Things were ugly for the Phils going into last night’s game, but they took it up to another level not many believed existed last night. In a string of games marked by spectacular failures by the bullpen, the Phillies saved their ugliest effort for last night as they fell to the Mets 10-6.
The Phillies again got a good effort from their starter, Cliff Lee this time, and started the top of the seventh with a 4-2 lead. Over the final three innings of the game, Kendrick, Contreras and Sanches allowed eight runs over three innings.
The game seemed to mark the turn of a major corner with the fans. There was a whole lot more booing and a whole lot more empty seats than you had seen at a home game in Philadelphia for a long time.
The Phillies are 14-18 on the year after losing to the Mets 10-6 last night. The Mets sweep the three-game series. The Phillies are four games under .500 for the first time since 2007. They have lost five of six.
Lee got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out six and his ERA rose to 2.17.
He set the Mets down in order in the first and again in the second.
He started the third up 1-0. Rob Johnson singled with one out. The pitcher Dillon Gee was next and he bunted, but Lee handled the bunt and threw to second to force Johnson for the second out. Lee walked Andres Torres on five pitches, putting men on first and second for Daniel Murphy. Murphy doubled to left, scoring Gee to tie the game at 1-1 and moving Torres up to third. David Wright hit the ball hard, but Polanco took it at third and threw to first to end the frame.
Scott Hairston singled off of Lee to start the fourth, but Lee struck Vinnie Rottino out looking for the first out and got Justin Turner to ground into a double-play behind him.
Lee started the fifth up 2-1 and struck out Johnson and Gee while setting the Mets down in order.
Torres led off the sixth and lined a ball into center field. Victorino made a sliding effort, but didn’t catch the ball as it got passed him and rolled for a while. Torres wound up with a triple. Lee struck Murphy out for the first out before Wright singled, scoring Torres to tie the game at 2-2. Lee got Hairston to ground into a double-play to end the inning.
Kendrick started the seventh with the Phils up 4-2. Lefty Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit for the righty Rottino and Kendrick walked him. Turner was next and doubled him home. 4-3. Davis followed that with another double, sending Turner to third. Kendrick walked Johnson on four pitches, loading the bases. Lefty Lucas Duda hit for the pitcher Tim Byrdak and Kendrick hit him, forcing Turner home to tie the game at 4-4. Torres hit a ground ball to second. Duda was forced at second for the first out, but Davis scored and the Mets led 5-4. With men on first and third, Kendrick got Murphy to hit into a double-play to end the frame.
Moral victory alert — Phils don’t bring in a lefty to give up an RBI-single to Duda, hitting him with a righty instead. It’s the little things.
I’m also grateful for this series for the opportunity to learn how to spell Nieuwenhuis. That can’t be a real name, can it? Someone just thought that up in a lab in an underground bunker somewhere, right? Right?
Manuel was so impressed with Kendrick’s work in the seventh that he let him start the eighth. Wright and Hairston doubled back-to-back with Hairston plating Wright to make it 6-4. Sensing there was nothing wrong with this situation that couldn’t be made worse by Jose Contreras, Manuel went with his gut and brought him on. Contreras struck out Nieuwenhuis (thank you people working overtime in the underground bunker!) for the first out before Turner had the devious foresight to hit a routine fly ball to right. Pence dropped it. No, really. He just was about to catch it and then, instead, didn’t. Like you or I might do in the same situation. Anyhow, Hairston was too stunned to move up to third, so it put men on first and second for Ike Davis to crush a ball way, way, really far out to right field, raising his average for the year to .179 and putting the Mets up 9-4. Johnson flew to right for the second out. Mike Baxter hit for the pitcher Manny Acosta and grounded to short.
I think it was at this point the Mets offered to play 16 innings this one time, just as a special treat to the fans, but the offer was rejected to allow us all a little more time to reflect fondly on the Danys Baez years and wonder if someway, somehow we could ever get him back.
Sanches started the ninth with the lead cut, temporarily, to 9-5. Cause why not? Torres homered (10-5), Murphy singled and Sanches got the next three.
Swear I’m not making this up: That was the best performance of any of the three relievers for the Phillies in the game.
Kendrick threw 30 pitches in the game, Contreras 20 and Sanches 13.
Overall, the pen went three innings in the game, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits and two walks. Of the three pitchers that appeared in relief for the Phils in the game, Kendrick has the best ERA for the season of the trio at 7.32.
The Phillies lineup against righty Dillon Gee went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Polanco (6) Mayberry (7) Schneider (8) Galvis. Nix, Ruiz and Wigginton all on the bench. Mayberry at first against the righty and Pierre in left. Schneider catches. Galvis plays second with the lefty Orr on the bench off a two-error night.
Pierre singled with out in the first, but Victorino and Polanco both went down behind him.
Schneider and Galvis singled back-to-back with two outs in the bottom of the second, putting runners on first and third for Lee. Lee reached on an infield single with everyone moving up a base. Schneider scored to make it 1-0. Rollins flew to center to leave Galvis at second.
The Phils went in order in the third with the score tied at 1-1.
Polanco and Mayberry singled back-to-back to start the fourth. Schneider grounded softly to first for the first out with the runners moving up to second and third. Galvis grounded softly to second for the second out with everyone moving up again. Polanco scored and the Phils led 2-1. Lee grounded to second for the third out.
Rollins singled to start the fifth, but the Phillies went in order behind him.
The game was tied at 2-2 when the Phils hit in the bottom of the sixth. Schneider singled with one out and came around to score when Galvis blasted a double off the wall in left. 3-2. Nix hit for Lee and singled into center, scoring Galvis and putting the Phils on top 4-2. Lefty Tim Byrdak took over for Gee. Ruiz ran for Nix at first. Rollins popped to second to end the inning.
Down 5-4, Pierre singled off of righty Manny Acosta to start the seventh. Victorino hit into a double-play behind him and Pence struck out swinging.
Down 9-4, Polanco singled off of righty Jon Rauch to start the eighth. Mayberry flew to right for the first out before Schneider moved Polanco up to second with a ground out. Galvis was next and tripled to right, scoring Polanco to cut the lead to 9-5. Orr hit for Contreras and struck out swinging to leave Galvis at third.
Down 10-5, Rollins singled off of righty DJ Carrasco to start the ninth. He moved up to second as Pierre struck out on a wild pitch. Victorino popped to short for the second out before Pence blasted a triple off the wall in right center, scoring Rollins to make it 10-6. Polanco grounded to short to end the game.
Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game and 4-for-14 with a double and a walk in the series. 230/279/270 for the season.
Pierre 2-for-5 with three strikeouts in the game. 4-for-10 with a walk in the series. 341/396/364 for the year.
Victorino 0-for-5 and left four men on base. 3-for-13 with two walks and a double in the set. 244/298/405 on the year.
Pence 1-for-5 with a triple last night. 2-for-13 with a walk, a triple and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 262/299/492 for the year. He leads the group of Pence, Victorino, Rollins, Thome, Galvis and Mayberry with a .299 on-base percentage for the year. The Phillies have 69 walks for the year, which is 29th of the 30 MLB teams (the Pirates have 66).
Polanco 2-for-5 yesterday and 4-for-12 with a double in the series. 275/307/321 on the year.
Mayberry 1-for-4 yesterday and 4-for-12 in the series. 225/233/268 on the year.
Schneider was 2-for-4. He’s hitting 231/259/231 for the year. 210/294/312 over the last three seasons with the Phils.
Galvis was 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and three RBI. The Phillies had three extra-base hits in the game and he had two of them. 3-for-8 in the series. 213/237/340 for the year. His isolated power for the season is now better than Wiggington’s. Galvis has nine extra-base hits in 99 plate appearances and is tied with Ruiz for the team lead in doubles with seven. Wigginton has five extra-base hits in 91 plate appearances.
Mercifully, the Phillies don’t play today. Vance Worley (2-2, 2.84) faces lefty Clayton Richard (1-4, 4.89) tomorrow night. Worley was hit hard by the Nats in his last outing, which was his worst start of the year. He allowed five runs over six innings. Richard has been tough against lefties this year (192/276/241), but righties have already hit five home runs against him while posting a 276/333/482 line.
Next post won’t be until Tuesday, 5/15.