Bullpen comes through again as Phillies top Mets

Realmuto helps Phillies to win
On a night when the Phillies were facing arguably the best pitcher in baseball in the Mets' Jacob deGrom, it was their bullpen that again stole the show in 5-3 win at Citizens Bank Park. 

Aside from a blip in the ninth, Phillies relievers combined to allow just one run over 5 2/3 innings while collecting seven strikeouts and not issuing a walk. Jose Alvarado surrendered the lone run after giving up three hits in the final frame, but he managed to secure his first save of the season. Connor Brogdon took the win, tossing a scoreless eighth. 

Brandon Kintzler didn't pitch in the Atlanta series, so he was fresh on Monday night. That was a good thing for the Phillies as he induced an inning-ending double play to get limit the damage in the fourth and tossed a scoreless fifth. 

"I can't say enough about what Kintzler did," manager Joe Girardi said. "That game could have gotten away from us."  

The Mets jumped on starter Matt Moore early, forcing him to throw 31 pitches in the third. Things got worse in the fourth as the Mets worked a pair of walks to open the frame and eventually jumped ahead with a 2-0 lead. Moore left with one out in the fourth with the bases loaded. 

Enter Kintzler. 

"Obviously, bases loaded, it's 2-0, and if it turns into a four- or five-run inning with deGrom on the mound, the game is pretty much over," Kintzler said. "Obviously, my job is to get a double play right there, or at least limit the damage. I think I had a really good sinker going. It's a good matchup for me and it worked out." 

Kintzler joined the Phillies this winter via a minor-league deal. At 36-years-old, he has had plenty of big-league experience and has dealt with pressure situations. 

"It changes the whole complexion," Girardi said. "He's used to being a closer and coming in in tough situations, and in a sense, that was the biggest situation in the game. You may not always think that in the fourth inning, but it turned out to probably be the biggest situation in the game." 

The Phillies bats came alive in the eighth, hanging a five-spot on the Mets bullpen to pull ahead. J.T. Realmuto delivered the game-tying base hit and Didi Gregorius hit a sacrifice fly to push in another run. 

Rhys Hoskins paced the offense with a pair of hits. 

The storyline though was the bullpen. Four games in and relievers have surrendered just one run over 13 innings. 

"Just being able to keep us in the game," Bryce Harper said. "I think that is going to be the theme this year. Just keep us in it. We're going to battle." 

The two clubs resume their three-game set on Tuesday night with Chase Anderson making his Phillies debut. The Mets counter with veteran Marcus Stoman. 
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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