The Phillies put a dent in the Mets' plans to beat up on their National League East counterparts this season, beating Matt Harvey in a 5-2 win Sunday to take two of three this weekend at Citi Field.
Odubel Herrera's two-run homer in the sixth inning highlighted a steady stream of offense for the Phillies against Harvey, who plated their first run on a Freddy Galvis sacrifice fly. All told, the Phillies rapped out six hits and drew two walks against Harvey, who needed 95 pitches to complete six innings.
"Obviously, the outcome is not ideal," Harvey said. "I made a bad pitch there and it cost us some runs, unfortunately. Today, we needed zeros and I wasn't able to do that."
For Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson, the crooked numbers were enough. Retiring the first 11 Mets he faced, Hellickson did not allow a run until Yoenis Cespedes chased him with a two-run homer to put the Mets on the board in the sixth. But the Mets wound up scoring three or fewer runs for the fourth time in five games this season.
The series win gave the Phillies more wins at Citi Field already this season than they amassed all of last year.
"When the other team outplays you for two straight days, this is going to be the outcome," Mets third baseman David Wright said. "These past couple days, they pitched better than us. They hit better than us. They did everything better than us, and it shows in the win-loss column." More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Herrera homers: The center fielder hit a two-run shot off Harvey with one out in the sixth on a liner to right-center, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. It was his first homer of the season.
"He got a good pitch to hit and he hit it," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said about Herrera's at-bat. "He's been swinging and fouling off a lot of what looks like good pitches to hit. We were kind of wondering how come. We knew he was going to hit, so it was good to see him break out that way."
Yo awakens: A day after receiving a smattering of boos for his 0-for-4, three-strikeout performance, Cespedes converted fans to his side with a two-run homer in the sixth. Though not enough to take Harvey off the hook, Cespedes' first home run of the season chased Hellickson, bringing the Mets within one run of the lead.
"I'm not really happy obviously because the team didn't win," Cespedes said through an interpreter. "But in terms of myself, the more games we play, each day it's going to be getting better. I'll be making more adjustments hopefully, and that will make the difference."
Hellickson's no-no goes by the boards: The right-hander had retired the first 11 batters when Cespedes dumped a single to right field with two out in the fourth. It was the Mets' only hit in the first five innings. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Mets reliever Jim Henderson, who spent all of last season working his way back from shoulder surgery, struck out the side in the seventh. The former Brewers closer has retired all nine batters he has faced this season, seven of them via strikeouts.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW A sacrifice fly by Ryan Howard nearly went for naught when Herrera wandered too far off second base in the eighth, allowing Curtis Granderson to sneak a throw in behind him. As Herrera scampered back to the bag, Galvis scored to extend the Phillies' lead to 4-2, though the exact timing of those two plays didn't wind up mattering; a two-minute, 25-second review confirmed the call that Herrera was safe.
WHAT'S NEXT Phillies: After beginning the season with six games on the road, the Phils return to Citizens Bank Park for the home opener Monday against the Padres at 3:05 p.m. ET. It'll be young right-hander Aaron Nola on the mound vs. right-hander Andrew Cashner for San Diego.
Mets:Steven Matz will make his season debut Monday as the Mets open a three-game series with the Marlins at Citi Field. Matz, who was available out of the bullpen last week in Kansas City but never pitched, will oppose Jarred Cosart in the 7:10 p.m. ET game.