Sunday: Countdown to the Playoffs, Game # 7: The Mets prevent the Phils from clinching the Eastern Divison flag at home, as the Phils lose, 7-3.

Cole Hamels was not at his best, while also getting no help from the umpire, as the Mets prevent the Phils from clinching the division title at home, as the Phils lose to the Mets, 7-3, while the Braves lose again to the Nationals, cutting the Phils’ magic number down to one game.

The Mets took the lead in the second as David Wright hits a lead-off home run, his twenty-sixth home run of the year, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. The Mets added to their lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Angel Pagan and Ike Davis, with Davis’ single sending Pagan to third base, Joaquin Arias being safe at first on a fielder’s choice grounder as Pagan is caught between third and home by Cole Hamels on Arias’ grounder, before being caught in a rundown, and then being tagged out, 1-2-5, while Davis went to third on the play, and a Henry Blanco walk, sending Arias to second, and with two men out, after Mets’ starter Pat Misch struck out swinging, Jose Reyes hits an RBI infield single, which Wilson Valdez threw to second late, after being slow to get it out of his glove, allowing Davis to score, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead, while moving Arias to third base and Blanco to second, with the bases still loaded. The next batter, Nick Evans then hits a two-run double on a ball that Jayson Werth in right was unable to catch and then let get behind him, allowing both Arias and Blanco to score, making it a 4-0 Mets’ lead, before Reyes, who also tried to score on the play, is thrown out at the plate by a strong throw from Shane Victorino, who was backing up the play, 8-2, to finally end the inning. The Mets then made it a 5-0 lead in the fifth as Carlos Beltran hits a solo home run, his sixth home run of the year. The Phils then came back in their half of the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Chase Utley hits a three-run home run, his sixteenth home run of the season, knocking in Valdez, who had earlier singled, and pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr, who had a pinch hit infield single, moving Valdez up to second base, making it a 5-3 Mets’  lead. The Mets increased their lead in the ninth as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Beltran hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the ballgame and his seventh home run of the year, knocking in Evans, who had earlier singled, giving the Mets a 7-3 lead. That would be the final score as Hisanori Takahashi pitches a scoreless ninth, getting Utley to end the game by flying out to center.

Cole Hamels took the lost as he pitches just four innings, plus a batter, as he gives up five runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out two. His record is now 12-11 with a 3.09 ERA. David Herndon, Vance Worley, Chad Durbin and Jose Contreras combine for four scoreless innings, giving up one hit (Durbin) and three walks (Herndon, Worley and Durbin one each), while striking out four (Herndon (2), Worley (1), Durbin (1)) between them. Ryan Madson pitches to three batters, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, getting out none of the batters that he would face. Danys Baez pitches a scoreless inning, striking out two. Pat Misch gets a no-decision as he pitches four and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out three. Sean Green pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Manny Acosta gets the win as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up a hit and a walk. His record is now 3-1 with a 3.12 ERA. Pedro Feliciano records his twenty-first hold as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face.  Elmer Dessens receives his tenth hold as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. Hisanori Takahashi pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit.

The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Raul Ibanez leading the team with two hits, a single and a double. Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Wilson Valdez and pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr. had the other seven Phils’ hits, with Victorino, Polanco, Werth, Valdez and Mayberry’s hits being singles, Howard’s hit being a double and Utley’s hit being a three-run home run. The Phils were unable to get a key hit when they needed it.

The Phils (93-63, 1st) would go on the road for the last time during the regular season, to start a series with the Nationals (67-89, 5th) in Washington, looking to clinch the East, as they have already clinched at least a tie for both the Eastern Division and the Wild Card, as the Padres have also lost.

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