Jose Reyes’ nightmare early season continued on Tuesday night as the Mets third baseman dropped a potential inning-ending pop-up in the eighth inning. That error led to the tying run and the Mets went on to lose their fourth in a row, 6-2 to the Phillies in 10 innings at Citi Field.
The Phillies scored four runs in the 10th inning. But the real lowlight came in the eighth, courtesy of the struggling Reyes.
The Mets were leading 2-1 with two outs when Fernando Salas walked Cameron Rupp. Freddy Galvis followed with a pop-up to the third base side of the infield. Reyes, who was coming in, may have been distracted by catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Reyes, who had just crossed from foul to fair territory, watched the ball bang off his glove and squirt in the direction of the Mets dugout as Rupp took third.
“That was my ball,” Reyes said. “I have to catch that fly ball in that situation. That’s my ball.”
Said d’Arnaud: “After I took my eye off it, it pretty much ended up right where I was standing. I could have given him more room. Maybe me being right there might have distracted him.”
Mets manager Terry Collins brought in lefthander Jerry Blevins to face pinch hitter (and switch-hitter) Andres Blanco, who lined a 3-and-2 pitch over the head of Yoenis Cespedes in leftfield for what appeared to be a two-run, go-ahead double.
The ball, however, had hopped over the fence and came back into play. Collins challenged the call and a tidy 48 second replay review confirmed that Blanco had hit a ground-rule double to tie the game. Galvis was sent back to third, where he remained as Blevins retired Cesar Hernandez to end the inning with the game tied at 2.
Reyes committed another gaffe in the ninth when he strayed too far from first base on a pitch in the dirt. But he was saved when, after catcher Rupp fired to second, the throw from second baseman Hernandez hit Reyes in the back as he scrambled back to first.
Mercifully, Reyes was double-switched out of the game in the 10th. He went into the game batting .087 and has lost his leadoff spot. Reyes went 1-for-4 to raise his average to .100.
“It’s still early,” Reyes said. “I’m going to be better than this. It’s a tough moment right now. No one as a player wants to be like this. I want to do good. I want to help my ballclub as much as I can and that’s why I continue every day to work. That’s the only thing that I can do right now -- continue to work and when I get out of this slump get out of this slump for good.”
The Phillies scored four in the 10th against Rafael Montero (0-2) and Sean Gilmartin. Rupp had a go-ahead sacrifice fly, pinch hitter Aaron Altherr had an RBI single and Daniel Nava contributed a two-run single off Gilmartin. All four runs were charged to Montero.
The Mets (7-7) scored both of their runs in the first inning. They were held to four hits total by the Phillies (5-8) and made three errors. That was following a four-game series in Miami in which the Mets lost the final three games.
Mets starter Zack Wheeler allowed only one run, on a first-inning home run by Odubel Herrera. But Wheeler, in his third start back from Tommy John surgery, needed 99 pitches to get through five innings.
The Mets scored two in the bottom of the first off Phillies starter Zach Eflin on an RBI single by Jay Bruce and a wild pitch that scored Cespedes.