The Mets said all the right things in their pregame hours on Sunday, acknowledging that they understood Major League Baseball’s decision to fine Dominic Smith and Miguel Castro for their roles in Friday’s bases-clearing incident at Citizens Bank Park, but hinting that the situation was unfair. In the Mets’ minds, Phillies reliever José Alvarado was far more to blame than Smith, Castro, or anyone else wearing blue and orange.
After all, it was Alvarado who had hit Michael Conforto earlier this year, inciting Smith’s ire at that time. It was Alvarado who began shouting at Smith a month later when he struck him out, prompting both dugouts to empty. Given such history, the Mets had a problem with Alvarado. The Mets didn’t particularly like Alvarado. They wanted their revenge.
So it was with unusual glee that the Mets plated the go-ahead run off Alvarado on a bases-loaded walk on Sunday night, coming alive for a six-run eighth inning in an 8-7 win over the Phillies.
Trailing by two runs entering the eighth, the Mets received a leadoff homer by Kevin Pillar. Jonathan Villar followed with a single, then scored from third on a bizarre play when first baseman Rhys Hoskins did not notice him rounding the bases on a José Peraza single and lazily flipped the ball to second baseman Nick Maton, giving Villar a window to race home.
That’s when Alvarado entered, loading the bases on a single and a walk before walking Conforto on five pitches to force home Peraza with the go-ahead run. Pete Alonso followed with a bases-clearing double to break open the game.
Things grew tense in the bottom of the ninth, when Edwin Díaz allowed three runs and departed with an apparent injury. Hoskins would have hit a game-tying home run, but after replay review, it was ruled a two-run double that hit the top of the railing and bounced back into play. Jeurys Familia then entered to record the final out, stranding pinch-runner Scott Kingery at second base.