Philly Sports Live

More Extra Innings, Same Result for Phils

With their up and down play thus far in 2014, it’s almost as if the Phillies are trying to provide the fans with as much “free” baseball as possible. Come see this team and you just might get your money back in the form of extra baseball. Today marked the third consecutive extra inning game this team played, and the fourth of a five game series with the New York Mets.

The offense failed to generate much today against Mets’ starter Jonathan Niese, who would allow two runs on eight hits in eight innings for New York. The Mets got on the board first, as they have all series. David Wright led off the fourth inning against Cole Hamels with a double. First baseman Eric Campbell followed that with a single to put runners on the corners. Chris Young then hit a fly ball into foul territory that third baseman Reid Brignac caught. Wright would come home on the sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.

The Phillies (again) responded in the bottom of the inning when Carlos Ruiz notched a one out double. Ryan Howard then hit a long home run out to center-field to put the Phils ahead 2-1. It was Howard’s third home run in his last five games, to go along with nine runs batted in.

The Mets would tie the game in the top of the sixth via an unearned run. Campbell led off with a double, then Young grounded to Jimmy Rollins at shortstop. What should have been an out wound up as a throwing error by Rollins, Young was safe at first and Campbell advanced to third. With nobody out, Curtis Granderson then launched a fly ball to deep right that Marlon Byrd caught, and Campbell trotted home to make it 2-2. That unearned run would prove costly later on in the game.

All told, Hamels finished with eight strikeouts, and two runs allowed in seven innings of work. He would not factor in the decision.

The Phillies had an chance to take the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Cesar Hernandez led off with a single, and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Brignac. Dom Brown would then pinch hit for Hamels, and he singled to left-field. Hernandez stopped at third on the throw home, but Brown attempted to advance to second. He get caught in a rundown, and Hernandez was unable to score. Then with two outs, Revere grounded right back to Niese for the third out. Brown ran the Phillies right out of a scoring chance.

The game remained tied into the eleventh inning, when Phillippe Aumont came in. This was Aumont’s first action in a while, having been called up just last night after Jeff Manship got hurt. After retiring the first two men, Aumont walked catcher Travis d’Arnaud to bring Lucas Duda to the plate. Duda took Aumont out to deep center field for a two run homer, putting the Mets in front 4-2.

The Phillies would score in the bottom half of the inning, when Marlon Byrd hit a one out solo home run to cut the deficit to 4-3. The next batter was Ruiz, and very uncharacteristically, Ruiz swung at the first pitch and popped it up. Chooch is a smart player, but this was a very poor at-bat considering the task at hand. It killed the momentum generated by Byrd’s home run, and left Howard to hit with two outs. Howard grounded out to first base to end the game.

The Mets have now won three out of four in this series, with one more tomorrow night. It is a makeup game from a previous rain out.

These last two games have been particularly frustrating for the Phillies, as both were very winnable before and during the extra winnings. The Phils only left five men on base today, after leaving 11 last night. Rollins’ sixth inning error gave the Mets a run they otherwise may not have had. Brown’s poor base running prevented the Phils from scoring a run, one that might have won the game.

Nonetheless, the Phillies will send Roberto Hernandez to the mound tomorrow night against Bartolo Colon for the Mets. First pitch is slated for 7:05.

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