing their last ups, but pitcher Jose Alvarado’s throwing error on a routine comebacker to begin the inning provided an opening, and Francisco Lindor made it hurt. Lindor’s two-out RBI single brought in Luis Guillorme, who had raced to second on Alvarado’s throwing error.
The Mets’ previous big chance came in the sixth, when Smith walked against Alvarado to load the bases. But the lefty Alvarado struck out James McCann before retiring Kevin Pillar to preserve the Phillies’ lead. Lindor was hit by a pitch, and Alonso walked against Nola in the inning to begin the rally. Nola allowed two hits over 5 ²/₃ shutout innings with one walk, two hit batters and 12 strikeouts.
Michael Conforto whiffed on a 1-2 knuckle curve for the first out of the fourth inning, giving Nola his 10th consecutive strikeout, to match the major league record Seaver set while pitching for the Mets against the Padres on April 22, 1970. Alonso prevented Nola from setting the record, blooping a double to right field, which elicited a roar of relief from the crowd.
On April 17 in Colorado, Jacob deGrom got as far as nine straight strikeouts before his streak was broken. Tyler Anderson and Max Scherzer are the other active pitchers who have struck out nine straight batters.
Nola gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead with an RBI double against Walker in the fifth. Nick Maton walked with two outs before Nola, who entered batting .130, hit a shot into the right-center gap for the run. Taijuan Walker rebounded to retire Odubel Herrera.
Walker allowed one run on three hits over five innings with five strikeouts and one walk. The right-hander, whose ERA dropped to 2.38, was coming off an uninspiring performance in Washington in which he allowed four earned runs over 6 ¹/₃ innings.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Mike Puma