Phils fall to Mets in extra innings

The Phillies' Phillippe Aumont turns away as the Mets' Lucas Duda heads home after hitting a two-run homer in the 11th inning. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
The Phillies' Phillippe Aumont turns away as the Mets' Lucas Duda heads home after hitting a two-run homer in the 11th inning. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 03, 2014

The 20th Phillies pitcher in 54 games arrived from Durham, N.C., early Sunday morning. The 11th inning of a 4-3 loss to New York was his. Phillippe Aumont walked 21 batters in 24 innings at triple-A Lehigh Valley, but the previous two days had sapped the Phillies bullpen.

Once another slap fight between the Phillies and Mets sputtered into extra innings, Aumont was it.

"I think I figured some things out," Aumont said after unpacking his bags. "I feel much more comfortable. I'm not saying it's perfect. But it's getting there."

He issued a two-out walk to Travis d'Arnaud. Lucas Duda crushed a 1-0 sinker to the center-field seats. Aumont, summoned for reinforcements, was no savior.

The season is one-third completed. The Phillies are 24-30. There is no end to their mediocrity, and the lackluster Mets have a way of exposing the worst qualities.

These two teams have combined for 14 hours and 24 minutes of baseball in three days. Their pitchers threw a total of 1,262 pitches in those 39 innings. They continued down a mind-numbing path Sunday.

No National League team has used more pitchers than the Phillies, who shuffled their staff Sunday morning with the additions of Aumont and Cesar Jimenez. Manager Ryne Sandberg squeezed 125 pitches from Cole Hamels. Jimenez, Jonathan Papelbon, and Justin De Fratus tossed scoreless innings to extend the game.

Neither lineup could hit with runners in scoring position. The Phillies' seventh inning was extinguished by Domonic Brown, who committed an unforgivable baserunning mistake. Cesar Hernandez reached on a bunt single. He advanced to second on a successful (no, really) sacrifice bunt by Reid Brignac. Brown pinch-hit for Hamels, and laced a single to left.

Third-base coach Pete Mackanin waved Hernandez home until the last possible moment. Brown, who did not sprint to first, assumed Hernandez was headed to the plate. He went for second. The Mets caught him between bases. A potential first-and-third situation with one out - meaning a fly ball would put the Phillies ahead - was eliminated by Brown's cluelessness.

Ben Revere tapped one back to the pitcher. Hernandez never moved from third.

The Mets tied the game in the sixth on Phillies flounders in the field. After Eric Campbell doubled, Jimmy Rollins misfired to first on a grounder. Campbell scored on a sac fly.

Jon Niese did not exert much energy to retire the Phillies; he threw just 27 pitches through three innings. His one mistake, a 1-0 fastball to Ryan Howard, landed for a two-run homer.

Niese could have gone further if not for Ruben Tejada. The Mets shortstop attempted to steal second with two outs and Niese batting in the eighth. He overslid the bag. That forced New York to remove Niese for a pinch-hitter, despite just 91 pitches, to begin the ninth.

Marlon Byrd homered in the bottom of the 11th, but Aumont dug a hole too large.



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