Phillies Comeback Only To Lose In Ninth Inning 5-4

A rare bad outing from Randy Wolf made the Phillies offense work to come from behind for the second night in a row against the Mets. While the offense did its job, the Phillies bullpen couldn't hold the lead and gave up a tying run in the eighth and the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as the Phillies lost to the Mets 5-4 on a rain soaked night in New York.

The decision not to walk Tony Clark proved costly for Philadelphia Phillies manager Larry Bowa. Clark's RBI single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the New York Mets to a 5-4 victory over the Phillies.

After Marco Scutaro opened the ninth with a single and moved to second on a groundout, Bowa was presented with the option of intentionally walking Clark to face Jeff Duncan, who has one career major league at-bat. Bowa elected to face the veteran Clark and the former All-Star hit a 1-1 pitch from Terry Adams over the head of second baseman Placido Polanco and into right-center field to easily score Scutaro.

New York closer Armando Benitez (1-3) got the win, striking out one in one scoreless inning. Starter Al Leiter struggled with his control, walking six while allowing three runs and five hits with five strikeouts in six innings.

Adams (0-2) took the loss, allowing a run and three hits while retiring three batters.

"We were in good shape until the eighth inning," Bowa said. "The bullpen has been consistent. They hit a bump in the road tonight."

Leiter avoided an early deficit in the first inning. After Jimmy Rollins opened the game with a single, he was erased when Polanco grounded into a double play. But Leiter proceeded to walk the next three Phillies, loading the bases for David Bell, who grounded out to end the inning.

The Mets grabbed the lead in the bottom half of the first when Roberto Alomar scored on a double-play grounder by Jason Phillips.

Philadelphia threatened again in the second, as former Met Todd Pratt doubled and was sacrificed to third. Leiter got Phillies starter Randy Wolf to ground out before striking out Rollins to escape unscathed.

Tsuyoshi Shinjo increased New York's advantage to 2-0 in the third with a solo home run, his first since September 5 and first as a Met since September 7, 2001.

The Phillies finally got to Leiter in the sixth, scoring three runs to take the lead. Jim Thome led off with a single and Leiter, who struggled with his control all night, walked Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu to load the bases. Bell followed with a single to center, scoring Thome. Pratt hit a grounder that first baseman Phillips knocked down, allowing Burrell to score as the converted catcher got the out at first. Marlon Byrd then lifted a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Abreu with the go-ahead run.

Abreu stroked a two-out single off Mike Stanton in the seventh to score Polanco and give Philadelphia a 4-2 cushion, but Clark hit for the left-handed reliever in the bottom of the inning and walked with the bases loaded to force in Vance Wilson.

Cliff Floyd opened the eighth against Dan Plesac and greeted the left-hander with a blast to center for his second homerun in as many games, tying the contest, 4-4.

Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories