Seth Udinski, FISM News
On Sunday night, Bryce Harper made his return from a nasty face injury last week, as the Philadelphia Phillies took on the New York Mets in South Philadelphia in prime time on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. The game was a back-and-forth classic – a clash of rivals, with the winner taking the series and jumping into sole possession of second place in the NL East, one game behind the division-leading Washington Nationals.
The Mets jumped out to a 2-1 lead, but in the home half of the 6th inning, Harper worked a walk and Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm singled to put runners on first and third. Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorious then sent the hometown crowd at Citizens Bank Park into a frenzy with a towering homerun into the right field seats to put the Phillies up, 4-2.
In the 8th, the Phillies defense unraveled, as the Mets scored 6 runs to retake the lead, 8-4. In the bottom of the 9th, the Phillies rallied. They scored one run, and then put two runners on for powerful first baseman Rhys Hoskins. Hoskins hammered a deep shot to right center that hit the top of the wall and was originally called a homerun, apparently tying the game. After review, however, the umpires ruled that the ball did not leave the yard, and an irate Hoskins was forced back to second with a ground-rule double. The double scored two, bringing the New York’s lead down to one.
That brought up the man of the hour, Bryce Harper, with a chance to be the hero in his first game back since his injury. Harper had already singled and walked earlier in the game. He worked the count to two balls and two strikes, but chased a 95 MPH fastball off the plate and struck out.
Win the win, the Mets would win the three-game series to improve to 11-11, while the Phillies drop to third place in the division at two games under .500.