Brignac plays hero with walk-off single in 14th
Bullpen masterful in marathon contest, tossing seven scoreless frames
PHILADELPHIA -- Five hours, 23 minutes later, Reid Brignac ended the madness.
He ripped an 0-1 cutter to left field to score the winning run in the bottom of the 14th inning early Saturday morning in a 6-5 victory over the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Marlon Byrd scored easily from third base as teammates stormed the field, meeting Brignac between first base and second base, pushing and shoving him into the outfield in a moment of celebration following a long and grueling game between teams fighting to get to .500.
"Everybody was yelling at everybody to end it," Brignac said of the talk in the dugout before his at-bat. "It was like, 'Come on, let's go. Hurry up.' "
Mets right-hander Jennrry Mejia started the 14th against Byrd, who lofted a 0-2 fastball to right field. It looked like the first out of the inning, but Mets right fielder Chris Young appeared to flinch as the ball reached his glove.
He dropped it.
Byrd turned on the jets and reached second for a big two-base error.
"I was surprised because CY is real good out there, but that wind was crazy later on in the game," Byrd said. "It kind of got turned around. I hit it good, but then it just kept fading away and then came back in."
"It was just a flub up," Young said. "It was like, I'm looking dead at it, the ball's coming down and I just completely lost it. I got a little blurry and it's like I didn't even see it. I don't know what happened, but there's no excuse. Big mistake in a game where if you play that long, you want to be able to win. For me not to come up with that play, it [stinks]."
Carlos Ruiz followed with a single to center field to put runners at the corners with no outs. Mejia intentionally walked pinch-hitter Cesar Hernandez to load the bases, which sent Brignac to the plate for his heroics.
It was the second walk-off hit of Brignac's career. The first came with the Rays in 2010 against the Yankees at Tropicana Field.
It was the second walk-off victory for the Phillies this week. The first came Wednesday against the Rockies, when Ryan Howard hit a three-run home run in the ninth.
"We're battling every night we're out there," Brignac said. "There's no doubt about it. The guys are competing. Our pitching has been really good. We've come up with some clutch hits. And that's what it takes to get this team going."
Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett had a wild night, but he kept the Phillies in the game. He allowed five hits, five runs, six walks and struck out 11 in seven innings.
"I've got some work to do," Burnett said. "The walks. Two a game is fine. Six? No."
But the Phillies' bullpen, which has the second-highest ERA in the National League, followed Burnett with seven scoreless innings. Jake Diekman, Mike Adams, Jonathan Papelbon, Antonio Bastardo, Mario Hollands and Justin De Fratus allowed a combined three hits, four walks and struck out eight.
"From the bullpen's perspective it's awesome to go out there and hang that many zeroes," De Fratus said.
The Mets took a 3-0 lead in the second inning, but the Phillies scored a run in the third to make it 3-1. The Phillies took a 4-3 lead in the fourth when Byrd walked, Ruiz singled and Domonic Brown hit a 2-0 fastball off Rafael Montero to right field for a three-run home run to give the Phillies the 4-3 lead.
Burnett put the first two batters on base in the fifth when Bobby Abreu, who the Phillies released at the end of Spring Training, hit a two-out double to right field to clear the bases to hand the Mets a 5-4 lead.
But Brown tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Mets right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka walked Byrd with one out and allowed a double to Ruiz to put runners on second and third. Brown hit an 0-2 curveball up the middle between Matsuzaka's legs for a fielder's choice, but it got Byrd home.
The Phillies hope it is a good step forward for Brown, who has struggled all season. He is hitting .201 with four home runs and 26 RBIs.
"Eventually things will start to click," Brown said.