Ryan Howard lifts Phillies to victory against Mets


‘The Big Piece’, as he is so affectionately know, propelled the Phillies to a come-from-behind victory against the New York Mets, winning 7-6 on a single in the bottom of the 9th on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

It was the Mets who got off to a fast start in the 1st inning against Kyle Kendrick, when David Wright singled to center, scoring Granderson for RBI 55 on the season.

The Phillies answered right back in the bottom of the same inning, however, when Chase Utley clobbered a homer off Mets starter Zack Wheeler deep into the right field bleachers.

The parity wasn’t to last long, as in the top of the 2nd the Mets got the lead right back. Juan Lagares earnt a leadoff walk, before Flores singled and Wheeler bunted the pair over. Murphy hit a fly ball to center to score Lagares from 3rd, but Flores was caught trying to tag and take 3rd on the play.

New York proceeded to extend their lead and Kendrick’s woes in the top of the 3rd, when following Wright and d’Arnaud singles, Lagares tripled the pair home for RBIs 31 and 32 of the season, making the score 4-1 Mets.

The game was seemingly over in the top of the 5th as Lucas Duda hit a leadoff homer on a 3-1 count to deep center field for number 21 on the year for the slugging first baseman. Travis d’Arnaud then followed up with a solo shot to left field for his 9th of the year, making the score 6-1 Mets.

Philadelphia wasn’t giving up hope though, and they responded in the 6th as Dominic Brown came through with a clutch hit. Utley singled with one out, before Sizemore was handed a 4-pitch walk, and Brown stepped up to line one to the right side for his 16th double of the year, and notch his 51st and 52nd RBIs of the season, scoring the runners to pull the score back to 6-3.

The Phillies mustered up more offense in the 7th courtesy of the ever-productive Chase Utley and a two-out rally. Ben Revere beat out a single and Jimmy Rollins followed up with a hit through to left field to put the runners at 1st and 2nd, and Chase Utley hit a stand-up triple to the 350 sign in right field, reducing the deficit to one in a 6-5 game.

Cody Asche was the catalyst in the bottom of the 9th inning as he hit a leadoff double against Mets pitcher Jenrry Meija to right fielder Curtis Granderson, and Marlon Byrd came off the bench to single up the middle on a tough pitch to tie the game at 6, giving Meija his 3rd blown save of the year and Byrd’s his 66th RBI of 2014. Just when the game seemed to be heading for extras, Byrd stole second on a 2-2 pitch while Utley was batting, before the Mets would intentionally walk Utley to get to Howard. This has been done once already this season, and Ryan Howard made the opponent pay again, hitting a single to right, scoring Byrd and winning the game for the Phillies by a score of 7-6.

Despite all the late heroics, it was still another disastrous day on the mound for Kyle Kendrick. He got a no decision, but gave up 6 runs (5 earned) on 10 hits through 5 innings, walking 3 with just 1 strikeout. Somehow, Kendrick still only has a 1.33 WHIP on the season, although his opponent average is .272 and he has walked 39 this season.

Scoreless relief was provided again by Mario Hollands and Diekman, the former having pitched 2 innings with 2 hits and a walk, moving his season ERA to 4.12, and the latter pitching a 1-2-3 eighth innings, striking out a pair. Ken Giles earnt the win with his shutout 9th inning, maintaining his stellar 1.50 ERA and earning his first Major League win.

Zack Wheeler had a better day on the mound for the Mets, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits over 6 innings, with his ERA moving to 3.53 on the season. Despite giving up 2 runs on 3 hits, Vic Black got the hold, as did Edgin who pitched 1.1 innings and struck out all 4 batters he faced. The loss went to Meija (5-5, 3.89).

The Phillies move to 53-65 on the year, 11.5 back of 1st, and the Mets go to 56-62, 8.5 back of the first place Nationals a 3 ahead of the Phillies.

Tomorrow, the Phillies will send David Buchanan to the mound (6-5, 4.39) for the final of the four-game set against the Mets, hoping to earn a split. He will face Jon Niese (5-8, 3.51), first pitch at 1:05ET.