Starting pitching and two big swings of the bat from Greg Dobbs were the story of the Phils’ series with the Mets. The story started out well but didn’t have the happy ending that Phillies fans were hoping for.

Dobbs provided most of the offense as the Phils won games one and two of the set, clubbing a two-run homer in the seventh inning of game one and a three-run shot in the fourth inning of the first game of yesterday’s double-header. Given the amazing starting pitching the Phils got in games one and two of the series, that was just about all the Phillies needed. Myers and Moyer combined to go 15 shutout innings, allowing five hits and five walks.

Starting pitching was sadly also the story of last night’s game for the Phils, as Cole Hamels simply couldn’t get it done as the Phils tried to climb back even with the Mets atop the NL East. Hamels went just five innings, allowing five runs. Carlos Delgado found time to hit two monstrous home runs against him in his short outing.

Overall it was a good series with a disappointing ending for the Phils. They put themselves in position to sweep, but just couldn’t do it as Santana outpitched Hamels in the finale. The Phils remain in the thick of the race, but the outing by their ace Hamels has to be cause for concern — the 24-year-old remains atop the National League in innings pitched as the Phils head down the stretch.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets last night, falling 6-3 to drop to 78-65 on the season. The Phils take the series two games to one but trail the Mets by two games in the NL East.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk. Only four of the runs were earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs. He struck out six.

Hamels started the first with a 1-0 lead. He got Jose Reyes to pop to Utley for the first out. Ryan Church followed with a single to left. Hamels got ahead of David Wright, but as Wright swung at an 0-2 pitch his bat clipped the tip of Coste’s glove. Coste was called for catcher’s interference and Manuel was ejected arguing the call. With men on first and second, Beltran singled into left and Church scored from second to tie the game at 1-1. With men on second and third, Carlos Delgado singled into center and both runners scored to put the Mets up 3-1. Fernando Tatis was next and hit a ground ball to short. Delgado was forced at second for the second out. Hamels struck out Damion Easley for the third out.

With one out in the second, pitcher Johan Santana hit a ball down the line and off of Feliz’s glove for a single. Reyes followed with a ground ball to short. Rollins fielded and tossed to Utley, but Utley took the toss way off the bag and didn’t get the call at second. Utley was charged with an error and the Mets had men on first and second. Church was next and he dribbled a ball between the mound and short for a single that loaded the bases. Hamels got behind Wright 2-0, but came back to strike him out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Beltran popped to first to leave the bases loaded.

Big strikeout for Hamels, getting Wright with one out and the bases loaded after getting behind 2-0.

Delgado started the third and pounded an 0-2 pitch out to right. 4-2 Mets. Hamels got the next two before Schneider singled to center. Santana grounded to third to end the inning.

Hamels had thrown 78 pitches through three innings.

He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Hamels got the first out in the fifth before Delgado hit another long homer out to right on the first pitch of his at-bat, putting the Mets up 5-2. Tatis grounded to third for the second out before Easley hit a ball over Burrell’s head for a double. Hamels walked Brian Schneider intentionally to put men on first and second and pitch to the pitcher. He struck Santana out to end the inning.

Still hate walking Schneider intentionally. Hate it more with a lefty on the mound.

Condrey started the sixth with the Phillies down 5-2. Hamels had thrown 110 pitches. Condrey threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Seanez threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Seanez started the eighth and gave up a leadoff triple to Easley. Easley came in to score when Schneider followed with a sac fly to right, putting the Mets up 6-2. Seanez got the next two.

One run over three innings for the pen. They allowed one hit, the triple, and struck out three. Seanez needed 29 pitches to throw his two innings, Condrey threw just nine.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Johan Santana went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Werth hits third against the lefty despite coming into the game 3-for-his-last-17. Burrell (3-for-his-last-21) hits fifth with Victorino sixth against the lefty. Feliz at third and Coste catches.

Utley singled with one out in the first. Werth followed with a walk. Howard was next and he laced a single into left and Utley scored to put the Phils up 1-0 with Werth going to second. Burrell struck out looking 3-2 and Victorino flew to center.

Burrell is having a pretty rough go of it.

Coste walked with one out in the second. Hamels bunted back to the pitcher and Santana threw to second to force Coste. Rollins grounded to third for the third out.

With two outs in the third, Howard blasted the first pitch of his at-bat out to left. It was his 40th home run of the season and it cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2. Burrell struck out for the third out.

1-2-3 in the fourth and 1-2-3 again in the fifth. Hamels hit for himself to start the fifth, having thrown 88 pitches with the Phils down 4-2.

Burrell walked with two outs in the sixth. Victorino flew to right for the third out.

Feliz singled to right to start the seventh with the Phils down 5-2. Coste flew to center for the first out and Ruiz hit for Condrey with Santana still on the mound for the Mets. Ruiz grounded to third and Feliz was forced at second for the second out. Rollins lined to third to end the frame.

Werth doubled with one out in the eighth. Howard moved him to third with a ground out before Burrell grounded to short to end the frame.

Victorino led off the ninth with the Phils down 6-2 and hit a ground ball out in front of the plate. Schneider jumped on it, but was charged with an error on his throw to first, allowing Victorino to go to second. Dobbs hit for Feliz with righty Luis Ayala on the mound and flew to center for the first out. Stairs hit for Coste and reached on an infield single to third that moved Victorino to third. Andy Tracy hit for Seanez and new Phillie Tad Iguchi ran for Stairs at first. Tracy hit a fly ball to left for the second out, Victorino tagged and scored to make it 6-3. Ayala struck out Rollins to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-5 in the game. 2-for-14 with a double in the series. 270/335/432 for the season.

Utley 1-for-4 in the game. 1-for-11 in the series. 289/377/541 for the year.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-9 with a double and two walks in the series. 277/376/513.

Howard 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. It was his 40th of the season and he has driven in 121. 3-for-10 in the series. He’s hitting 237/326/506 for the year.

Burrell was 0-for-3 with a walk. 2-for-10 in the series. 253/370/513 for the year. After hitting .181 in August, he’s hitting .133 in September.

Victorino was 1-for-4. 3-for-13 in the set. 280/343/424 for the year.

Feliz was 1-for-3 in the game and 1-for-4 in the series. He’s hitting 250/298/406 for the season. Dobbs 0-for-1 in the game and 4-for-8 with a double, two home runs and five RBI in the series. 299/333/482 for the year.

Coste 0-for-2. 0-for-5 in the series. 270/325/438 on the season and 0-for-10 in September. Ruiz was 0-for-1 in the game and 3-for-5 with a double in the series. 227/323/300 for the year.

In the first game the Phils beat the Mets 6-2 to improve to 78-64 on the season.

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and three walks. Both of the hits were singles and he dropped his ERA to 3.64 on the season.

He threw a 1-2-3 first.

He started the second with a 2-0 lead. He walked Tatis with two outs, but Easley grounded to third for the third out.

Robinson Cancel bunted to third for a hit, the first of the game by the Mets, to start the third. Pitcher Pedro Martinez bunted Cancel to second for the first out. Reyes grounded to Dobbs for the second out with Cancel holding second. Moyer walked Nick Evans to put men on first and second, but Wright flew to right to end the inning.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 fourth, getting the second out on a hard ground ball to first by Delgado that Howard made a nice play on.

He walked Cancel with one out in the fifth, but got the next two.

With the Phils up 6-0, Moyer threw a 1-2-3 sixth. Golson, who hit for Stairs in the top of the inning, played center with Victorino moving to right.

Easley reached on an infield single with two outs in the seventh. Cancel grounded to second for the third out.

Eyre started the eighth with the Phils up 6-0. He struck out pinch-hitter Argenis Reyes for the first out and got Jose Reyes on a fly ball to right for the second. Nick Evans doubled to center and Wright followed with a double to left, scoring Evans to make it 6-1. Beltran was next and split the gap in left-center with a double. Werth tried to pick the ball up, but dropped it, and Golson picked it up and threw a little wildly into the infield. Beltran went to third and Wright scored to make it 6-2. Golson got a tough error, they didn’t have a chance to get Beltran at third anyway. Eyre struck out Delgado to end the inning.

Back-to-back-to-back doubles by Eyre wasn’t that impressive.

Madson started the ninth up 6-2. He struck out Tatis for the first out before Easley singled. Lefty Daniel Murphy hit for Cancel and Romero came in to pitch to him. Murphy hit into a double-play to end the game.

Two innings, two runs for the pen. Eyre was hit hard, Madson struck one out and gave up a single and Romero got the double-play. Eyre threw 28 pitches, Madson and Romero both under ten.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Pedro Martinez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Dobbs (7) Stairs (8) Ruiz. Dobbs starts at third against the righty even with Moyer on the mound — Manuel has often gone with his best defensive option at third in games that Moyer has started. Burrell on the bench with Werth in left and Stairs in right. Ruiz catches.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first.

Werth walked with one out in the second and went to third when Dobbs followed with a double. Stairs hit a fly ball to right for the second out. It was deep enough for Werth to tag and score and the Phils led 1-0. Ruiz was next and he lined a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. Dobbs scored and it was 2-0. Moyer grounded out for the third out.

Big two-out hit for Ruiz.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third.

Howard led off the fourth with a double. Werth followed and blooped a single into left, moving Howard to third. Dobbs was next and drove an 0-1 pitch into right center and just out for a three-run homer that put the Phils up 5-0. Stairs flew to right for the first out before Ruiz doubled down the right field line. Moyer dribbled a ball back to the mound for the second out and Ruiz went to third. Rollins blooped a double between Reyes and Evans in left and Ruiz scored, making it 6-0. Victorino grounded to second for the third out.

1-2-3 fifth.

1-2-3 sixth. Golson hit for Stairs with one out and Scott Schoeneweis and struck out swinging 0-2 in his first career at-bat.

Moyer led off the seventh with a walk. Rollins hit into a double-play behind him. Victorino followed with a single and a walk to Utley put men on first and second for Howard, but Howard struck out to leave both men stranded.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth.

Ruiz started the ninth with a single. Feliz moved him to second with a ground out and Rollins moved him to third with another. Victorino fouled out to the catcher to leave him stranded.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

Victorino 1-for-5.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk.

Howard 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts.

Werth 1-for-3 with a walk.

Dobbs 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI.

Stairs 0-for-1 with an RBI.

Ruiz 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.79) faces righty Anibal Sanchez (2-3, 5.54) tonight. Over his last three starts, Sanchez has allowed 14 runs in 14 1/3 innings. Lefties are hitting .365 against him for the season, righties .189. Blanton has gone six innings in just one of his last five starts. In his last three starts he has walked 11 in 15 2/3 innings.