The calendar said Labor Day, but this ultimately became Groundhog Day for the Mets.
Dramatically, they rallied Monday and appeared ready to win a series against the Phillies and perhaps turn momentum in the race for second place in the NL East. And then came late silence of their bats and not enough outs from the bullpen.
Miguel Castro surrendered a go-ahead homer to Jean Segura in the 10th inning that sank the Mets in their 9-8 loss to the Phillies at Citi Field.
The Mets, who had rallied from a six-run deficit and took the lead in the seventh on Jeff McNeil’s home run, finished with a split in the series and fell 3 ½ games behind the Phillies in the race for second place in the NL East, which carries an automatic postseason berth. The Mets began the day one game behind in the race for the NL’s second wild card.
Castro entered in the 10th inning and got two outs — all extra innings this season begin with a runner on second base — before Segura cleared the fence in left-center, giving him five RBIs for the game. The Mets answered with a run in the bottom of the inning on Brandon Nimmo’s RBI single before Hector Neris got the final two outs.
Alec Bohm’s RBI single in the eighth against Jeurys Familia tied it 7-7 and deflated the Mets, at least momentarily, after McNeil’s three-run homer the previous inning against David Phelps had brought their first lead.
McNeil reached the upper deck in right field for his second homer in as many days after not hitting one in the first five weeks of the season.
Zack Wheeler, in his return to Citi Field, took a no-decision after allowing three earned runs on eight hits over six innings with seven strikeouts. The right-hander raised his ERA from 2.20 to 2.47 as a potential National League Cy Young Award candidate.
The Mets rallied for three runs in the fifth against Wheeler to launch their comeback. Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith smashed consecutive doubles that sliced the Phillies’ lead to 6-3. Andres Gimenez doubled leading off the inning to start the rally. Wheeler plunked Pete Alonso and Gimenez the following inning, but rebounded to escape the inning without further damage.
Erasmo Ramirez gave the Mets a chance at the comeback by allowing one run over five innings in relief after rookie David Peterson flopped.
Peterson was jumped from the start. Segura delivered a bases-loaded double for three runs in the first inning after Andrew McCutchen got drilled, Bryce Harper singled against the shift and J.T. Realmuto walked.
In the second, Rhys Hoskins belted a two-run homer after a walk to McCutchen, burying Peterson in a 5-0 hole. Peterson’s final line included five earned runs on three hits and four walks over two innings in which he threw 70 pitches.