PHILADELPHIA — Three batters into Sunday’s start, it looked as if it might be a very short night’s work for Mets starter David Peterson.
After the second-year lefty was tagged for a leadoff home run, he permitted the next two batters to reach base safely. Peterson rebounded from that rocky start to record the next 15 outs without allowing another run to score. His five innings of one-run ball ultimately did not go to waste, as the Mets’ rallied from a late bullpen-induced deficit and then barely held on in the final inning for a wild 8-7 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
“He started the game a little shaky, but he was able to make the adjustment. And we’ve seen that with Peterson,” Luis Rojas said after the game. “This kid, his poise is unbelievable. I know he has the tools to be a really good pitcher, and he’s shown it, but the start of the game, you guys saw it, this is adversity happening right away.
“To be able to bounce back from that start and give us what he gave us, it just the poise and what he can do out there. This kid, when he gets punched in the face, I think he gets better.”
The 25-year-old Peterson was rocked for a 445-foot home run to left-center by Phillies leadoff man Andrew McCutchen in the first. He followed that up with a walk to Rhys Hoskins before Bryce Harper laced a single to left, prompting an early mound visit by pitching coach Jeremy Hefner.
Peterson responded by striking out cleanup batter J.T. Realmuto before second baseman Jeff McNeil made a sprawling stab of Alec Bohm’s smash up the middle, flipping it to shortstop Francisco Lindor to start an inning-ending double play.
Peterson (4.81 ERA) was reached for just two more singles over his five frames and finished with eight strikeouts, fanning five in a row over the second and third innings. He departed after completing the fifth (88 pitches) with a 2-1 lead.
“I think being able to respond to that was the biggest thing I could do,” Peterson said, “and being to tell myself that was all they were gonna get and limit the damage.”
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