The Phillies battled Mets’s All-Star RA Dickey all night last night and by the time the ninth inning rolled around it looked like they had won. They gave Papelbon the ball and a 5-4 lead and he didn’t get it done. The closer allowed a pair of runs and the Phils fell 6-5.
Again the intensity was there for the Phillies and again the results were not. They’ve lost seven of their last eight games, three by a single run. Chase Utley has been very good since joining the team, but with last night’s loss the Phils are now 1-6 in the games in which he has played.
It was an extremely frustrating ninth inning for the Phils after a long, tight game that saw them score as many earned runs off of Dickey as the pitcher had allowed over his past seven starts coming into the contest. After a leadoff double, Papelbon got two quick outs and couldn’t put the Mets away. He didn’t get several close calls in two huge two-out at-bats ahead of back-to-back singles that plated the game-winning runs. The first one ended when he hit Jordany Valdespin with a 3-2 pitch and the other when he walked Ruben Tejada on the eighth pitch of Tejada’s plate appearance.
On June 4, Papelbon made news after a game with the Dodgers for saying the home plate umpire sucked and belonged in the minors. No idea whether it’s had any impact on the strike zone he’s seen since then, but I remember thinking at the time he shouldn’t be counting on getting a lot of close pitches for a while. He sure didn’t last night. Either way, Papelbon came into the game on June 4 with a 2.01 ERA and an 0.90 ratio for the season. Including the June 4 outing, over his last nine appearances he has thrown to a 7.00 ERA with a 2.11 ratio.
The Phillies are 37-47 on the year after losing to the New York Mets 6-5 last night. The Mets take the series two games to one. The Phillies are in last place in the NL East, 13 games out of first place.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both home runs. He struck out seven.
Up 1-0, he set the Mets down in order in the top of the first.
He started the second up 2-0. Scott Hairston led off and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left-center, cutting the lead to 2-1. Hamels got the next three.
The pitcher RA Dickey singled to left with one out in the third. Ruben Tejada popped up to Fontenot in foul territory for the second out before Daniel Murphy moved Dickey to second with a single. David Wright was next and he singled into center, scoring Dickey to tie the game at 2-2 and moving Murphy to third. Hamels walked Hairston and the bases were loaded for Lucas Duda. Hamels got the lefty Duda on a ground ball to first for the third out.
Up 3-2, Hamels set the Mets down in order in the fourth.
Tejada singled to center with one out in the fifth. Murphy was next and Hamels struck him out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Wright was next. Hamels got ahead of him 0-2, but Wright hammered a 1-2 pitch out to left for a two-run homer that put New York ahead 4-3. Hairston lined to third for the third out.
The Phillies led 5-4 when Hamels started the sixth. He got the first two before Thole singled to right. Hamels struck Kirk Neuwenhuis out swinging 3-2 to leave Thole at first.
Hamels threw a 1-2-3 seventh. Righty Justin Turner hit for Dickey and grounded to third for the first out. Victorino made a nice sliding catch on a ball hit by Tejada for the second out and Murphy popped to Fontenot for the third.
Bastardo threw a 1-2-3 eighth with the Phils still up a run.
Nice inning for Bastardo in a tight game. That’s the first time since June 9 he hasn’t allowed a hit or a walk in an appearance. Opponents have hit .303 against him over his last eight outings and he’s walked five in 7 2/3 innings.
Papelbon started the ninth. Ike Davis led off and lined a ball right over the glove of Rollins and into left center for a double. Ronny Cedeno ran for Davis at second. Josh Thole bunted Davis up to third with the first out. Papelbon blew Kirk Nieuwenhuis away on four fastballs, striking him out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Lefty Jordany Valdespin, who hit a three-run game-winner off of Papelbon on May 7, hit for the pitcher Bobby Parnell. Papelbon worked Valdespin inside and hit him with a 3-2 pitch, putting runners on the corners. Ruben Tejada was next and Valdespin stole second before Papelbon walked him on a 3-2 pitch, the eighth of his at-bat. Murphy was next. Papelbon got ahead of him 0-2 before Murphy hit a 1-2 pitch back up the middle. The ball went off of Papelbon’s leg and toward the first base line. Papelbon tracked it down near the line and had a chance to get Murphy with a tricky throw to first to end the game, but slipped fielding the ball and everyone was safe. Cedeno scored and the game was tied at 5-5 with the bases still loaded for Wright. Wright blooped the first pitch of his at-bat into right, just in front of a charging Pence for a single that scored Valdespin and ended the game.
Papelbon was throwing for the second day in a row. He has been charged with runs in four of his last five appearances. Opponents have hit .409 against him in those outings. He has a 4.87 ERA over his last 21 appearances, raising his ERA on the season from 0.82 after 11 appearances to 3.45.
The Phillies lineup against righty RA Dickey went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Pence (4) Ruiz (5) Victorino (6) Wigginton (7) Polanco (8) Fontenot. Utley on the bench after playing two straight days with Fontenot at second. Pierre in left against the righty. Wigginton plays first after homering in game two of the set.
Rollins led off the game with a walk and was forced at second on a ground ball by Pierre for the first out. Pence flew to center before Ruiz was hit by a pitch, putting men on first and second for Victorino. Victorino, hitting right-handed against the righty, singled into center, scoring Pierre to put the Phils up 1-0 with runners on first and third. Wigginton struck out swinging at an 0-2 pitch way out of the strike zone to leave the runners stranded.
Polanco singled on a ball in and out of the glove of Niewenhuis in center to start the second. Fontenot struck out for the first. Hamels tried to give himself up, but wound up bunting for a single that put runners on first and second for Rollins. Rollins doubled to right, scoring Polanco to make it 2-0 with men on second and third. Pierre lined softly to short for the second out and Pence fouled out to first to end the frame.
No out on the Hamels bunt helps the Phils, but they can’t get more after putting runners on second and third with one down. Pierre lines to short for the second out with the runners holding.
The lead was cut to 2-1 when Ruiz doubled to right to start the third. Victorino struck out, Wigginton struck out and Polanco struck out, leaving Ruiz at second.
It was 2-2 when the Phillies hit in the fourth. Fontenot led off with a single to center and Hamels struck out trying to bunt him to second for the first out. Rollins moved Fontenot to second with a single, putting two men on for Pierre. Pierre struck out swinging for the second out, but Pence followed with a single into center that scored Fontenot, putting the Phils up 3-2, and moved Rollins to second. Ruiz grounded to short for the third out.
Another tough at-bat for Pierre as he strikes out for the second out after being unable to bring the runner in from third with one out in the second.
Wigginton singled with one out in the fifth, but Polanco hit into a double-play behind him.
They trailed 4-3 when they started the sixth. Hamels singled with one out and scored when Rollins followed with a triple. 4-4. Pierre was next and put a pretty bunt down the first base line. Dickey fielded and threw to first as Rollins scored, putting the Phillies up 5-4. Pence grounded to short for the third out.
The Phils went in order in the seventh.
Fontenot doubled with one out in the eighth off of righty Jon Rauch. Utley hit for Hamels and lefty Tim Byrdak came in to pitch to him. Utley stayed in to face the lefty and singled to shallow left. Fontenot tried to score from second, but Hairston’s throw from left was on line and beat him to the plate by a lot. He blasted Thole, but Thole held the ball for the second out. Utley moved up to second on the play at the plate and Byrdak walked Rollins intentionally, putting two men on for Pierre. Mayberry hit for Pierre with the lefty still on the mound. Righty Pedro Beato came in and got Mayberry on a ground ball to third to end the frame with both men stranded.
Righty Bobby Parnell set the Phillies down in order in the ninth.
Rollins was 3-for-3 with two walks, a double and a triple in the game. 4-for-12 with two walks, two doubles and a triple in the set. 262/318/414 for the year.
Pierre 0-for-3 with an RBI and five men left on base in the game. 2-for-7 with two singles in the series. 317/355/387 for the year.
Pence was 1-for-5 with an RBI. 4-for-12 with four singles and two RBI in the set. 287/351/489 for the year.
Ruiz was 1-for-4 in the game and 4-for-12 with a double and two home runs in the series. 355/419/596 on the year.
Victorino 1-for-5 with an RBI. 1-for-13 in the series. 247/313/373 on the season.
Wigginton 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. 3-for-7 with two walks and a home run in the series. 203/259/351 over his last 81 plate appearances. 249/320/402 for the year.
Polanco 1-for-4 in the game and 2-for-11 with a walk in the series. 205/293/260 over his last 83 plate appearances. 269/314/346 on the year.
Fontenot 2-for-4 with a double in his only action of the series, raising his line on the season to 338/378/403.
Kendrick (2-8, 5.35) faces righty Tim Hudson (6-4, 3.87) tonight. The Phillies have lost four of the last five games that Kendrick has started and he’s thrown to a 7.67 ERA in those outings. Lefties are on-basing .404 against him for the season. Hudson threw to a 1.93 ERA in June, but allowed six runs to the Nats in his only start in July. He’s allowed just four home runs on the season and righties are hitting 245/288/325 against him for the year.