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Cespedes homers but Mets fall short in 5-2 loss to Phillies

Matt Harvey allowed three earned runs and six hits in six innings against the Phillies.Seth Wenig/AP

Matt Harvey allowed three earned runs and six hits in six innings against the Phillies.

Fans are swooning over Yoenis Cespedes again, at least for now. But that doesn’t mean things have gotten better for the Mets.

A day after the Citi Field faithfulunleashed frustration on Cespedes for his poor start, the big-money outfielder blasted his first homer of the season and heard robust cheers. But it wasn’t enough as the Mets lost to the lowly Phillies for the second straight day, this time by 5-2 in front of 37,233 on a sunny but chilly afternoon.

They did it Sunday while sporting replica uniforms from their 1986 championship club. But the threads were the only similarity with that juggernaut, thanks to another so-so start for Matt Harvey (0-2, 4.63 ERA) and an anemic offense that had four hits after notching only three on Saturday.

“He’s made some bad pitches,” Terry Collins said of Harvey, who allowed three runs in six innings, but regretted a fat slider that Odubel Herrera hit for a two-run homer in the sixth. “The pitch to Herrera was right in the middle. Otherwise, he made great pitches. He was sailing along. We’ve had this discussion in the past – we’re not giving him much room for error, either,” the manager added. “We’re not scoring, so you can’t make a mistake. You hang a pitch and the damage is done and you get down on yourself.”

The loss meant the Mets dropped a series against a team most forecast to be among baseball’s worst. Entering this weekend, the Mets had won eight of their last nine series against Philadelphia. The Mets, who lost two of three, still have won 28 of their last 41 games against the Phils.

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Yoenis Cespedes responded to Saturday's boo birds with a two-run homer, but it wasn't enough to carry the Mets' offense.Al Bello/Getty Images

Yoenis Cespedes responded to Saturday’s boo birds with a two-run homer, but it wasn’t enough to carry the Mets’ offense.

The Mets, who were shut out Saturday, didn’t score until Cespedes hit a two-run homer off Phils starter Jeremy Hellickson in the sixth inning. But the Mets offense barely registered otherwise and has produced only 14 runs in five games. Met hitters are batting .180 with eight extra-base hits.

The Mets have not actually scored a run while Harvey has been in the game this season. But he says he can’t pay attention to those kinds of things, especially if the slider that caused so much buzz during camp isn’t always sharp. “I’m the one out there making pitches – making bad pitches,” Harvey said. “It’s up to me and all the starters to put up as many zeroes as we can and unfortunately today we needed that and I wasn’t able to do it.”

The Mets trailed, 3-0, when Cespedes and Hellickson clashed in an epic at-bat.

Cespedes took a ball and then a called strike and then fouled off two pitches. Hellickson threw two balls to run the count full and then Cespedes fouled off four consecutive pitches before smacking a 78-mph changeup, the 11th pitch of the battle, over the left field wall. “I’m not really happy, obviously, because the team didn’t win,” Cespedes said through a translator. “But with myself, the more games we play, each day, it’s going to be getting better. I’ll be making more adjustments and that’ll make the difference.”

“He’s going to be fine,” Collins said of his slugger. “I realize there’s always panic and drama here. It goes with the territory of being in this town.

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Odubel Herrera launched a two-run homer over Curtis Granderson to give Philadephia a 3-0 lead.Seth Wenig/AP

Odubel Herrera launched a two-run homer over Curtis Granderson to give Philadephia a 3-0 lead.

But he’s going to be fine. This guy has hit everywhere he’s been and he hit last year, big hits when the games counted.”

Collins opined that the drought – the Mets went 15 innings without scoring from Friday to the sixth inning Sunday – stems in part from the weather keeping the Mets from taking batting practice on the field. They’re not into the flow of the season, the manager reasons, and missing out on routines doesn’t help.

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Harvey now has a 4.63 ERA this season.Al Bello/Getty Images

Harvey now has a 4.63 ERA this season.

Still, David Wright, who doubled just before Cespedes’ homer, pointed out that the Phillies have dealt with the same thing. “We’re not here to make excuses,” Wright said. “When the other team outplays you for two straight days, this is going to be the outcome. They’ve pitched better than us, hit better than us, done everything better than us and it shows in the won-loss column.”

But Wright doesn’t believe anything is wrong beyond the usual ebb-and-flow of a baseball season. “Sometimes you get outplayed for a couple of days,” Wright said. “I don’t think it’s anything more than that. You don’t see any panicked looks on faces or any craziness going on. I don’t think anyone should be too worried.” Then he added, “But let’s win some games so we don’t have to continuously keep talking about it.”

Tags:
yoenis cespedes ,
matt harvey ,
odubel herrera ,
jeremy hellockson ,
new york mets ,
philadelphia phillies ,
philadelphia ,
mlb

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