PHILADELPHIA (AP) Alec Bohm is used to teams intentionally walking Phillies slugger Bryce Harper in big spots to get him. Even Bohm concedes the move makes sense, teams simply don't want to get beat by the two-time NL MVP.
So it looks like teams such as the Mets are going to get beat by Bohm instead.
Bohm followed an intentional walk to Harper with an RBI single in the 10th, J.T. Realmuto hit a three-run homer in the sixth and the Philadelphia Phillies moved closer to their second straight playoff appearance with a 5-4 win over the New York Mets on Friday night.
Bohm drove in automatic runner Trea Turner with a single to right off Adam Ottavino (1-6).
“I feel pretty good about him getting it done,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said.
Phillies reliever Craig Kimbrel blew his fourth save of the season when Brett Baty took the closer deep in the ninth on a one-out tying solo shot to center that made it 4-all.
Baty's dramatics were all the Mets could muster in the extra innings and they were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. The final swing that did them in came when Pete Alonso waved at strike three in the dirt against Seranthony Domínguez (5-5) that left the bases loaded in the 10th.
Behind a solid outing from Taijuan Walker, the defending NL champion Phillies moved their magic number to clinch a playoff berth to four. The Phillies, winners of six of eight, are four game ahead of Arizona for the first NL wild card.
“As much as you want to scoreboard watch and see how other teams are doing, we're in a good position to just worry about ourselves,” Bohm said.
Realmuto’s homer off Mets starter Tylor Megill not only sent another packed house into a frenzy, it gave banged-up baserunner Harper an easy trot home.
Harper started the rally when Megill skipped a curveball that plunked the slugger’s left knee. Harper appeared in discomfort as he took his base, and seemed pained when his knee clocked second base on a slide off Bohm’s infield single. Thomson stood atop the dugout steps as he would when considering a pitching change, momentarily concerned as Harper bounced on the bag and tested his knee.
Realmuto took care of any further baserunning when he blasted his 20th homer into the left field seats.
Kyle Schwarber added an RBI single for his 100th RBI of the season in the seventh for a 4-2 lead.
Walker gave the Phillies what they needed to see as the right-hander tries down the stretch to shake off a string of so-so outings and solidify his spot in the postseason rotation.
Walker struck out four, gave up two runs and thwarted a rally when he picked off a baserunner at second base in the fifth. He gave up Alonso’s RBI double in the first and Brandon Nimmo’s RBI single in the fifth that made it 2-0.
Nimmo tied a career high with 64 RBIs.
“Brandon's a splendid player like he is,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “He's always attacking something. Little more power this year. He's a guy that's a really good self-evaluator.”
Francisco Lindor made it 4-3 on a solo shot in the eighth for the Mets.
The Phillies have their postseason horse in ace Zack Wheeler, and Aaron Nola shows recent signs of rounding into postseason form. Walker, though, had allowed at least three runs in each of his last seven starts -- 11 over 12 1/3 innings in his last two. In a three-game playoff series, the Phillies could use lefty Ranger Suárez. Walker has started 193 out of 197 big league appearances making an extended stretch out of the bullpen unlikely. With a couple more starts like this one over the final few weeks, Walker may not be a question mark come October.
“It's one of those things where it's whatever the team needs,” Walker said. “Start, relief, one inning, multiple innings, whatever it is. It's all hands on deck and whatever's needed.”
WELCOME TO THE TEAM
The Phillies called up RHP Orion Kerkering from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He was selected by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2022 draft. The 22-year-old Kerkering went 4-1 with 14 saves and a 1.51 ERA across 49 relief appearances with four different minor league teams this season.
Kerkering is eligible for the postseason.
WALL OF FAME
The Phillies inducted former third baseman Scott Rolen into the team's Wall of Fame. Rolen, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July, spent parts of the first seven seasons of his 17-year major league career with the Phillies.
He hit .282 with a .373 on-base percentage and a .504 slugging percentage. He had 207 doubles, 150 home runs, 559 RBIs, 426 walks, 533 runs and 71 stolen bases with the Phillies.
The Mets will send LHP Jose Quintana (3-5, 3.02 ERA) to the mound against Phillies RHP Zack Wheeler (12-6, 3.63 ERA).
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