Howard, Phillies Destroy Mets, Rack Up Some April Records

Howard, Phillies Destroy Mets, Rack Up Some April Records

Not a bad start to the homestand... The Phillies opened up the Mets' pitching and bled it for 10 runs while Vance Worley threw six shutout innings on their way to a 10-3 win. The Phils have now scored double-digit runs against the Mets in three straight contests and lead the season series, 3-1.

Ryan Howard homered twice, including a grand slam, which both tied him with Del Ennis for second on the all-time Phillies home run list at 259 and extended his record for most grand slams as a Phillie (10). Howard also now holds the team record for RBI in the month of April (27), which is pretty amazing considering how well he slugs later in the season (he already owns the Phillies' RBI records for August [41] and September [32]), and the fact that Chase Utley hasn't played a single game.

Placido Polanco scratched an April record of his own, notching his 39th hit in the month, most ever by a Phillie in April. Polly raised his average to .390. Three. Ninety.

Worley looked very good in his season debut, getting out of an error-induced jam in the first and staying settled through six shutout innings. Dating back to last season, he hasn't given up a run in 16 innings, per John Clark on the postgame show. Vance Refrigeration!

Worley walked four, but struck out five and allowed just two hits. He even notched his first MLB hit. Mike Stutes and Danys Baez each picked up a scoreless relief inning, but David Herndon shat the shutout bed, allowing a pair of homers and three total runs in the ninth. Herndon's April reminds me of the Padres reliever that Barney Coopersmith's wife leaves him for in My Blue Heaven. Fans, what are we going to do about David Herndon?

Jimmy and Benny each contributed a pair of hits, with Francisco knocking in a pair of runs in the fifth. One of Polanco's two hits on the night also plated a pair.

Always good to see the Mets get trounced, but regardless of the opponent, it's encouraging to see the runs piling up again and the Phils take a series opener.

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

We're all looking forward to the free-agent class of 2018.

If Maikel Franco doesn't shape up, the Phillies could make a hard push for Manny Machado. Franco after a two-game benching is back in the lineup for this afternoon's game against the Rockies (see story).

Then, of course, there's Bryce Harper, who earlier this month agreed to a one-year, $21,625,000 deal for next season. 

And guess what? If Harper becomes a free agent after next season, the Phillies would be interested in signing him.

Really?

According to a FanRagSportsNetwork, citing a Phillies source, the Phils would be interested luring Harper to Philly.

Shocker. 

It'd be big news if a Phillies source said the team wasn't interested in signing Harper. 

Anyway, the story also quotes a National League scout.

“Could you imagine what he could do in that ballpark playing 81 games a year in that bandbox?” the scout said.

Chances are every Phillies fan has already imagined it. Harper this season alone is hitting .351/.400/.784 with five homers and 12 RBIs in nine games against the Phils. In three games at the Bank, he's hitting just .250 with a homer and two RBIs.

But in 38 career games at CBP, he's hitting .296/.361/.627 with 12 home runs and 26 RBIs.

In 89 career games against the Phillies, he's hitting .282 with 20 homers and 54 RBIs.

At the risk of stating the obvious, here's one thing to remember: If the Phils sign Harper, then he'd no longer benefit from facing them.

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Well, this hasn't gone well. 

Coming into Thursday afternoon's game against the Rockies, the Phillies have lost five straight. They've lost nine of their last 10. They've lost 20 of their last 24. 

At 15-29, they're not just the worst team in the NL East. They're not just the worst team in the National League. 

Through 44 games, the Phillies are the worst team in baseball. 

Just to make it to a .500 record this season, they would need to go 66-52 (.559) the rest of the way. 

Their four-game series against the Rockies will mercifully come to a close on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. In the first three games of the series -- all losses -- the Phils have been outscored 23-5. 

Maikel Franco returns to the four-hole as the Phillies try to snap out of their funk.

The Phillies on Thursday also activated right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez from the disabled list. Gomez takes Adam Morgan's spot on the roster. Morgan was reassigned to Triple A Lehigh Valley after throwing three scoreless innings during the Phillies' 7-2 loss to the Rockies.

Gomez hasn't pitched since May 4 because of an elbow injury. He began the season as the Phillies' closer but was demoted after blowing two saves and allowing seven runs in his first five innings. In 11 1/3 innings this season, Gomez has a 7.94 ERA.

Here's the full lineup: 

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Aaron Altherr, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Tommy Joseph, 1B
6. Michael Saunders, RF
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Vince Velasquez, P