After striking out at an alarming rate against the Mets (25-29) on Thursday, the Phillies (24-28) looked to rebound and get their first home win against New York in their last six tries. This one was interesting to say the least, with Phils starter AJ Burnett pitching effectively at times, but not enough to put New York to bed. After a nine-inning draw, the teams played five more innings before an unlikely hero smacked the game-winning RBI-single. Who, you ask? That would be Reid Brignac.
The Game: It has become somewhat of a trend to see AJ Burnett struggle with his walk numbers, and last night was no different. AJ struck out two of three batters in the first inning but walked the first two in the second. Lucas Duda made the Phillies righty pay with a double to right to score Curtis Granderson, making it 1-0 Mets. Travis d'Arnaud followed with an RBI groundout to drive in Bobby Abreu. 2-0 Mets. New York would add on one more courtesy of an RBI single off the bat of Ruben Tejada. The Mets would lead 3-0 after two.
The Phillies got one back in the bottom of the third. AJ Burnett singled to start things. After a Ben Revere flyout, Jimmy Rollins hit a single and Burnett advanced to third on a throwing error by Bobby Abreu. Chase Utley hit an RBI groundout to score Burnett and cut the lead to 3-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Phils took the lead in a big way. Marlon Byrd Walked and Carlos Ruiz singled to set up runners on first and second with none out, bringing Dom Brown to the plate. Yesterday, I wrote about the idea of sending down Domonic Brown for him to work on his game. With one swing of the bat, we saw what he was capable of, as he ripped a moonshot to right. His three-run bomb gave the Phillies a 4-3 lead heading into the fifth.
The Phils would be haunted by their former right fielder in the top of the fifth. Juan Lagares singled and Daniel Murphy walked to lead off the inning. Burnett struck out David Wright and Curtis Granderson before surrendering a two RBI-double to Mr. Bobby Abreu himself. That would give the Mets the one run edge, 5-4.
The home team would answer right back. With one out in the inning, Marlon Byrd took a base on balls and Carlos Ruiz doubled to left. Domonic Brown came up again and hit an RBI groundout to score Byrd and tie things up at five a piece.
The teams bullpens would take over at this point and it looked like the Mets were going to pull ahead in the ninth with Mike Adams on the hill. After getting the bases loaded, Adams got Bobby Abreu swinging to end the inning. In the 10th inning, Jonathan Papelbon was in for the Phils. He got Lucas Duda to fly out but then gave up back-to-back singles to Travis D'Arnaud and Ruben Tejada. With just one out, the Phils closer got out of danger by getting Chris Young to fly out and Juan Lagares to strike out swinging.
The Phillies had two runners on with two down in the 12th but Reid Brignac struck out swinging to end the potential scoring threat. Little did Brignac know, he would have another chance to end this one in the 14th. Marlon Byrd reached second base on a fielding error by Chris Young. Carlos Ruiz followed with a line drive single to center, setting up runners on the corners with none out. After the Mets decided to load the bases by walking Cesar Hernandez, Reid Brignac came to the plate.
The Phillies third baseman, in his first start this season, cranked an opposite-field RBI single on the second pitch of the at-bat to score Byrd from third, giving the Phillies the 6-5 win.
Phillies Notable Statistics:
Carlos Ruiz: 4-6, BB, 2B
Domonic Brown: 1-4, R, 4 RBI
Reid Brignac: 2-5, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K's
AJ Burnett: 6IP, 5ER, 5H, 6 BB, 11 K's
Phillies Bullpen: 7 IP, 0 ER, 3H, 4 BB, 8 K's
Impact: It was great to see the Phillies bullpen string together an outing like they did tonight, especially with their less than consistent ways. Mike Adams got himself out of another bases loaded jam, Papelbon pitched himself in and out of trouble while Justin De Fratus, Mario Hollands and Antonio Bastardo pitched very effectively, walking just one. This is a game where you would think the 2014 Phillies would have lost, but an error in the 14th gave them the opportunity to win it and they did, just like Wednesday night against Colorado. Burnett struck out a lot of guys but he walked a lot too. After seven innings, his pitch count was at 116. Despite his struggles this year, it was nice to watch Dom Brown's homer. It can take something like that to regain confidence, so hopefully he builds on it. Ryan Howard was 0-for-7 on the night with two strikeouts. His average sits at .227 and was the only Phillies starter without a hit. Ben Revere went 1-for-7.
Up Next: The Phillies play game three of their five-game set today at 3:05PM on CSN. Kyle Kendrick (1-5, 4.04 ERA) will look to get his second win of the season while the Mets send rookie Jacob deGrom (0-2, 1.83) to the mound. He threw 6.2 innings of shutout baseball against Pittsburgh his last time out in a no-decision. Kendrick is coming off of a solid outing of his own, throwing 6.2 scoreless innings against the Rockies to nab his first win of 2014.
Brandon Apter, Publishing Editor for Phillidelphia.com. Follow him on Twitter @ApterShock