Phillies fans experience déjà vu in win against deGrom, Mets

Former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler #19 takes the ball from Aaron Nola #27 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler #19 takes the ball from Aaron Nola #27 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Phillies comeback win Monday evening against their division-rival New York Mets likely yielded much déjà vu.

Perennial Cy Young Award candidate Jacob deGrom was cruising through six scoreless innings against the Phillies, needing only 77 pitches and striking out seven. Then, Mets manager Luis Rojas pulled what many fans attributed to a “Gabe Kapler move,” taking out the right-hander — who still was throwing 100-plus mile per hour pitches — in favor of the bullpen.

The 5-3 thrilling Phillies win against the Mets resembled their 2018 opener.

A 2-0 Mets lead quickly turned into a 5-2 Phillies advantage in the eighth, when the latter team rallied for five runs against a pair of familiar faces — Trevor May, one of their former prospects who was traded for Ben Revere, and Aaron Loup, among the many midseason acquisitions Matt Klentak made a couple of seasons ago.

Since the game was the season opener for the Mets, due to their first series against the Washington Nationals being postponed due to COVID-19 protocols, this move resembles Kapler taking Aaron Nola out of the Phillies’ 2018 Opening Day contest against the Atlanta Braves.

Nola similarly was dominant, as through 5 1/3 scoreless frames, he had allowed only three hits and one walk. In his first game managing the Phillies, Kapler took out Nola out of caution. The very next batter, Freddie Freeman, hit a two-run home run against left-hander Hoby Milner. The Phillies wound up losing the game, 8-5.

After Monday’s game, the Mets manager said he took deGrom out after six innings since he wanted to protect him, as he had not thrown to hitters in 10 days.

Through four games, manager Joe Girardi‘s squad remain the only undefeated team in Major League Baseball — other than the Nationals who have yet to play a game. Bryce Harper‘s former team is expected to get their season underway on Tuesday opposite the Atlanta Braves, who the Phillies swept this past weekend.

There are still plenty of games to go, but the Phils surely are bringing much excitement early on.

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