Dobbs' Slam Leads Phils Past Mets 10-6
Sunday, September 16th 2007, 6:54 pm
News On 6
NEW YORK (AP) _ So much for a Phillies flop. It's the New York Mets who are guarding against a September swoon.
Greg Dobbs had a pinch-hit grand slam and Philadelphia beat the sloppy Mets for the eighth straight time Sunday, completing another sweep of New York with a 10-6 victory.
The Phillies pulled within 3 1/2 games of the NL East leaders. They won 12 of 18 against the Mets this season, including a franchise-best three series sweeps.
``I don't know if we have their number, but we play well against them and I think the main reason is because they're in first place,'' Dobbs said. ``They're ahead of us. We get up and excited to play them and it's a bit of a rivalry.''
Philadelphia, which remained 1 1/2 back of San Diego in the wild-card race, has 13 games left while New York has 14 remaining.
``You play them out. You never know,'' Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. ``This is a funny game.''
Carlos Beltran hit a tying, three-run homer for New York, which committed six errors and matched a season high with 11 walks. It was the most errors by the Mets since they had six on Sept. 13, 2002, at Montreal.
``This, we just put in the past,'' said Jose Reyes, who committed two of the miscues on one play in the second inning. ``There's nothing you can do about it.''
David Wright hit a solo homer in the seventh to become the third player in franchise history to reach 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season. New York hitting coach Howard Johnson and Darryl Strawberry also accomplished the feat with the Mets.
The Phillies swept four home games from New York in late August, cutting their division deficit to two. The Mets pushed the margin back up to seven last week, then quickly let Philadelphia back in the race again.
``A bad time we picked to play bad baseball,'' manager Willie Randolph said. ``We were there about two weeks ago and we responded and I'm sure we'll respond the same way this time.''
Beltran's 29th homer tied it at 5 in the fifth, but Philadelphia responded with five runs in the sixth.
Mets reliever Guillermo Mota (2-2) failed to retire any of the three batters he faced. Pat Burrell walked, Ryan Howard reached on second baseman Luis Castillo's error and Aaron Rowand walked before Mota was replaced by Jorge Sosa.
Sosa walked Jayson Werth to force in a run before Dobbs hit a 1-2 pitch into the first deck in right for his first career grand slam and third pinch-hit homer. It also was the Phillies' second pinch-hit slam of the season.
``That was good managing right there,'' Manuel said, laughing. ``Dobbs has been good for us all year long.''
Dobbs also hurt the Mets on Friday night, lifting the Phillies to a 3-2 win with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the 10th inning. He leads the majors with 18 RBIs as a pinch hitter this year.
``You can feel it,'' Dobbs said. ``We're so close and if this series is any indication of how we're going to finish, we're going to lay it all out on the line.''
Geoff Geary (3-2) pitched two innings in relief of Adam Eaton to earn the win for Philadelphia, which has won six straight at Shea Stadium.
``Our bullpen has done a great job this series, so hopefully we can keep that up,'' said closer Brett Myers, who tossed a scoreless inning in each game against the Mets.
Shoddy play hurt New York all day and throughout the series.
Oliver Perez walked Eaton on four pitches with two outs in the second inning Sunday, loading the bases. Jimmy Rollins hit a grounder to shortstop Reyes, who bobbled the ball and threw it through Castillo's legs.
Reyes was charged with two errors on the play, allowing two runs to score and stopping his career-best errorless streak at 43 games.
Left fielder Moises Alou couldn't handle Rollins' fly ball to the warning track in the fourth, allowing the speedy leadoff hitter to reach third on the error. Chase Utley followed with a double to make it 4-1.
``How many errors did we make?'' Beltran said. ``Five? Six? You have to play defense, too. They deserved to beat us.''
New York also made several mistakes during Philadelphia's 5-3 win Saturday. Castillo was doubled off second on a fly ball to left in the first, and Reyes was thrown out trying to steal third with two outs and Wright batting in the sixth. Beltran also misplayed Rollins' eighth-inning line drive into a go-ahead, two-run triple.
Backup catcher Mike DiFelice committed a costly error in Friday night's loss _ moments after starter Paul Lo Duca was ejected.
Beltran saved a run in the series finale, making a great sliding catch to take a hit away from Rowand in the fourth.
New York used eight pitchers, tying a club record, and the 11 walks were its most since April 11 against Philadelphia.
Notes: Alou singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 20 games. ... Mets RHP Brian Lawrence will start Monday at Washington in place of Orlando Hernandez, who has a sore right foot. ... Howard had a pinch-hit grand slam on May 9 at Arizona. ... Rollins committed an error in the sixth, ending a 54-game errorless streak. It was the longest in the majors this year by a shortstop.