Tom Seaver’s 51-year record bent, but it did not break. The Mets did the same.
Although Phillies starter Aaron Nola matched Seaver’s consecutive strikeout streak Friday, he did not exceed it, and though the Mets were down to their final out in Game 1 of their doubleheader, they did not crack.
Fracisco Lindor hit a two-out RBI single to tie the game in the seventh, and Dominic Smith singled in the bonus runner in the eighth, as the Mets scraped together a 2-1 win in extra innings at Citi Field.
Ranger Suarez intentionally walked Pete Alonso to kick off the eighth, putting two runners on, and Smith lined a clean single to centerfield to win the game and spark the celebratory mob at second base.
Before that, Nola was flirting with history, making effective use of his curveball and changeup to strike out 10 straight batters from the first to fourth innings. The last one, a swinging strikeout of Michael Conforto, matched Seaver’s mark, which was set in 1970. Alonso, though, went fishing to keep it there. He poked a sinker low and out of the zone for a double with two outs in the fourth to ensure the Franchise’s record wasn’t erased with help from his own franchise.
Nola ended up tying his career high with 12 strikeouts.
Taijuan Walker pitched well against the Phillies lineup — until it came to the nine slot. Two of the three hits against him were by Nola, who doubled with a runner on in the fifth to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Nola entered the game hitting just .130. Walker allowed that single run over five innings, with one walk and five strikeouts as he continues to be a welcome addition to an ailing rotation that needs him. His ERA dropped to 2.38.
The Mets’ best chance came when they loaded the bases in the sixth. Nola hit Francisco Lindor to lead off the inning and one out later he walked Pete Alonso, his last batter. Jose Alvarado came in to pitch and both runners advanced on a double steal. Dom Smith walked to load the bases, but James McCann struck out swinging and Kevin Pillar hit into the force out at second to end the threat.
Luis Guillorme kicked off the seventh with a comebacker to the mound, but Alvarado threw it away for a two-base error. He advanced to third on a grounder to second and then, with two outs, Lindor singled to left to tie the game at 1.
Aaron Nola tied Tom Seaver’s record of 10 consecutive strikeouts set in 1970 against the Padres. Nola’s victims:
1. Michael Conforto Swinging
2. Pete Alonso Swinging
3. Dom Smith Looking
4. James McCann Looking
5. Kevin Pillar Swinging
6. Luis Guillorme Looking
7. Taijuan Walker Looking
8. Jeff McNeil Swinging
9. Francisco Lindor Swinging
10. Michael Conforto Swinging