PHILADELPHIA — The Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were already familiar with each other, as division rivals, but on Sunday, as they entered extra innings for the third time in three days, they seemed to understand each other on a deeper, more intimate level.
Both looked vulnerable and spent, like two boxers wrapped up, leaning on each other near the end of a long fight.
It took a reserve, someone fresh, to finally end the game in the 11th inning: Lucas Duda, who had come on in the 10th and who hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat to lift the Mets to a 4-3 victory at Citizens Bank Park.
“I was just glad I could contribute,” Duda said.
Thus ended an odd and unsightly three days of baseball between two middling teams. The last time two major league teams had played three straight games lasting 11 or more innings was in 1991. On only three previous occasions had the Mets played three consecutive extra-inning games, most recently in 2001.
Each of the Mets’ two previous games had gone 14 innings and lasted more than 5 hours 20 minutes. Each dragged on and became increasingly hard to watch, with neither team seeming capable of doing more than going through the motions until the other made a fatal mistake.