Jimmy Rollins dives back safely to first base during a pickoff attempt in Sunday's series finale against the Mets. (AP)
On the occasion of Ryne Sandberg officially becoming the manager of the Phillies for 2014 and beyond, the team closed out its home schedule with a 4-3 loss to the Mets Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
The loss gave the Mets a three-game sweep and dealt the Phillies their fourth straight defeat, the longest losing streak since Sandberg took over for Charlie Manuel on Aug. 16.
Shoddy defense behind starter Cliff Lee didn’t help the Phillies' cause as they dropped to 71-84. Centerfielder Cesar Hernandez and rightfielder Darin Ruf misplayed a fly ball into a double and leftfielder Dom Brown misplayed a single a couple of pitches later to allow the go-ahead run to score.
Starting pitching report
Lee turned in seven innings, breaking his string of three straight outings of at least eight innings. He was perfect through three and had eight strikeouts without a walk or a three-ball count.
With one start remaining this season, Lee has 209 strikeouts in 214 innings.
Mets starter Carlos Torres picked up the win by allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings. He was helped by an inexplicable call in the first inning when the second base umpire Chris Guccione ruled that Jimmy Rollins had been hit by a ground ball off the bat of Chase Utley.
Replays showed it wasn’t even close. As a result, instead of having two on with one out, the Phillies had one on with two outs.
B.J. Rosenberg allowed a run in the eighth while Jonathan Papelbon faced four hitters and got two strikeouts in the ninth.
Mets closer LaTroy Hawkins also faced four hitters in the ninth to earn his 12th save.
At the plate
The Phillies left runners stranded in scoring position in the first, second, sixth, seventh, and ninth innings. They also had the bases loaded with one run in and just one out in the sixth, but failed to add more runs.
In the ninth, Kevin Frandsen picked up his second hit of the game to lead off the inning and then moved to second when Freddy Galvis bunted him over. But strikeouts by Hernandez and Rollins ended the threat.
Utley picked up a pair of hits, and Brown got on base three times with a single and a pair of walks.
At the park
The Phillies closed their home schedule with the sixth sellout crowd of the season. Despite a poor year on the field, the Phillies drew 3,120,403 fans for the 81 dates this season. Amongst major-league teams, the Phillies are eighth in average attendance (37,100), fifth in stadium capacity percentage (85) and sixth in overall attendance.
The Phillies close out the season with a seven-game road trip beginning on Monday night in Miami. The pitching matchups for the series against the Marlins are:
Monday: Roy Halladay (4-4, 6.71) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (3-6, 3.79)
Tuesday: Zach Miner (0-1, 3.22) vs. Henderson Alvarez (4-5, 4.05)
Wednesday: Cole Hamels (8-14, 3.62) vs. Brad Hand (1-1, 2.92)