PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies hope to finish a resurgent second half with a strong final weekend against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia certainly started the last series of the season off on the right foot, beating the Mets on Friday night, 6-2, to move to 36-37 since the All-Star break. It is no small accomplishment, considering the Phillies were just 29-58 at the break, which was the worst record in baseball at that point of the year.
Mets right-hander Matt Harvey allowed seven hits, four runs, three walks and one home run in just four innings. He posted an 11.28 ERA (28 earned runs in 22 1/3 innings) in six appearances this month.
"It's kind of been a continuous struggle all year," said Harvey, who missed more than two months of the season due to weakness in his right shoulder. "It was one of those games that the shoulder, I don't think is quite back to full strength."
Harvey allowed a two-run homer to Franco in the second inning to erase an early 1-0 lead. The Mets rapped across 10 hits -- the same amount as the Phils -- but could only muster two runs. Mets rookie Dominic Smith homered for the second consecutive game, bringing his home run total up to nine. Second baseman Jose Reyes also went deep, ripping a solo homer to right in the first inning against Phillies right-hander Ben Lively, who allowed two runs over six innings.
Lively finished 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 15 starts. He is expected to compete for a job in next season's rotation in Spring Training.
"There's a lot of guys competing and I just have to be on my 'A' game," Lively said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Harvey drops the ball: Harvey already allowed one run to score in the third inning when he balked to score Nick Williams from third base, handing the Phillies a 4-1 lead. It was the first balk of Harvey's career.
"There are a lot of firsts that have happened all year," Harvey said. "It's been a struggle all around." More >
Insurance runs: Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro and second baseman Cesar Hernandez each hit solo home runs against Mets reliever Hansel Robles in the sixth inning to give the Phillies a four-run lead. Alfaro's impressive jack left his bat at 107.6 mph and traveled a projected 423 feet to left-center field, per Statcast™. It was the rookie's fifth home run of the season. Hernandez's homer just reached the stands in right field, and was his ninth long ball of the season.
"Right when I hit it I felt that I hit it really hard," said Alfaro, who is 7-for-13 with three doubles, one homer and three RBIs in the past four games. "I'm just trying to find my pitch and stay in my zone, and [to not] get away from my hot spot."
"It's time to pile on." -- Mets manager Terry Collins, on local media reports criticizing, among other things, his bullpen usage this season
"Pretty much. Once the game starts, I'm managing." -- Mackanin, on the game feeling normal, despite being reassigned this afternoon
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Harvey finishes his season with a 6.70 ERA, the highest in history among Mets pitchers who made at least 15 starts. Pete Schourek previously held the record with a 5.96 ERA in 1993.
ODUBEL RUNS ONE DOWN
Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera made a five-star catch on a ball hit by Norichika Aoki in the third inning. It was Herrera's fourth five-star catch this season, tied for third-most in baseball. Herrera traveled 70 feet in 4.1 seconds to make the catch.
WHAT'S NEXT Mets: Instead of Jacob deGrom, who is nursing a stomach bug, the Mets will turn to right-hander Seth Lugo (7-5, 4.72 ERA) for Saturday's 7:05 p.m. ET game at Citizens Bank Park. Lugo struck out seven over six shutout innings last time out in a 3-2 win over the Braves.
Phillies: Right-hander Henderson Alvarez (0-1, 3.60 ERA) makes his third and final start of the season Saturday night against the Mets in Philadelphia. He pitched five scoreless innings in his last start last weekend against the Braves at SunTrust Park.