2:10 PM ET, September 25, 2011
Citi Field, New York, New York
Halladay pitched six dominant innings, Pence homered early and the NL East champions snapped their eight-game losing streak, routing the New York Mets 9-4 Sunday.
Playing their regular lineup for the first time since clinching their fifth straight division title, the Phillies posted their major league-leading 99th victory. Center fielder Shane Victorino closed it out with a nifty running grab for the final out.
"It's a matter of getting everybody out there and getting the rhythm of the lineup," star slugger Ryan Howard said. "Everybody kind of exploded today."
"Hopefully, we can keep it together through October," he said.
Pence homered during a three-run first inning, each starter had a hit by the third and Carlos Ruiz's single made it 9-0 in the fourth.
That was plenty for Halladay (19-6). He tuned up for his expected start in Game 1 of the NL playoffs Saturday by throwing six scoreless innings of four-hit ball. Last year's unanimous Cy Young Award winner finished this regular season with a career-best 2.35 ERA.
Halladay won his eighth straight start against the Mets and closed his outing by fanning Nick Evans with the bases loaded. It was Halladay's third strikeout of the game -- that was his 220th of the year, one more than his previous high.
"I didn't want it to feel like a spring training start. Everything was where I wanted it to be," Halladay said.
Phillies rookie Vance Worley gave up one run in 1 2/3 innings during his first relief appearance since leaving the rotation. He is 11-3 but with Philadelphia boasting four aces, he'll work out of the bullpen in October.
The Phillies' skid was their longest since 2000, and the worst by any big league team after wrapping up first place since the World Series began in 1903, STATS LLC said.
"I think we're still a confident group, it didn't just disappear," Halladay said.
Frustrated by all the losses, manager Charlie Manuel put all his regulars on the field and also tinkered with the lineup, moving Chase Utley into the second slot. And after scoring a total of only 16 runs during the slide, the Phillies responded with 19 hits.
"I think you see the difference. When you get all of our guys in there, we've got a pretty good lineup," Manuel said. "When you have two or three of them missing, we become a different team."
Ruiz went 4-for-4 with a walk. His two-run hit in the fourth drew a mixed response from the crowd, with Phillies fans cheering his "Chooch" nickname and Mets fans simply booing.
Pence also tripled, singled and walked. He made a costly error Saturday night in his first start since missing three games because of a strained knee.
Manuel quickly began pulling his All-Stars. Howard came out for a pinch-runner in the fourth to rest a sore foot and Jimmy Rollins left following the sixth. The romp sent the Phillies to Atlanta for a season-ending three-game series against the NL wild-card leaders.
Phillies pitcher Justin DeFratus apparently got dressed for the road trip a bit early. He wore a pink feather boa on the walk from the dugout to the bullpen before the game, surely a bit of rookie hazing.
Mike Pelfrey (7-13) was battered from the outset. He was done after three innings, leaving him with only one win in his last 12 starts of the season.
"I wanted to finish strong and obviously (I) didn't -- furthest thing from it," he said. "You take a full month off, you bust the offseason and you come back ready to go."
With their 83rd loss, the Mets matched last year's total.
The Mets had won three in a row, but Pence's 21st home run on Pelfrey's 10th pitch put them behind for good. Ronny Paulino hit a two-run homer in the seventh off Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo.
Mets fans, however, did get a good laugh when third baseman Justin Turner tripped and fell face-first over the mound chasing a popup. Later, they loudly cheered a New York score -- by the Giants, that is, when highlights of their NFL game against the Eagles were shown on the video board.
The Phillies open a three-game series at Atlanta on Monday night. Cliff Lee (16-8, 2.38 ERA) starts for Philadelphia against Randall Delgado (1-1, 2.70). ... The Mets host Cincinnati starting Monday night. Chris Schwinden (0-2, 5.06) starts for New York vs. Homer Bailey (9-7, 4.32). ... Mets SS Jose Reyes went 2 for 4, raising his average to .331. Milwaukee's Ryan Braun leads the NL at .333. ... Mets RF Mike Baxter made a fine catch while sliding into foul ground. ... Mets 1B coach Mookie Wilson has left the team for the rest of the season after the death of his sister. Wally Backman coached in his place, wearing No. 86 - he was part of the Mets' championship team in 1986.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel signs autographs before a game against...(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|Philadelphia leads 11-7 (as of Sun 9/25)|
|Tue 4/5||NYM 7, @PHI 1||Recap|
|Wed 4/6||@PHI 10, NYM 7||Recap|
|Thu 4/7||@PHI 11, NYM 0||Recap|
|Fri 4/29||@PHI 10, NYM 3||Recap|
|Sat 4/30||@PHI 2, NYM 1||Recap|
|Sun 5/1||NYM 2, @PHI 1||Recap|
|Fri 5/27||PHI 6, @NYM 4||Recap|
|Sat 5/28||PHI 5, @NYM 2||Recap|
|Sun 5/29||@NYM 9, PHI 5||Recap|
|Fri 7/15||PHI 7, @NYM 2||Recap|
|Sat 7/16||@NYM 11, PHI 2||Recap|
|Sun 7/17||PHI 8, @NYM 5||Recap|
|Mon 8/22||@PHI 10, NYM 0||Recap|
|Tue 8/23||@PHI 9, NYM 4||Recap|
|Wed 8/24||NYM 7, @PHI 4||Recap|
|Sat 9/24||@NYM 2, PHI 1||Recap|
|Sat 9/24||@NYM 6, PHI 3||Recap|
|» Sun 9/25||PHI 9, @NYM 4||Box Score|
|Complete Schedule: Phillies | Mets|
|1st||H Pence homered to right (395 feet), J Rollins scored.||2||0|
|1st||R Ibanez hit sacrifice fly to right, R Howard scored.||3||0|
|2nd||C Utley singled to left, C Ruiz scored.||4||0|
|3rd||P Polanco doubled to deep left, R Ibanez scored.||5||0|
|4th||H Pence singled to center, J Rollins scored, C Utley to third.||6||0|
|4th||R Howard singled to right, C Utley scored, H Pence to second.||7||0|
|4th||C Ruiz singled to left, H Pence and J Mayberry Jr. scored, R Ibanez to second.||9||0|
|7th||R Paulino homered to left (423 feet), M Baxter scored.||9||2|
|7th||V Pascucci singled to left, J Pridie scored.||9||3|
|8th||J Turner doubled to deep center, N Evans scored.||9||4|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Citi Field, New York, NY|
|Attendance||32,796 (78.2% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||80 degrees, cloudy|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Victor Carapazza, First Base - Mike Estabrook, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - John Hirschbeck|
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