NEW YORK – Jeremy Hellickson’s string of strong starts ended Saturday night in the Phillies’ 12-1 loss to the New York Mets.
The Phillies had just three hits and were overpowered by Mets starter Noah Syndergaard.
Hellickson was tagged for five runs, the most he’d given up in a start since June 10, in just four innings. All the runs came on a pair of homers.
The Mets have clubbed eight homers – good for 18 runs – in the first two games of the series.
Phillies starting pitchers have had a poor month of August. They have allowed 92 earned runs in 114 innings for a 7.26 ERA and given up a majors-high 33 homers.
The Phils have lost 13 of their last 17 at Citi Field. They are 9-21 against the Mets the last two seasons.
Starting pitching report
Hellickson entered the game with a 2.60 ERA in his previous 11 starts. He was victimized by the long ball in this one. All five of the runs he allowed over four innings came on home runs, a two-run shot and a three-run shot.
Hellickson is 10-8 with a 3.80 ERA in 26 starts this season.
By the way, Hellickson is staying for the remainder of the season. According to a baseball source, he was claimed on waivers this month and pulled back, making him ineligible for a trade.
Syndergaard’s fastball reached triple digits. He held the Phillies to two hits and a run over seven innings. He struck out seven. He is 12-7 with a 2.55 ERA.
David Hernandez relieved Hellickson and pitched two scoreless innings, but Michael Mariot was tagged for six runs in the seventh, four when he served up a grand slam.
At the plate
Freddy Galvis’ solo homer in the third inning was the Phillies’ offense.
Asdrubal Cabrera belted a two-run homer for the Mets in the third inning. Yoenis Cespedes smacked a three-run homer on a full-count pitch in the fourth. Cabrera has three homers in the first two games of the series.
Kelly Johnson cracked a pinch-hit grand slam to give the Mets a 10-run lead in the seventh. Neil Walker homered in the eighth.
A.J. Ellis, acquired from the Dodgers in the Carlos Ruiz trade, joined the club before the game. The veteran catcher is ready to offer some wisdom to the Phillies’ young pitchers (see story).
The series concludes on Sunday afternoon. Vince Velasquez (8-6, 4.31) pitches against Mets right-hander Robert Gsellman (1-0, 0.00). Gsellman will be making his first big-league start.