The Phillies lose their third straight game to the Mets as a late inning rally would fall short as they could not overcome an early deficit, losing 10-9. The Phillies’ starter, Adam Eaton, would only be able to go two and two-thirds innings as he is roughed up by the Mets’ batters, who were coming off a high left over from their win on Sunday. The damage would begin in the very first inning, as Jose Reyes, who has gotten on base earlier with a single and have moved to third on Endy Chavez’s single, would score the first Mets’ run on a David Wright ground out, second to first, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead, while Chavez would go to second on the play. Two batters later, with Chavez on third and with two outs, a Damion Easley would score Chavez, making it 2-0 Mets. The Mets would increase their lead in the second, when, with two men on and two outs, Chavez would hit a RBI single, scoring Brian Schneider, who has gotten on base earlier during a force out, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead. A Wright double would make it 5-0, as he knocks in Reyes, who has earlier walked and Easley. The Mets would then chase Adam Eaton out of the game in the third inning. With one out, and with runners on the corners, Schneider would ground out short to first for out number two, while scoring Carlos Delgado, who has earlier doubled, to make it a 6-0 Mets’ lead. Pedro Martinez would then reach base on a Greg Dobbs’ fielding error, allowing Fernando Tatis, who has earlier singled, to score, making it 7-0 Mets. Two batters later, Chavez would single in Martinez, making it 8-0. Clay Condrey would relieve Eaton and would finally end the inning by getting Wright to fly out. The Phillies would get a run back in the fourth as Chase Utley would hit his major league leading twenty-fifth home run of the year off of Mets’ starter Martinez, a solo shot, which would make it 8-1 Mets. The Mets would then increase their lead in the sixth, as they knocked in two runs off of R.J. Swindle, who was pitching his first game after being recalled from Lehigh Valley to replace Tom Gordon in the bullpen. The first run would come in on a solo home run by Wright, his seventeenth home run of the year, to make it 9-1 Mets. Later, with the bases loaded, and two outs, Martinez would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Beltran, who has earlier singled, making it 10-1 Mets. But, that would be the last run that the Mets would score last night, as Shane Victorino throws out Easley at home plate, with Chris Coste supplying the tag, for the final out of the inning. From that point on, the Phillies would attempt a comeback. It would begin in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, as Pat Burrell would hit a solo home run, his twenty-second home run of the year, to make it 10-2 Mets. The Phillies would continue in the seventh, as Victorino would hit a RBI double, scoring Jimmy Rollins who has earlier singled, to cut the Mets’ lead to 10-3. Two batters later, Ryan Howard would hit his twenty-fourth home run of the year, scoring Victorino, on a ball that was originally called a ground rule double because of possible fan’s interference. But, after an agrument from Charlie Manuel, and a conversation among the umpires, the ruling was changed into a home run. This would in turn lead to an argument from Mets’ manager, Jerry Manuel, who would then be ejected from the game, as the Mets now lead the game 10-5. In the eighth, the Phillies would continue their comeback, as Geoff Jenkins would hit a two-run home run, his seventh home run of the year, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier singled, making it 10-7 Mets. Then in the ninth, with Billy Wagner on the mound, the Phils tried to send it into extra-innings. Victornio would start the inning off with a double, followed by a walk to Eric Bruntlett, with nobody out. After Howard strikes out and Burrell flies out to right, Pedro Feliz would hit a pinch single, scoring Victornio and sending Bruntlett to third, making it 10-8 Mets. On the play, Beltran would throw the ball away, as he tries to cut down Bruntlett at third, for an error, allowing Bruntlett to score and sending Feliz over to second base, as the Phillies now trail the Mets 10-9. But, that would be as close as the Phillies would get, as Wagner would get Werth to fly out to right to end the game, recording his twentieth save of the year.
Adam Eaton would take the lost, as he gets rocked for eight earned runs on ten hits as he is only able to go two and two thirds inning. His record is now 3-7 with a 5.20 ERA. Clay Condrey would pitch two and one third innings of scoreless ball, giving up just two hits. R.J.Swindle would pitch three innings of relief, giving up two earned runs on four hits. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. Pedro Martinez would get the win, as he goes five and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits. His record is now 3-2 with a 6.86 ERA. Tony Armas would go an inning and a third, giving up three earned runs on three hits. Aaron Heilman would also go an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on two hits. Billy Wagner would pitch the ninth, recording his twentieth save of the season, as he gives up two earned runs on two hits.
The Phillies’ offense was once again stifled in the early going, while being put in the hole early by Adam Eaton’s bad start on the mound. But slowly it came back to life, scoring all but one of its runs in the last four innings, mostly by the long ball, as they, for the first time in a while, refused to quit, despite being buried early. It could mean the reemergence of the team that was finding ways to win games back in April and early May before the period when the team would seem to be able to score runs at will. If so, it would be coming not a moment too soon, as the Cardinals and then the Diamondbacks would be coming into town for the last two series before the All-Star break.
The Phillies (48-42) will start a three games set with the Cardinals (50-40, 2nd National League Central) at Citizens Bank Park. The first game of the series will be played tonight, starting at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be their ace, Cole Hamels (9-5, 3.22), who has won his last start against the Braves on July 3, just missing out on his third complete game shut out. He would instead go eight and two-thirds innings, giving up only an earned run on five hits in the Phillies’ 4-1 win. He has won his last two starts giving up five earned runs on eleven hits as he pitched a combined total of fifteen and two-thirds innings. He will be gunning for his tenth win of the season, while hoping to end the Phillies’ present slide. The Cardinals will counter with Joel Pineiro (2-4, 4.52), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 2, as he would go only five innings, giving up four earned runs on eleven hits in the Cardinals’ 8-7 win. Pineiro will be looking for his first victory since April 29, while the Cardinals’ hope that he will keep them in the game against a probably angry Phillies team.
The Phillies’ lead over the Marlins has been cut down to one and half games, as the fish were able to defeat the Padres. The Mets are now trailing the Phillies by two and a half games. The Braves still trail the Phillies by six games as they lost to the Dodgers. The Phillies hope that last night’s comeback attempt, although a failure, could be the launch pad for a very productive period, as the Phillies look to find somebody, or rather somebodies, upon whom to take out their present offensive frustrations out on, while trying to once again take complete control of the East before the All-Star break.