Instant Replay: Phillies 6, Mets 2 (10 innings)

Instant Replay: Phillies 6, Mets 2 (10 innings)


NEW YORK -- The Phillies rallied for the tying run in the eighth inning then scored four more times in the 10th to beat the New York Mets, 6-2, at Citi Field on Tuesday night.
Andres Blanco came off the bench with a game-tying, two-out double in the eighth inning and Cameron Rupp followed with a sacrifice fly to right field in the 10th to key the come-from-behind win.
The Phils gave up two runs in the first inning and none the next nine innings.
The victory was the Phillies' first in four games against the Mets this season and just their 13th against the Mets in 40 games since the start of the 2015 season.
The Phils are 5-8 on the season. The Mets are 7-7.
Starting pitching report
Zach Eflin, called up to take the place of injured Clay Buchholz, went five innings and gave up three hits and two runs. He walked three, all in the first inning, and two of those walks turned into Mets' runs, one on his own wild pitch.
Mets starter Zack Wheeler ran a high pitch count -- 99 in five innings -- but managed to hold the Phillies to just one run on four hits and two walks. He struck out seven.
Bullpen report
The Phillies got good bullpen work from Joely Rodriguez, Edubray Ramos, Hector Neris and Luis Garcia. They all pitched a scoreless frame. Garcia got the win. Joaquin Benoit protected a four-run lead in the bottom of the 10th.
Jerry Blevins gave up the tying, pinch-hit double to Blanco. The Phillies' rally in the 10th came mostly against Rafael Montero. He took the loss.
At the plate
Odubel Herrera's first home run of the season, a solo shot against Wheeler in the first inning, accounted for the Phillies' first run.
The Phillies rallied for a run in the eighth inning to tie the game. Rupp drew a two-out walk and Mets third baseman Jose Reyes extended the inning when he dropped a pop up by Freddy Galvis. The next batter, pinch-hitter Blanco, tied the game with a ground-rule double to left, scoring Rupp. Galvis had to halt at third. Galvis did not run hard on his pop up to third. If he had, he could have been on second and scored on Blanco's double.
The Phillies have rallied for five runs in the eighth inning in their last three games.
Michael Saunders and Tommy Joseph opened the decisive 10th inning with singles, setting the table for Rupp's sacrifice fly. Aaron Altherr knocked in an insurance run with a base hit and Daniel Nava followed with a two-run single to push the lead to four.
Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes both drew full-count walks in the first inning against Eflin and scored. Conforto scored on a hit by Jay Bruce. Cespedes scored on a wild pitch.
Health check
Buchholz had season-ending surgery after just two starts. Club president Andy MacPhail talked about the decision to trade for him and the fragility of pitching as it pertains to future acquisitions (see story).
Howie Kendrick was placed on the disabled list and reliever Mark Leiter Jr. was brought up from Triple A (see story).
Up next
The series continues on Wednesday night. Vince Velasquez (0-2, 9.00) opposes Mets' right-hander Robert Gsellman (0-1, 9.28).

Phillies Notes: A setback for Aaron Nola? Howie Kendrick an option at first base?

Phillies Notes: A setback for Aaron Nola? Howie Kendrick an option at first base?

LOS ANGELES — Aaron Nola is eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday, but that's not going to happen.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin on Saturday indicated that the pitcher's recovery from a lower back strain was not going as smoothly as hoped.

Did Nola experience a setback?

"If you want to call it that," Mackanin said.

Nola threw a bullpen session on Friday and, according to Mackanin, did not bounce back as well as hoped.

"After he completed it, he had some symptoms, some soreness or tightness, I guess," Mackanin said. "It was decided he will not make his start on Monday. He will be reevaluated to determine his next bullpen.

"A couple of days ago he said he felt great and then [Friday] not so great. He's improving but he's not 100 percent. There's something bugging him. We're just going to take it day to day. We're being cautious with him this early in the season."

Nola experienced soreness in his lower back after his last start, April 20 against the Mets. The Phils have been filling the opening on their pitching staff with reliever Mark Leiter Jr. Nick Pivetta will be activated on Sunday and make his major-league debut with a start against the Dodgers.

Kendrick works at first base
First baseman Tommy Joseph and catcher Cameron Rupp, both hitting under .200, were not in the starting lineup on Saturday night as Mackanin went heavy on lefty hitters against Dodgers' righty Brandon McCarthy.

Mackanin stressed that he doesn't like to make judgments on hitters until they get around the 100 at-bat mark — Joseph has 63; Rupp 50 — but it's worth noting that first baseman Rhys Hoskins and catcher Jorge Alfaro are both off to hot starts at Triple A and could be eventual replacements if the club looks for more production.

There also could be another option brewing at first base.

Howie Kendrick has worked at first base during batting practice the last two days. On Friday, he merely tracked balls off the bat and worked on first-step breaks. He did so with a regular fielder's glove.

But on Saturday, Kendrick brought his first baseman's mitt to the field. He took some groundballs and throws from across the diamond.

This stuff doesn't happen just by accident.

Over an 11-season career, Kendrick has played in 89 games at first base. He opened the season as the Phillies' leftfielder and hit .333 (13 for 39) with an .883 OPS before suffering an oblique injury two weeks ago in Washington. Kendrick probably needs at least another week of recovery time before coming off the disabled list, but it's now reasonable to wonder if he will go back to left field or get time at first base when he returns. Using Kendrick at first would allow the Phillies to keep Aaron Altherr's bat in the lineup in left field.

Joseph can have a say in all this if he gets his bat going. He is hitting .190 (12 for 63) with just a .505 OPS.

Last May, it was Joseph who earned his way to the majors after his hot start in Triple A coincided with Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf struggling in the majors. Joseph got 347 plate appearances in the majors last season and hit .257 with 21 homers, 47 RBIs and a .813 OPS.

Tonight's lineup: Struggling Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp sit

Tonight's lineup: Struggling Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp sit

Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp, both struggling mightily through the first month of the season, will get Saturday night off when the Phillies take on the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Joseph is hitting .190 with one homer and 18 strikeouts in 18 games, while Rupp is batting .180 with one homer and 20 strikeouts through 15 games. Last season, Joseph had 21 home runs and Rupp 16.

Brock Stassi will spell Joseph at first base and bat seventh. Andrew Knapp takes over for Rupp behind the plate and will bat eighth.

Daniel Nava also receives a start, playing left field. The first-year Phillie is hitting .346 with a pair of homers and as many walks as strikeouts (seven).

Zach Eflin takes the mound in a meaningful start for the right-hander (see story). He opposes resurgent Dodgers righty Brandon McCarthy (see game notes).

Here are tonight's lineups:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Daniel Nava, LF
7. Brock Stassi, 1B
8. Andrew Knapp, C
9. Zach Eflin, P

1. Andrew Toles, CF
2. Corey Seager, SS
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Yasmani Grandal, C
5. Yasiel Puig, RF
6. Cody Bellinger, LF
7. Chase Utley, 2B
8. Chris Taylor, 3B
9. Brandon McCarthy, P