Phillies 11, Mets 9, 13 innings
NEW YORK (AP)—There are five teams ahead of them and the calendar is counting down the days in the season. Still, the Philadelphia Phillies think they have a shot at the NL wild card, especially after Saturday’s 11-9, 13-inning victory over the New York Mets.
“The numbers tell you you’re out of it,” manager Larry Bowa said, knowing his team is 4 1/2 games off the pace. “But you come to the ballpark every day rejuvenated.”
David Bell had four hits, including a pair of home runs. The second broke a 9-9 tie and lifted the Phillies to their fifth straight victory and eighth in the last nine games following a 1-9 homestand.
Bell made a ninth-inning error at third that led to a pair of unearned runs against closer Billy Wagner, forcing extra innings.
“You want to make every play,” Bell said. “To give them an extra out and let them tie the game is not what you want to do.”
Bell’s 15th home run of the year came after Jim Thome reached base on an infield hit that glanced off the glove of Vic Darensbourg (0-1). Roberto Hernandez (3-5) won, and Felix Rodriguez got his first save since July 11 last year.
“There’s nothing better than contributing to a team win, especially like that,” Bell said. “Right now, every game is so important.”
Bell was in the middle of a ninth-inning rally with an RBI when Philadelphia strung together four straight two-out singles to take a 9-7 lead.
But the Mets, who have lost 18 of 20, came back in the bottom half, tying the score on Wilson Delgado’s two-out single against Wagner, who then was ejected by plate umpire Dana DeMuth after throwing two high-and-tight pitches to Cliff Floyd.
Wagner was still furious about the ejection after the 5-hour, 15-minute game, unconcerned with possible disciplinary action after throwing his hat and a blue water jug on the field.
“He should have a suspension,” the pitcher said of DeMuth. “They let him stand behind the plate and call balls and strikes. He was worse than I was, and that’s hard to do. Why can’t I throw him out of the game?”
“We couldn’t keep up,” Mets manager Art Howe said. “They hit five home runs, four with men on base. We were behind in the count in almost every situation. You can’t do that.”
The Mets, who led 6-2 in the sixth inning, wore hats honoring New York police, firefighters and other personnel killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. After nine innings, the totals for each team: 9 runs and 11 hits.
New York (eight) and Philadelphia (10) combined to tie the major league record for pitchers used, and Philadelphia matched the NL record for one team, one shy of the major league mark set by Seattle in 1996.
Burrell’s 21st home run of the season, a two-run shot in the eighth off Braden Looper, had put the Phillies ahead for the first time at 7-6. It was the 25th homer of his career against New York, his 13th at Shea Stadium.
The Mets tied the score in the bottom half on Jeff Keppinger’s two-out single against Todd Worrell, Keppinger’s third hit of the game.
New York grabbed a quick 3-0 lead in the first in Mike Piazza’s bases-loaded walk and sacrifice flies by Richard Hidalgo and Jason Phillips. Pratt hit a two-run homer in the second, his first since Sept. 7 last year, also against the Mets.
Eric Milton, pitching on the fifth anniversary of his 1999 no-hitter against Anaheim, fell behind 6-2 in the fifth on Wright’s RBI single and a two-run double by Victor Diaz, who was making his major league debut.
The other games with 18 pitchers were Washington (nine) and Cleveland (nine) on Sept. 20, 1971 (20 innings), Houston (10) and the Chicago Cubs (eight) on Sept. 28, 1995 (11 innings) and Seattle (nine) and Oakland (nine) on Sept. 20, 1997 (15 innings). … Pratt’s homer was the Phillies’ team-record 187th, one more than Philadelphia had in 1977. … Diaz, called up Friday night, started in right field for the Mets, with Hidalgo moving to left. … Trachsel has not won in six starts since beating Houston on Aug. 10. … Milton allowed six runs and seven hits in five innings. … The game was played on the 30th anniversary of a 25-inning game between the Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.