NEW YORK -- On the night of J.P. Crawford's debut, it was another Phillies rookie who made the most significant impact at Citi Field. Pitcher Ben Lively homered and drove in four runs, also pitching seven effective innings in a 9-1 win Tuesday night over the Mets.
Lively hit a two-run homer to key a six-run fourth for the Phillies, and singled home two in the second to double his career RBI total. All of that offense came against Mets starter Jacob deGrom, whose fringe National League Cy Young Award candidacy took a hit when he allowed a career-high nine runs (six earned) in 3 2/3 innings.
"No excuses," deGrom said. "I was just terrible tonight."
"I remember last game I couldn't even sniff his fastball or his slider," Lively said, discussing his home run against deGrom. "I was like, 'All right, he threw me all fastballs [in the second] and here comes a slider and it was just up. I've thrown those pitches, too."
Aside from Lively's offense, the Phillies received a three-run double from Nick Williams and an RBI single from Odubel Herrera in the fourth.
Crawford finished 1-for-5 in his big league debut, leading off the fifth with a single for his first career hit.
The result was plenty of cushion for Lively, who held the Mets to nothing more than a Travis d'Arnaud run-scoring double in seven innings. Lively submitted his third quality start in his last four outings, improving to 3-5 with a 3.92 ERA.
The Mets' loss, combined with Washington's win over the Marlins, mathematically eliminated the Mets from NL East contention. New York has won the division just once in the past 11 seasons.
Meanwhile, the Phillies' victory improved them to 53-85 (.384), which is no longer the worst record in the Majors. The Giants hold that mark at 54-87 (.383).
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Six-pack: For the first time this season and just the third time in his four-year career, deGrom was unable to complete four innings. The Phillies already had three runs home in the fourth when deGrom walked Rhys Hoskins to load the bases with two outs, prompting Mets manager Terry Collins to call Josh Smoker out of the bullpen. Williams walloped Smoker's second pitch to center for a bases-clearing double, giving the Phillies a 9-1 lead.
"I've got to make better pitches," deGrom said. "It's unacceptable. You leave balls over the middle and up to big league hitters, they're going to score runs off you."
Friendly fire: Crawford's first career plate appearance ended with a ground ball to first base, where one of his best childhood friends, Mets first baseman Dominic Smith, fielded it cleanly. But in his attempt to start an inning-ending double play, Smith fired offline to second base for a throwing error. Crawford and Hyun Soo Kim were both safe, and the Phillies went on to score three runs in the inning.
"Anytime Jake's pitching and he loses it, it's a surprise. He normally doesn't do that." -- Collins, on deGrom's struggles after striking out the side in the first
"I hit it pretty well. Right when I hit it I was like, 'Oh, that's hit pretty well." -- Lively, on if he immediately knew he had homered
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Lively became the first Phillies pitcher with four RBIs in a game since Cliff Lee in 2013, and the first with multiple home runs in a season since Lee in 2011. The last Phillies pitcher to hit three in a season was Randy Wolf back in 2004.
WHAT'S NEXT Phillies: Rookie Nick Pivetta (5-9, 6.28 ERA) faces the Mets in Wednesday night's series finale at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m. ET. Pivetta posted an 11.57 ERA in five starts in August, but he allowed just one run in six innings in his first start of September last week against the Marlins.
Mets: The Mets initially scheduled Matt Harvey to return to the mound on short rest Wednesday, but eventually thought better of it. Instead, either Robert Gsellman or Tommy Milone will pitch for the Mets in the 7:10 p.m. series finale at Citi Field.