Phillies' comeback falls short against Mets

First baseman Ryan Howard can't quite reach a ball hit by Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning.
First baseman Ryan Howard can't quite reach a ball hit by Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning. (STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer)
Posted: August 10, 2014

A.J. Burnett has had some good moments this year for the Phillies, but they certainly haven't come at the expense of the New York Mets.

The Mets again contributed to Burnett's misery with a 5-4 win over the Phillies on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Trailing 5-1, the Phillies rallied for three runs in the ninth inning, but the game ended when reliever Jenrry Mejia struck out pinch-hitter Reid Brignac on a called third strike, with the tying run at third base.

Not only did the loss snap the Phillies' three-game winning streak, but it also continued the Mets' dominance over both Burnett and his team.

The Mets are 9-4 this season against the Phillies and 2-0 in three meetings against Burnett. In 18 innings this year against the Mets, Burnett has an 8.50 ERA.

He hasn't done that great against the rest of the league lately, either. Since the all-star break, Burnett's ERA is 6.67.

"I'm pretty sure they didn't bring me over here to be like this all year, inconsistent," said Burnett, now 6-12 with a 4.29 ERA. "I've got to get the ball back in the zone, get back in my lanes and get the ball back on the corners where it belongs."

Conversely, winning Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon is 3-0 against the Phillies this season with a 1.59 ERA. In addition, he earned his 200th career win, joining Juan Marichal and Pedro Martinez as the only Dominican-born pitchers to reach the 200-win milestone.

"He just hits his spots and pitches in on the corners, changes speeds," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Colon. "I think it's been really hard for our hitters to gauge his fastball, whether it's 87-88 to 92 [m.p.h.] with different movement on his pitches."

Taking it one step further, since June 23, 2013, the Phillies are 1-10 in their last 11 home games against the Mets.

"We need to find a way to cool them down," Sandberg said. "They have swung the bats well against us this year."

This was baseball's version of an AARP mound matchup. Burnett is 37 and Colon turned 41 in May.

  The Mets opened the scoring with four runs in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Juan Lagares and run-scoring singles by Wilmer Flores, Curtis Granderson, and Daniel Murphy.

 In the fifth inning, former Phillies minor- leaguer Travis d'Arnaud crushed a Burnett change-up for a solo home run to left-center field.

"I have to quit getting beat on my third pitch and find my hook earlier in the game," Burnett said. "I think when I'm more aggressive I'm better off."

D'Arnaud was dealt by the Phillies to Toronto in the Roy Halladay trade. Before the game, Halladay threw out the first pitch as part of the festivities for alumni weekend and specifically Roy Halladay Bobblehead Night.

The Phillies weren't cheated on their swings against the 5-foot-11, 283-pound Colon, who has the appearance of a beer-league softball pitcher.

In the fourth inning, Ryan Howard and Marlon Byrd both flew out to the deepest part of center field.

Byrd left nothing to chance in the seventh inning, with a line-drive homer to left, his 22d of the season.

Colon allowed one earned run in eight innings, striking out six and walking none.

Once rid of Colon, the Phillies came to life in the ninth inning. Chase Utley opened with a double against lefthander Dana Eveland. Howard walked on four pitches.

Mejia, a righthander, replaced Eveland and served a single to Byrd to load the bases. Grady Sizemore then hit a two-run double off the top of the right-field wall.

Granderson made a sliding catch of a fly to shallow right by Carlos Ruiz for the first out. The runners on second and third didn't advance.

Cody Asche grounded to first for the second out, scoring Byrd.

With Sizemore on third, Mejia struck out Brignac on a 1-2 fastball to end the game.

"The last pitch, with two strikes, I have to foul it off," Brignac said. "It was too close to take."


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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