Friday, June 28, 2013

PHILLIES: Frandsen's homer bails out another blown save

June 22, 2013

Box Score (From

By Mike Patterson

The Phillies beat the Mets 8-7 in game two of the series on Saturday due to the late game heroics of pinch-hitting Kevin Frandsen. 

The Phils’ offense was absolutely phenomenal in this game. They came out swinging in the bottom of the first, after Jonathan Pettibone shut down the Mets in the top of the inning. 

Chase Utley and Michael Young both reached base on outfield singles, and they advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Ryan Howard hit ‘em both home with a single to take the 2-0 lead. The inning ended with a Dominic Brown strikeout and a pop up by John Mayberry Jr..

The second was mostly eventless and the score remained knotted up at two runs apiece. 

The Mets scored a run in the top of the third when Valdespin hit into a fielder’s choice to cut the Phils lead down to one run.

The Phillies came out ready in the bottom of the fourth. Ryan Howard led off the inning swinging at the first pitch in the strike zone, and he crushed it to left for a solo home run.   

Dominic Brown was due up after Howard, and he came through once again, hitting a deep double to right field. He scored soon after, hit home by Ben Revere. 

In the top of the fifth, Pettibone pitched another great half inning: three Mets up, three Mets out.

The Phils rallied with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. First, Michael Young hit a solo home run to left field. How does Ryan Howard follow that up? He smashes another homer to right field, 405 feet deep.

Pettibone kept up his good play in the top of the sixth, allowing only one hit; however, he left the game before the seventh due to an apparent lower back injury suffered in an early at-bat. Michael Stutes relieved him. The Phils were up 7-1 in when Pettibone left. 

Time and time again, the Phillies' relievers have not been getting it done. It took the Phillies three pitchers to get through the seventh and they allowed four runs on two hits.

In the top of the eighth, Antonio Bastardo was brought out from the bullpen and gave up only one hit to the Mets to retain the two run lead. In the bottom of the inning, Dominic Brown hit another double, but was left stranded. 

Charlie Manuel brought out Jonathan Papelbon to close out the game. He did not get the job done, giving up a home run to Jordany Valdespin and an RBI single to Daniel Murphy. The Mets tied the game and Papelbon blew the save. 

Manuel spoke in defense of his closer. 

“It happens to all closers. Lidge is the only one I know who was perfect,” Manuel said of course referring to Brad Lidge’s perfect 48-for-48 season that led the Phils to a World Series. 

In the bottom of the ninth, Papelbon was due up to bat first for the Phils. Manuel decided to pinch hit Kevin Frandsen for the closer. And the decision turned out to be a great one.

After taking a ball, Frandsen saw a pitch he liked and crushed it to deep left (427 ft) to win the game. Frandsen, the team, and the fans were ecstatic to beat their rivals in this fashion. 

You've got one chance," Frandsen said. "I'm trying to get on base. I'm not a home-run hitter. Fortunately I got a pitch to hit. You get a pitch to hit, hopefully you do something with it and I did. It was awesome." 

Although Howard’s performance at the plate has been somewhat dismal this year, he is heating up. In their last 11 games he is batting .439 with 3 homers and 11 RBIs.
Howard hit two home runs and drove in four runs against Dillon Gee tonight. He has completely dominated the Mets pitcher in his career, batting 7-15 with six home runs and 14 RBIs. Gee said of the slugger, “He definitely hits me. No matter what I throw, he hits it out of the park.”

The finale of the three game series is set for Sunday, with Matt Harvey (6-1) pitching for the Mets facing the Phils’ John Lannan (0-1), who was recently activated from the DL after suffering a strained quadriceps tendon. 

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