Max Scherzer picks up rare loss, Mets drop Game 1 of doubleheader to Phillies

Max Scherzer Mets Phillies
May 8, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) gets a new baseball after allowing home run to Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper (3) (not pictured) during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

There would be no ninth-inning comeback in Game 1 of the Mets’ doubleheader on Sunday in Philadelphia against the Phillies, falling to their NL East rivals 3-2 in the two teams’ first game since New York’s furious seven-run ninth-inning comeback on Thursday night. 

The Mets pulled within one after falling behind 3-0, but they were unable to record a single hit in the final three innings of the afternoon, ensuring starting pitcher Max Scherzer lost a decision for the first time in 24 starts dating back to May 30 last season. 

While he didn’t give up a surplus of hard contact, Scherzer yielded three runs on 10 hits Sunday in six innings of work while striking out seven. It was the 14th time in his career that he allowed 10 or more hits in a start and it’s just the third time since the start of the 2016 season. A bulk of them came in the third and fourth innings when he allowed seven hits in a nine-batter span. 

Yet he still managed to minimize the damage, regardless, as the Mets were down 3-0 after five as the offense had their hands full with Phillies starter Kyle Gibson, who cruised through the first five innings with just two hits allowed.

Bryce Harper picked up two RBI in his first two at-bats of the afternoon to put the Mets behind early. He launched his sixth home run of the year, a solo shot, in the first inning before a two-out RBI single scored Kyle Schwarber to double the Phillies’ advantage in the third. Rookie shortstop Bryson Stott put the Phillies up 3-0 in the fourth with a two-out bloop single.

The Mets got to Gibson and on the board with a crooked number in the sixth behind four hits.

Starling Marte collected his fifth consecutive hit to lead off the sixth with a double down the left-field line before Luis Guillorme put runners at the corner with a single. James McCann’s double play snuffed out a larger rally but scored Marte.

New York wasn’t done in the frame, though. With two outs, Brandon Nimmo singled and was driven in by a Francisco Lindor double that was kept in the ballpark down the right-field line by the blustery conditions at Citizens Bank Park. 

Chasing Gibson from the game, the Mets coaxed two walks from Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez to lead off the seventh inning, but strikeouts from Dominic Smith, Marte, and Guillorme killed the rally.

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