Mark Canha got a perfect read on a flare single to left and scored from second. Jeff McNeil saw a lazy throw coming in from the outfield, made a mad dash home and scored.
With two men in scoring position and none out, the highly taxed Chris Bassitt dug deep and pitched his way out of it.
These are things that winning baseball teams do, and they can be seen on an almost daily basis when the Mets are playing.
Those were just three of the highlights on Sunday as the Mets blanked the Phillies for the second straight day in a 6-0 victory before 40,513 at Citi Field.
The Mets have won eight of nine and 17 of 20 and — perhaps most important — continued to assert their superiority over those chasing them in the NL East. In the just-concluded homestand, they won four of five against Atlanta and two of three against the Phillies.
Their lead in the NL East stands at 5 ½ games over second-place Atlanta and 11 ½ over third-place Philadelphia.
Speaking of the Mets’ aggressiveness on the bases, Canha said, “Those are the quote-unquote little things, and doing the little things over the course of a season can be the difference between the good teams and the mediocre teams. The good teams respect the game and do the little things right.”
Bassitt (10-7) threw five innings as an encore to his 114-pitch, eight-inning outing last Monday. The righthander hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 24 innings, including the 20 he’s pitched in his last three starts.
Bassitt allowed four hits and two walks with five strikeouts, but his best stat in the performance was this: The Phillies were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position against him.
Bassitt also extended the roll of the starting rotation since Jacob deGrom’s Aug. 2 return. In 13 games at full strength, the rotation is 10-1 with a 2.26 ERA. Bassitt, deGrom and Max Scherzer held the Phillies’ formidable lineup to one run in 18 innings in the series.
“To me, the story of the series: how our guys pitched,” manager Buck Showalter said. “They were just solid.”
“It’s no secret how good our pitching staff is, especially when you have Jake and Max,” Bassitt said. “[This] is kind of what we’re built for and we’re going to face really good lineups, hopefully in the playoffs.”
Amid so many Mets positives on the day, there was one negative: Luis Guillorme left the game after four innings with left groin tightness and will go for medical imaging tests on Monday.
The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Francisco Lindor’s run-scoring flare single to right, which gave him 82 RBIs and allowed him to break a tie with Jose Reyes (2006) for the franchise record for shortstops.
The Mets broke things open with an eventful four-run fourth.
Pete Alonso’s one-out double into the leftfield corner got it started. Canha hit a two-out single to rightfield and Alonso scored with a headfirst slide just ahead of the throw, with Canha alertly taking second on the bid to get Alonso. Guillorme fisted a single to left and Canha was able to score.
McNeil drew a walk, and that’s when things got interesting. James McCann hit a bloop single to centerfield to drive in Guillorme and send McNeil to third. When Philadelphia centerfielder Brandon Marsh inexplicably lobbed the ball back in to second baseman Jean Segura, McNeil made his break for home. Segura made a solid one-hop throw that likely would have cut McNeil down, but catcher J.T. Realmuto couldn’t glove it.
“Going first to third, the first thing you do at third is pick up the ball,” McNeil said. “I picked up the ball and saw they weren’t paying too much attention and thought it was a pretty good chance to make it and put some pressure on the defense.”
Daniel Vogelbach led off the sixth with a home run to complete the Mets’ scoring.
After Bassitt exited with the 5-0 lead after 97 pitches and five innings, Trevor Williams tossed two scoreless innings before Mychal Givens threw a scoreless eighth.
In the ninth, Joely Rodriguez got two outs but loaded the bases. Adam Ottavino finished off the Phillies by getting Alec Bohm on a called third strike.