Ryan Howard leads the majors with three walk off hits. Credit: Getty Images
Summer Sundays have not been kind to the Phillies. Since Josh Beckett no-hit the Phillies on May 25, the Phillies have been abysmal on Sundays and at home against the Mets.
It appeared that the Phillies were about to succumb to a familiar fate Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. However, Ryne Sandberg’s squad came back to beat the Mets 7-6 courtesy of Ryan Howard’s walk-off single.
The Phillies showed some pluck rallying from a 6-1 deficit. Rather than face Chase Utley, who was a double short of the cycle, the Mets intentionally walked the Phillies second baseman to face Howard in the ninth.
“That’s to be expected,” Howard said. “Chase had three hits in the game with three RBIs and I didn’t have any at that point. Who are you going to face? The guy with three hits or the guy with no hits? I forgot about everything that happened in the game and it worked out.”
Howard just missed a pair of extra base hits earlier in the game.
“(Mets rightfielder Curtis) Granderson is playing on the scoreboard and I hit a ball right there and to the warning track in left,” Howard said. “I’m just barely missing balls. I’m making good, solid contact.”
Kyle Kendrick needed all the help he could get since he gave up six runs, five earned, in five innings. Kendrick, who was taken yard twice, was off of his game.
“I didn’t have command,” Kendrick said. “I was up a little bit. I didn’t have the sharp command I usually have and that’s what happens when you don’t have command. Fortunately the offense picked me up.”
After appearing worn out on the last road trip, Utley appears to be back in form. “I feel good,” Utley said. “I’m seeing the ball well and swinging the bat fine.”
Ken Giles (1-0) picked up his first career win. Out of the 72 outs he has recorded with the Phillies, a staggering 36 have been via the strikeout.
“It’s been an amazing experience so far,” Giles said. “I just try to go out there and do my job. If somebody gets on, I just try to focus on that next hitter and get out of the inning.”
The Phillies are now 2-10 during summer Sundays and have lost 11 of their last 14 games against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park.