Superb Stroman shuts down Phillies as Mets sweep doubleheader

Marcus Stroman Mets
Apr 13, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) throws against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

After his regularly scheduled start on Sunday was controversially rained out after just nine pitches, Marcus Stroman made the right call getting back to the mount just two days later.

The 29-year-old right-hander was sterling in his second start of the season, hurling six innings of scoreless baseball to lay the foundation of a 4-0 Mets victory to secure a doubleheader sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night in the second seven-inning installment.

The result lowers Stroman’s ERA to a minuscule 0.75 through two starts this season, allowing just one run in a combined 13 innings of work.

Meanwhile, the Mets (4-3) offense found just enough juice to get past Phillies (6-5) ace Aaron Nola, plating three of their four runs in the fourth inning.

The offensive load was carried by lead-off man Brandon Nimmo, who went 3-for-4 on the day — all singles — with three RBI.

Early proceedings of Tuesday night’s second leg were largely a pitcher’s duel between Stroman and Nola. Stroman didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning with three strikeouts but still managed to face the minimum after getting Bryce Harper to ground into a double play to wipe away a lead-off Matt Joyce single.

Nola had five strikeouts through three without allowing a run, but the Mets wore him down in the fourth and finally came up with some timely hits — feeding off extra-inning heroics from Tuesday’s first game.

It was Jonathan Villar again who came up with another big hit in the fourth inning just hours after delivering a walk-off single in the first game of the doubleheader. After singles from Jeff McNeil and Kevin Pillar, Villar smacked an RBI double to break the scoreless tie.

Tomas Nido was subsequently hit in the elbow to load the bases and after a Stroman strikeout, Nimmo smacked a first-pitch, two-out single to drive in Pillar and Villar to make it a 3-0 game.

While Stroman slowed ever-so-slightly, his defense was behind him to pick him up, most notably when Francisco Lindor picked a Rhys Hoskins liner to start a 6-4-3 sixth-inning-ending double play to keep the starter’s line scoreless.

The Mets snagged some insurance in the seventh with Nimmo coming through again for his third RBI of the night, driving in Tomas Nido after the catcher flew a triple just inside the right-field line.

While Stroman did come out to hit in the bottom of the sixth inning — drawing a walk that prompted a hop and bat flip — an extra insurance run allowed manager Luis Rojas to call on Jeurys Familia to finish things off, ending the starter’s superb day at 86 pitches.

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