The Mets' Jose Iglesias is greeted in the dugout after scoring...

The Mets' Jose Iglesias is greeted in the dugout after scoring on a pass ball by Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto during the ninth inning in a London Series game at The London Stadium on Sunday. Credit: AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

LONDON — At the end of another wild ninth inning and the Mets’ 6-5 win over the Phillies, amid their high-fives and concern for catcher Luis Torrens, London Stadium provided a piece of home Sunday: “New York Groove,” their celebration song originally performed by an English band, blaring over the sound system.

Somehow the Mets pulled off a split of the two-game London Series, the franchise’s first venture to Europe. They lost thoroughly Saturday and won barely Sunday via a come-from-behind top of the final frame and a hold-on-tight bottom half.

A doozy of a final play was one of their biggest all season, given its unusual nature and the moment. With the bases loaded and the potential winning run at second base, Torrens turned Nick Castellanos’ broken-bat dribbler in front of home plate into a double play, stepping on the plate and throwing to first. Pete Alonso, lunging onto the fair side of the bag, picked the ball as he fell to his knees.

Afterward, the Mets seemed as relieved as they were pleased.

“That was wild,” said Jeff McNeil, who went 2-for-4 in his first game in a week. “I feel like we play a lot of games like that against the Phillies.”

Brandon Nimmo said: “We’re due for a little bit of payback on being able to come back on them.”

The ninth inning lasted 36 minutes.


It began with “a little bit of help,” as Nimmo put it, from Phillies closer Jose Alvarado, who entered with a one-run lead and imploded. The Mets hit the ball beyond the infield once on the way to plating three runs. They scored on a weak single, a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded and a passed ball.

Each of those runs turned out to be important, because Reed Garrett — who recorded five outs across parts of three innings — allowed two of the first three batters to reach base. Manager Carlos Mendoza turned to Drew Smith, who gave up a single by Bryce Harper and issued a bases-loaded walk to Alec Bohm to make it a one-run game.

“That’s what you live for as a reliever,” Smith said. “I would’ve loved to come in and strike out Harper and strike out Bohm and be done with it. That’s the ideal situation. I made it a little tougher on myself but made some pitches when I needed to and came through. That’s what it’s all about.”

On the Torrens/Castellanos play, Garrett Stubbs — coming in hard from third — spiked Torrens on the left foot after he released his throw to first.

“I don’t know the intentions that he had,” Torrens, who wound up being fine, said through an interpreter. “But the important thing is that we got the double play and got the win.”

Nimmo said: “Unbelievable play. Really heads-up in a pressure situation.”

And Mendoza: “I don’t think I’ve seen it before .  .  . Pretty impressive play.”

All that happened in front of a loud, engaged crowd of an announced 55,074.

Nimmo called it “definitely a playoff atmosphere” but pooh-poohed the idea that this win and trip might serve as a spark for the Mets (28-36). They’ve won six of their past nine games.

“Well, so, we just swept the Nationals, too,” Nimmo said. “Are we looking for a spark? Or are we just looking to build on things? In my opinion, we’re looking to continue to build. We’ve been playing much better baseball for the last two weeksf.”

The Phillies (45-20) jumped ahead early with three runs off Jose Quintana (3 2⁄3 innings). The Mets got it all back with a three-run rally in the sixth, a sequence punctuated by J.D. Martinez’s two-run single.

Then the Mets made it interesting in the ninth, as they are wont to do, for better or for worse.

“And it took everybody being a part of it,” Nimmo said. “It took till the last out.”


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