Friday, August 8, 2014

Late comeback not enough for Phillies; Mets win 5-4

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
August 7 2014, 10:35PM EDT.
@Philabaseball

PHILADELPHIA - A.J. Burnett recorded eight outs on Friday night before again stumbling with his control.

"That's how it's been for the past four games," Burnett said. "It's time to move on and get better. The goal now is to get back in my zone, get the ball in my lanes and get the ball back on the corner where it belongs."

Seven of eight position players collected at least a hit for the Mets en route to a 5-4 victory over the Phillies on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Burnett first found himself in trouble with two outs in the third inning, surrendering a double, walk and single before escaping via a Lucas Duda ground out to second base. He wasn't as lucky in the fourth though, allowing four runs on six hits.

"The Mets were able to put some hits together," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg."[Burnett] just seemed to be behind in the count and forced to throw pitches that were catching a lot of the plate and some of those were elevated."

The Mets entered Friday night hitting just 193 as a team over their last seven contests, the worst mark in baseball over that span. However, by the start of the fifth inning the club had already collected nine hits and scored four runs.

"I just got to figure out a way to stay positive," Burnett said. "I need to quit being beat by my third pitch and find my hook earlier in the game."

Travis d'Arnaud chipped in with a solo shot in the fifth to give the Mets a 5-0 advantage. Marlon Byrd answered for the Phillies in the seventh, depositing a first pitch slider into the seats in left field for a solo homer to trim the deficit to four.

The Phillies made a comeback in the final frame pushing three runs across, but fell short with Reid Brignac striking out to seal the contest.

Burnett lasted six innings, surrendering five runs on 11 hits while striking out eight.

Byrd's solo homer was the only blemish on a historical night for Mets starter Bartolo Colon. With the victory he became just the third Dominican-born pitcher in Major League history to record 200 wins. He tossed eight stellar innings, scattering six hits while striking out six.

"He moves his fastball to both sides," Sandberg said. "He cuts it into lefties and and cuts it away from right-handers. He sinks it, so he throws a lot of fastballs but changes them to make more movement. He hits his spots and pitches into the corners."

Ben Revere, who entered Friday's contest hitting a Major League-best .385 since June 26, remained hot at the plate collecting a pair of singles in the losing effort.

The loss snapped the Phillies three-game winning streak and dropped the club to 12 games below .500.

With the win the Mets have won six of seven from the Phillies this year at Citizens Bank Park.

"They've hit the ball really well here, so we need to find a way to cool them down," Sandberg said. "They've just hit us well this year."

MOVING ON UP
Burnett entered Friday's contest 12 strikeouts shy of tying Hall-of-Famer Rube Waddell for the 46th spot on Major League Baseball's all-time strikeout list. Waddell spent six seasons in Philadelphia with Connie Mack and the Athletics, leading the club to a pair of American League pennants.

HONORING HALLADAY
As part of alumni weekend the Phillies honored former ace Roy Halladay prior to Friday night's first pitch. The eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner spent four seasons in Philadelphia, tossing a perfect game in May of 2010 and a no-hitter in his first career postseason appearance in Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series. The right-hander went 55-29 with a 3.25 ERA over 103 starts during his career with the Phillies.

"[Playing in Philadelphia] has been one of the greatest experiences of my life," Halladay said. "To play in this city, I wouldn't trade it for the world."

ON DECK
Cole Hamels (6-6, 2.42) is scheduled to oppose Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.73) on Saturday. Hamels surrendered an unearned run over seven strong innings against the Nationals on Sunday and took a tough-luck loss. The 30-year-old was claimed off waivers by the Cubs earlier this week, but negotiations stalled and the Phillies pulled him back from revocable waivers.

Gee enters Saturday with a 7.11 career ERA against the Phillies, having surrendered 50 earned runs over 12 appearances including 11 starts. He also has a 9.56 career ERA at Citizens Bank Park over seven appearances. 

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is the top baseball news source in Philadelphia, providing news coverage and analysis of the 2014 Phillies and baseball in the Philadelphia region.

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