By Peter Marx
The Phillies took another step in their magical drive to the playoffs last night, and it was all the more sweet:
Because it was against the dreaded Mets, who sit atop the NL East.
Left fielder Matt Vierling threw out Starling Marte at the plate to end the ninth and the Phillies beat the Mets 2-1 in 10 innings.
On repeat forever and ever pic.twitter.com/3CyitRPjcU
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 13, 2022
“Regardless of what anybody says, we’re going to come out and play our game and try to make every play and do things the right way,” Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm said.
Take that, Keith Hernandez!
Mets announcer Hernandez dissed the Phils defense earlier in the week and wasn’t working last night because the game was streamed on Apple TV.
He is not scheduled to work the next two games because he is attending the 40th reunion of the 1982 World Champion Cardinals in St. Louis.
In the sixth inning, Bohm made a barehanded, off-balance throw from third base to get Marte at first and pitcher Ranger Suárez snared a comebacker by Francisco Lindor.
In the 10th, Bohm hit a sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run.
The Mets had a six-game winning streak stopped and also lost infielders Jeff McNeil and Eduardo Escobar to early injuries. McNeil exited after grounding out in the second with a right thumb laceration and Escobar departed with left side tightness.
The NL East rivals played for the first time in two months and the Phils improved to 41-20 under interim manager Thomson. Joe Girardi was still managing the Phillies earlier this season when they dropped nine of 12 meetings to New York to fall to 21-27.
The Mets lead the division. The Phillies, second in the wild-card race, are 9 1/2 games behind New York with Atlanta in between them.
In the ninth, Vierling caught a shallow fly ball by pinch-hitter Daniel Vogelbach and threw out Marte at the plate for the first outfield assist of his career.
“If he lifted the ball, I had an idea it probably would be in my direction,” Vierling said.
Through an interpreter, Marte said “rhe anticipation was to go home on a play like that — the situation of the game, the way it was, it’s a flyball.”
“It really just came down to a player making a perfect throw there at that point,” he said.
Vierling made his ninth career start in left field, seven of them this season.
“I’ve been playing with Vierling since I got drafted,” Bohm said. “So, I know he can throw and I saw him coming in on it and I didn’t think they were going to send him. I thought he might be bluffing but game like that, runs are tough to come by.”
Bohm hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th off Mychal Givens (6-3).
Mets star Max Scherzer and Suárez each gave up one run in seven innings.
Scherzer allowed three of his nine hits in the opening inning when the Phillies scored their first run on Bohm’s RBI single. Opponents entered Friday hitting 3 for 49 off Scherzer in opening innings this season.
Scherzer allowed his second-most hits this season but avoided big trouble throughout his outing. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second by retiring Bohm, stranded two in the fourth and was aided by a nifty double play started by Lindor in the second.
Scherzer struck out six, upping his career total to 3,146 to move one behind former Detroit teammate Justin Verlander for 14th all-time.
Suárez allowed three hits in seven. He struck out four and walked two.
Seranthony Domínguez (6-3) benefited from Vierling’s strong throw in the ninth to earn the win. David Robertson tossed a perfect 10th for his 16th save and second with Philadelphia.
Mark Canha hit a sacrifice fly in the Mets second.