Given new life, the Philadelphia Phillies capitalized and wrapped up a three-game sweep over the New York Mets with a 5-1 win at Citi Field.
The Phillies strung together four straight hits with two outs in the top of the seventh inning after New York catcher John Buck dropped a Lance Nix pop up behind the plate. Nix, pinch-hitting for starting pitcher Cole Hamels, wound up ripping a single to left field. Jimmy Rollins followed with another base hit off New York starter Jon Niese (2-2), who was removed after having thrown 117 pitches. The right-handed throwing Scott Atchison took over on the mound and Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel countered New York skipper Terry Collins’ move by having Ryan Howard pinch hit for Kevin Frandsen. Howard wasn’t in the starting lineup because of his struggles against the southpaw Niese. He has just one hit in 15 at-bats with seven strikeouts.
Ahead 2-0 in the count, Howard drove Atchison’s offering to deep center field for a two-run double that broke a 1-1 tie. He then scored on a Chase Utley single to make it 4-1.
The outburst enabled Hamels to earn his elusive first win of the season. John Mayberry, Jr. added an RBI double in the eighth for the Phillies, who have won six straight at Citi Field and nine of the last 10 games overall against the Mets. It wasn’t the sharpest outing for Hamels (1-3), who matched a career high with six walks. He did, however, record eight strikeouts and held New York to a pair of first-inning hits that produced a run.
The Mets mustered only one more hit in the game. Ruben Tejada doubled twice for New York, which has lost a season-high four consecutive games. The Mets committed two errors in the opening frame, including the first one by third baseman David Wright in 78 games. Wright’s misplay allowed Philadelphia to load the bases with two outs. Niese, though, retired Domonic Brown on a fielder’s choice. New York got on the board when Tejada led off the bottom of the inning with a double and scored on Wright’s one-out single. Hamels struggled with his command in the fourth, but struck out Niese looking after walking the bases loaded. Freddy Galvis golfed a leadoff home run to left field off Niese to tie things up in the fifth.
The Mets need to get it together before they the season slip away. They started the homes stand off on a positive not against Washington, but started to fall apart once that series was over. Keep locked in JV fans as we cover the Mets through a growing season.