Stott leads shorthanded Phillies to inspiring comeback win over Mets


Stott leads shorthanded Phillies to inspiring comeback win over Mets originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

NEW YORK — A game that looked and felt like a Phillies loss from the bottom of the second through the bottom of the eighth turned into the latest example of their depth and ability to persevere.

Down two runs in the ninth inning against Edwin Diaz, one of baseball’s most electric closers, the Phillies drew closer with red-hot Bryson Stott‘s solo home run and tied the game when Alec Bohm was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The tying run was scored by Kody Clemens, who pinch-hit for Edmundo Sosa and singled a batter after Stott’s homer.

Orion Kerkering, pitching back-to-back days for the first time this season, went 1-2-3 through the teeth of the Mets‘ order in the bottom of the ninth, retiring Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso and J.D. Martinez to set up more heroics from Stott in extra innings. Kerkering made it look far easier than it was.

Stott fell behind in the count 0-2 to Mets reliever Sean Reid-Foley in the top of the 10th but battled to drill a sacrifice fly to deep right field. Bryce Harper crossed the plate as the go-ahead run and Jose Alvarado set the Mets down in a 5-4 win.

“It was a great win,” manager Rob Thomson said. “We just keep winning games in different ways, getting contributions from all kinds of people. That’s who they are. They keep fighting. They’re resilient.”

You don’t think about Stott as the kind of player who can carry an offense, but he essentially has over this past week. He’s driven in 11 runs in his last eight games. He’s reached base in 12 of his last 19 plate appearances, and he narrowly missed homering three innings before he did Monday night.

“That dude’s a stud,” Marsh said. “He showed it day-in and day-out last year. It was only a matter of time for him to start clicking and no better time than now.

“Started off with Stotter. He set the tone for us and we just rallied behind him after that. Diaz is gross. He’s as good as it gets, an incredible talent, heck of a closer. For us to get to him tonight was huge.”

The 29-13 Phillies still have not lost consecutive games since April 23-24 in Cincinnati.

It was a bizarre start from Cristopher Sanchez, who threw just 10 pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning but needed 50 to record the next four outs. He allowed two runs in the bottom of the second and his third inning was a rollercoaster.

Sanchez put the first four Mets on base in the bottom of the third with a double, single and two walks. He struck out Brett Baty with the bases loaded for the first out, then walked off the mound gingerly and had his hand examined by a trainer. He was dealing with a stinger that pops up from time to time and needs to be rubbed away. Sanchez responded by striking out three in a row on nine pitches.

After looking like he wouldn’t make it out of the third, Sanchez then pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning, retired the side in the fifth and would have registered a “quality start” if not for his own two-out error in the sixth. The Phillies needed the extra length because Spencer Turnbull, the only true long man in the bullpen, pitched an inning of relief Sunday and was likely unavailable Monday because he’s not accustomed to going back-to-back days.

“The biggest thing I’m proud of him about is overcoming adversity,” Thomson said. “He got into trouble, long innings the second and third, and he just settled in and kept pitching. That’s the growth in this guy. He’s really something.”

“Getting bases loaded and him getting out of it with those three punchies saved us the game,” Marsh added.

The Phillies were shorthanded again Monday with Kyle Schwarber (lower back soreness) and J.T. Realmuto (right knee soreness) out of the starting lineup. Trea Turner will miss another month with a hamstring strain. The Phils have done an admirable job in recent seasons of playing through injuries to key players like Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Alvarado and Ranger Suarez, but they also haven’t had three of their top hitters out at the same time.

Schwarber pinch-hit in the ninth inning and struck out. He will be back in the lineup Tuesday afternoon, Thomson said. Realmuto is day-to-day and his status for Tuesday is TBD.

The Phillies have Aaron Nola on the mound at 1:10 p.m. for the finale of the first leg of this two-game home-and-home series. Jose Butto, the first right-handed starting pitcher the Phils have faced in five games, goes for the Mets.

“I don’t think we had anyone (left) off the bench but J.T.,” Stott said. “Bullpen guys came in and did their jobs, threw strikes, had shutdown innings. Sanchez grinding out those five innings and a couple outs was huge. It was a gutsy performance by him and the guys coming off the bench.”