Dominic Smith #2 of the New York Mets follows through...

Dominic Smith #2 of the New York Mets follows through on his fifth inning two run single against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on Sunday, May 1, 2022 in the Queens borough of New York City. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Call it a parting gift or call it a reminder, but if Dom Smith ends up getting optioned Monday, he made absolutely certain that the decision wasn’t an easy one.

Smith, one of the few non-regular starters with options left, could be a casualty of the May 2 roster shrinkage. But on Sunday night against the Phillies, he again proved that he handles himself just fine on a major-league baseball field, going 4-for-4 with three RBIs and a run in the Mets’ 10-6 win in the rubber game at Citi Field.

“It is what it is,” he said. “That’s one of those things that’s out of my control and, once again, all I can do is do what I did tonight, which is help the team win.”

The four hits tied a career high for Smith, who had six hits going into Sunday. The Mets had 15 hits, upping their team batting average to .262, good for second in MLB behind the Rockies.

Jeff McNeil also had four hits for the ninth time in his career,  going 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI.

The Mets have until noon Monday to shed two players, as MLB rosters must drop to 26 after starting at 28 to compensate for the shortened spring training. Buck Showalter said that barring unforeseen circumstances, the Mets likely will trim one pitcher and one position player.

Yoan Lopez left Sunday night with his suitcase, likely the pitcher to depart. Showalter said before the game that the Mets will factor in which players have options left in making their decisions.

 

That indicates the Mets are at least hesitant to release Robinson Cano, who has played in only 12 games and is hitting .195 in 41 at bats with 11 strikeouts.

The only non-starting position players with options are Smith, J.D. Davis and Luis Guillorme. Guillorme is the team’s only backup shortstop, and Davis, a strong righthanded bat off the bench, is an unlikely choice. Smith had been struggling, hitting .167 with four RBIs and 13 strikeouts going into Sunday’s audition video.

“It’s definitely going to be a very emotional day no matter who it is,” Smith said of the roster cuts. “It’ll be something to see. I think this team has really grown to love each other and love playing with each other, and tomorrow will be interesting.”

The Mets also could choose to designate Travis Jankowski for assignment, though the speedy Jankowski is hitting .318, can be a menace on the basepaths and is a solid defensive outfielder.

“It’s tough, period,” Showalter said. “It’s going to be painful. We’ve got some good players . . . There’s debate, a healthy debate about it. When you’re talking about good players, there’s not a right or wrong decision. One might be a little more right than the other.”

The Mets (16-7) have won a franchise-best seven straight series to start the season. Only the Diamondbacks have had a better start, winning their first nine series in 2018.

Smith’s contribution helped even out a shaky start by Max Scherzer, who fanned the first five Phillies but later was victimized by three homers — two by Kyle Schwarber and another by Bryce Harper. He allowed four runs in six innings with a walk and nine strikeouts. It was the first time he’d allowed three or more homers since April 2021.

Schwarber’s first blast came in the second, right after the five strikeouts: He cranked Scherzer’s 1-and-1 fastball 388 feet to right for the game’s first run. The Mets, though, erased that in the bottom of the inning.

Eduardo Escobar singled with one out and, with Escobar running, Smith singled to put runners at the corners. Starling Marte’s run-scoring groundout and Guillorme’s RBI double put the Mets up 2-1.

Schwarber hit a two-run homer in the fourth, giving him 16 home runs against the Mets in 36 games. No matter, though, not when Smith had something to prove. Escobar singled to lead off the fourth and Smith doubled into the rightfield corner to tie it at 3.

The Mets loaded the bases in the fifth before a passed ball allowed Francisco Lindor to score the go-ahead run. Smith’s two-run double put the Mets up 6-3.

Harper hit a 427-foot homer off Scherzer in the sixth to make it 6-4. Marte had a two-run single and Pete Alonso and McNeil also had RBI hits as the Mets scored four more in the seventh and eighth. The Phillies' Johan Camargo hit a two-run homer in the ninth.

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