NEW YORK – Nick Williams looked back Wednesday night, briefly gazing into the right-center stands. Perhaps he wanted further confirmation that Brandon Nimmo’s home run — the one that sunk the Phillies in a 3-0 loss — had landed.
The Phillies fell at Citi Field in the 10th inning and had to settle for a series split with the Mets. Nimmo connected for a three-run homer off Mark Leiter Jr. after the reliever retired the first two batters he faced.
An extra-inning walk-off in Queens is a tough way to lose. But the Phillies can take some solace in knowing that they have just four games left until the all-star break and all four — one at Baltimore and three at Miami — are winnable. The Phillies have a chance to spend next week’s four-day respite with some confidence.
Amed Rosario started the rally off Leiter by dropping a double into left-center. He was the first Met to reach second base, unless you count the fan who ran onto the infield an inning earlier. Jose Reyes then worked a full-count walk. And then Nimmo finished it off.
The Phillies were shut out as they wasted the performance of Vince Velasquez, who started for the first time in 11 days and pitched six shutout innings. He was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day after leaving his last start when a line drive whacked him in the right arm and forced him to make a throw to first lefthanded.
He had use of his right arm Wednesday as he struck out three, walked one, and allowed just two hits. The Mets did not have a runner touch second base.
Velasquez went toe-to-toe with Jacob deGrom, one of baseball’s elite pitchers.
DeGrom pitched eight shutout innings, struck out seven, walked one, and allowed two hits. The Phillies could not figure him out. And Velasquez kept them alive. It was the type of night Velasquez needed. The debut of Enyel De Los Santos on Tuesday night at least showed the Phillies that they have a capable pitcher waiting at triple A. Velasquez watched the rookie’s debut from the dugout and perhaps found some inspiration.
The Phillies finally chased deGrom, but they had little luck in the ninth against Jeurys Familia. Robert Gsellman shut them down in the 10th when Andrew Knapp was caught in a rundown between second and third after Cesar Hernandez hit an infield single.
Pat Neshek handled the seventh and needed just nine pitches to retire the three batters he faced. Victor Arano picked up the first two outs of the seventh before Amed Rosario stole second. That allowed the Phillies to intentionally walk Asdrubal Cabrera and bring in lefthander Adam Morgan to force the lefthanded Michael Conforto to ground out. Seranthony Dominguez retired the three batters he faced in the ninth. The bullpen kept the Phillies in it. But they could do it for only so long.