Mets takeaways from Saturday's 7-5 loss to Phillies, including an up-and-down start from Jose Quintana

Sep 5, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jose Quintana (62) throws to the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park.

Jose Quintana struck out 10 batters but gave up six runs as the Mets fell to the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-5, on Saturday afternoon.

Here are the takeaways…

- Defense plagued both teams early on. In the second, DJ Stewart walked to leadoff the inning, then Ronny Mauricio hit a single to put a man in scoring position for Brett Baty. Baty hit a ball to Trea Turner but the shortstop tried to backhand a potential double play ball, which scooted by him and allowed Stewart to score. Kyle Schwarber was lackadaisical with his throw into the infield and the aggressive Mauricio made it home to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead.

In the bottom half, after a Bryce Harper solo homer, Francisco Lindor muffed a grounder allowing J.T. Realmuto to reach safely. Nick Castellanos then poked a hit toward Jeff McNeil in left field who got caught in between and allowed the ball to pass him and go to the wall. Realmuto scored as Castellanos landed on third with a triple and evened things up at two.

Jose Quintana was on the mound Saturday and put together an up-and-down outing. He had the free-swinging Phillies off balance with his off-speed stuff en route to 10 strikeouts -- a season-high -- and a lot of groundouts, but he was uncharacteristically bit by the home run ball. Harper’s 451-foot blast was accompanied by Alec Bohm’s 360-foot shot through the wind and rain in the third inning to give the Phils a 3-2 lead. It marked the first time in over a year that he gave up two homers in one game.

Things would unravel for the lefty in the fifth inning, as the Phillies would stack four hits to plate three runs and give themselves a 6-2 lead. The big hit came from a two-run single by Harper that was smoked and Pete Alonso had no chance of keeping in the infield.

Quintana's final line: six innings pitched (103 pitches), eight hits, six runs (five earned), 10 strikeouts.

- Aside from that second inning, the Mets had a hard time stacking hits against right-hander Zack Wheeler. The former Met would cruise until the seventh inning when the Mets got the first two men on. Brandon Nimmo came up with one out and lined a ball to center fielder Johan Rojas who misread it and had it go over his head and to the wall for a two-run triple. Nimmo would score on a sacrifice fly by Lindor to cut the Phillies lead to 6-5.

Philadelphia would get a run back in the bottom half of the seventh off of reliever Reed Garrett. Realmuto poked a two-out, opposite-field single with Bohm on third base to give the Phils a 7-5 lead.

- In the ninth, Francisco Alvarez -- pinch-hitting for Omar Narvaez -- flew out to lead off. Nimmo struck out looking and Lindor lined out to left field to end the game.

Stewart returned to the lineup Saturday after missing three games. He reached base three times (two walks and a HBP) and scored a run. Baty continued his hot hitting by going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Mauricio went 1-for-4 with a run while Mark Vientos finished 1-for-4 with a run scored as well.


What’s next

The Mets finish their four-game series with the Phillies on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.

Jose Butto (1-2, 3.09 ERA) will be on the mound for the Mets and he’ll go up against LHP Cristopher Sanchez (2-5, 3.55 ERA).