Phillies show some fight, but fall in 14 innings
Howard launches big three-run homer, but bats fall flat in extra innings
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies stuck it to their NL East rivals on Friday night, handing them a 5 hour, 23 minute loss.
On Saturday, the Mets stuck it right back.
After Antonio Bastardo walked Ruben Tejada and Chris Young to set the stage in the top of the 14th, David Wright delivered. The Mets third baseman lined a 1-1 fastball to left field for the game-winning RBI in a 5-4, 5 hour, 32 minute extravaganza at Citizens Bank Park. The teams have traded 14-inning wins the past two games.
The contest also marked the first time the Phillies have played back-to-back games of 14 innings or longer in franchise history.
The loss overshadowed a brilliant relief outing by Jeff Manship. The right-hander, who entered the game with a 7.53 ERA in 14 1/3 innings pitched this season, retired all 12 batters he faced.
Just hours after Philadelphia pulled out a 6-5 marathon victory in 14 innings on Friday night, all the momentum the Phillies spoke of in the clubhouse following their win faded. And as the dust clears after the Phillies' most recent loss, they are once again in need of a bounceback win.
"We just can't get on a roll, you know," Kyle Kendrick said. "Can't get things going in the right direction. Big win last night, and coming in today ... guys battled back, just couldn't pull it out."
"It's exhausting," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It goes a long way with the pitching staff, that's for sure. And we have an early game tomorrow. A quick turnaround. But you know what, two days in a row both teams fought for 28 innings."
Kendrick found himself in trouble early, forcing the Phillies to play catchup from the get-go. Back-to-back singles by Chris Young and Daniel Murphy to lead off the game set the table for RBI hits by Bobby Abreu and Lucas Duda.
The first inning has been Kendrick's achilles heel. In 11 starts this season, the right-hander has a 9.82 ERA in the opening frame.
"I gave up some hits and got two outs [but] didn't make a big pitch," Kendrick said about the opening frame.
Ruben Tejada tacked on another run for New York in the fourth inning with a home run, his first since Aug. 1, 2012. Tejada, who entered the game hitting .210, drove in his second RBI of the afternoon in the top of the sixth.
Still, Kendrick did well to limit the damage in his 113-pitch effort. He was one strike away from tallying his seventh quality start, and finished his six innings having allowed four earned runs, eight hits and two walks while striking out five.
Kendrick didn't receive any run support while he was on the hill, but Philadelphia's bats came to life soon after his departure.
With Jacob deGrom in cruise-control for the Mets, the Phillies didn't get a runner into scoring position until the bottom of the seventh, but Ryan Howard made sure that run came around to score. His three-run, opposite-field blast brought Philly to within a run, 4-3, and gave him his 1,000th career RBI.
Howard needed just 1,230 games to reach the milestone, the fewest games needed among all active Major League players.
Domonic Brown came up with the last big hit for the Phillies, rocketing a line-drive RBI single to left field in the ninth to tie the game. It was the last run they would score.
"We had a number of opportunities on the offensive side," Sandberg said. "We had some good opportunities and didn't help ourselves."
Philadelphia got the leadoff man on in five of the last six innings, but couldn't manufacture a run. Ben Revere had two opportunities to move runners into scoring position with no outs in the late innings.
In the 12th, he popped out on an attempted bunt. In the 14th, he failed to get the bunt down again before striking out.
"Those are two situations where we gotta get the job done," Sandberg said. "He bunts for base hits, we're asking for a sacrifice bunt there and he failed and that was two attempts. As a leadoff hitter, that seems like a fundamental."
Philadelphia finished the game 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
"We had 14 innings," Sandberg said. "We had several chances to pull out a win which would have been a good win for us. So we had the chances. We just didn't get it done today."
Meanwhile, the Philly bullpen did all it could to grant the offense more opportunities, going seven scoreless innings before Bastardo's struggles in the 14th.
By the 13th, Jeff Manship was on a roll and had one inning left in the tank. So with Howard on third and two outs, Sandberg let his relief pitcher swing away, despite having John Mayberry Jr. available to pinch-hit on his bench.
Manship nearly came through with the game-winning hit, but he couldn't beat out his grounder up the middle as he had to pull up 10 feet before first base with a right quad strain.
"It was definitely a frustrating way to go out right," Manship said. "I was feeling real good pitching. It's something to build on. It was just definitely frustrating, that that's the way it kind of ended."
If not for the injury, Manship thinks he could have ended the game.
"That's what I had heard from some of the other guys," Manship said. "I was going to do anything I possibly could to get that hit there. That would have been the first Major League hit and obviously a game-winner so I was going to do everything I possibly could."
Sandberg said he considered using Mayberry Jr. as a pinch-hitter for Manship, but ultimately opted not to with no wiggle room in his bullpen.
"Mayberry was available. We just didn't have pitching," Sandberg said. "Play back-to-back 14 innings, you start risking some possibilities of guys."
With Mike Adams and Justin De Fratus unavailable after pitching in Friday night's extra-inning affair, Sandberg reluctantly inserted Bastardo in the 14th. The left-hander had appeared in three consecutive games, and Sandberg was trying to avoid him.
With both bullpens reeling from 10 extra innings of baseball the past two games, Sandberg hopes Cole Hamels will be able to protect his relievers on Sunday.
"We need some length tomorrow."