Tuesday night's game in New York featured a little bit of everything. Citi Field has a playoff feel to it as Mets ace Matt Harvey took the mound for his first home start since 2013.
The Phillies managed to stay in the game for most of the night, another moral victory of sorts, but could not overcome another slow start for David Buchanan as they dropped the second game of the three game series against the Mets, 6-5.
The Phillies jumped out to the early lead against Harvey. Chase Utley paid a visit to a familiar spot in the ballpark, homering to his corner in right field for a solo shot to open the scoring.
The Mets responded in the bottom of the first. With three singles, including an RBI hit by Michael Cuddyer, the game was tied.
Buchanan's struggles continued in the second. The Mets loaded the bases with one out for David Wright, setting up what could be a big inning. But Buchanan got Wright to pop out to second for the second. On his next pitch, Lucas Duda lined one down the right-field line to clear the bases with a three-run double.
The Phillies would battle back as Utley tacked on another RBI single in the third and Cody Asche hit his first home run of the season in the fourth.
They would nearly tie the game in the fifth, as a bases-loaded opportunity went by the wayside.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Mets regained the two-run lead with an RBI single by Travis d'Arnaud. Ben Revere's throw from left field arrived in time to beat the charging Duda, but Carlos Ruiz could not get the tag down in time.
In the middle of all of this, the benches were warned after a series of hit batters – two for each side – and Mets manager Terry Collins was ejected arguing a catcher's interference call in the fifth.
The Phillies did manage to chase Harvey after six innings. He allowed three runs on five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
Buchanan battled back to work 5 2/3 innings allowing five runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Jake Diekman walked Duda before getting Kirk Nieuwenhuis looking to end the sixth and strand the bases loaded.
Dustin McGowan entered for the bottom of the seventh and promptly surrendered a lead-off home run to Daniel Murphy, extending the Mets lead to three.
Utley led off the eighth with his second home run of the game to right-center, completing a 3-for-3 night. The Phillies brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth, but Darin Ruf struck out swinging to end the inning.
Justin De Fratus pitched a scoreless eighth for the Phillies before Jeurys Familia came on for the ninth.
Jeff Francoeur belted a solo home run with one out to cut the lead to one, his second homer of the season, but the Mets would hold on for the victory.
The Phillies return to action on Wednesday night, looking to avoid the sweep from the Mets. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
Kevin Durso is a contributing writer and editorial assistant for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.