Phillies

Instant Replay: Phillies 6, Mets 4

Instant Replay: Phillies 6, Mets 4

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- The Phillies on Thursday night did something that is not easy to do. They beat Noah Syndergaard.

The Phils scored three times in the second inning and twice more in the third against the flame-throwing right-hander on their way to a 6-4 win over the New York Mets at Citi Field.

The Phils ended up taking two of three to win just their third series against the Mets in the last 18 tries.

Syndergaard entered the game with the fourth-best ERA in the majors (2.78) since the start of the 2015 season and he had allowed just two earned runs in 19 innings over his first three starts this season.

Tommy Joseph, Andrew Knapp and Maikel Franco all had RBI doubles against Syndergaard, whose fastball reached triple digits a number of times.

Franco's double in the third broke an 0-for-22 slump. He also smacked a solo homer off reliever Fernando Salas in the eighth.

Aaron Nola got the win despite allowing the Mets to chip away at his early 5-1 lead.

The Phils are 6-9. The Mets are 8-8.

Starting pitching report
Though he left the game with a one-run lead, Nola did not pitch well. He ran a high pitch count (96) and lasted just five innings. He gave up seven hits and four runs. He walked four and struck out two. Nola had trouble putting hitters away. He gave up four hits with two strikes on a batter, including a three-run homer to Neil Walker on an 0-2 breaking ball in the third inning.

Syndergaard was not supported by good defense. Two of the five runs he gave up were unearned. He went seven innings and did not walk a batter. He struck out 10. He has not walked a batter in 26 innings this season. He has 30 strikeouts.

Bullpen report
Lefty Joely Rodriguez came up huge for the Phils. He got six outs in protecting a one-run lead. He threw 17 pitches, 14 strikes.

Manager Pete Mackanin switched up his end game and used Joaquin Benoit for a scoreless eighth and Hector Neris for the save. Benoit was installed as closer just last week after Jeanmar Gomez lost the job.

At the plate
The Phillies had 10 hits. Franco and Joseph, who both entered the game hitting under .160, accounted for five of them. In addition to his two extra-base hits, Franco walked once. Aaron Altherr had two hits.

Walker's homer was the big hit for the Mets.

In the field
The Mets made three errors.

Lineup stuff
Michael Saunders was scratched from the starting lineup because of illness. He did pinch-hit in the sixth inning and lined a shot to the gap in left-center. Saunders was denied extra bases when Mets left-fielder Michael Conforto made a terrific grab running into the wall.

Up next
The Phils return home Friday night to begin a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves. Here are the pitching matchups:

Friday night -- RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-0, 0.82) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (1-1, 4.24)

Saturday night -- RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 2.75) vs. LHP Jaime Garcia (0-1, 4.67)

Sunday afternoon -- RHP Zach Eflin (0-0, 3.60) vs. RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-2, 4.26)

Morphine found in Roy Halladay's system before fatal plane crash

Morphine found in Roy Halladay's system before fatal plane crash

Roy Halladay had morphine in his system when the plane he was piloting crashed and he tragically died in November, according to Halladay's autopsy report, released Friday.

Zolpidem, the generic name for Ambien, and amphetamines were also found in Halladay's system.

As TMZ points out via the Food and Drug Administration, the amount of Zolpidem found in Halladay's system (72 ng/ml) is more than enough to impair a driver and increase the risk of an accident.

Halladay had a blood alcohol content of 0.01, according to the autopsy report. 

The official cause of Halladay's death was blunt force trauma, with drowning a contributing factor.

The crash took place on Nov. 7 in the Gulf of Mexico, with more details emerging in a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board two weeks later.

Nick Williams talks up Phillies to a free-agent Cy Young winner

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AP Images/USA Today Images

Nick Williams talks up Phillies to a free-agent Cy Young winner

It's not clear whether the Phillies will add a starting pitcher before opening day, but surely they would like to.

General manager Matt Klentak “is busting his ass every single day looking for every possible opportunity to upgrade our team from every perspective,” manager Gabe Kapler said on Tuesday. “That includes looking at every option possible for the rotation.”

Klentak has kept a close eye on the trade market, but has found the prices (i.e., the young talent that must be surrendered) for top, controllable starters to be prohibitive.

He has kept a close eye on the free-agent market, but the length of contracts that top pitchers are looking for has given him pause.

For months, the Phillies have distanced themselves from speculation that has connected them to elite level free-agent pitchers Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta.

But with spring training less than a month away and both pitchers still unsigned, the Phillies would at least have to consider both pitchers if their asking prices experience a January thaw.

Six or seven years? No way.

Three years? Hmmm. Let's talk.

The Phillies are hosting a number of their young players this week. Rhys Hoskins, Jerad Eickhoff, Mark Leiter and Nick Williams were all in town on Tuesday.

Williams has set his sights on making the National League All-Star team in 2018.

“That's what I'm shooting for,” he said at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday. “I think I had a pretty good year last year. I'm shooting for more now. I don't think being an All-Star is shooting too high.”

Williams, 24, hit .288 with 12 homers, 55 RBIs and an .811 OPS in 83 games, mostly in right field, with the big club as a rookie last season.

To give himself the best chance of surpassing those numbers — and achieving his goal of making the All-Star team — Williams has spent the offseason in Austin, Texas, working with personal trainer Jeremy Hills, a former University of Texas football player.

Williams is working hard on agility, which will help him in the outfield and on the base paths.

And guess who one of his daily workout partners is?

Free-agent pitcher Jake Arrieta.

Back in Austin, between reps and protein shakes, Williams has occasionally talked up Philadelphia as a potential landing spot to Arrieta, the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner who will turn 32 in March.

“He loves it here,” Williams said of Arrieta, who, as a free agent and a Scott Boras client, is astute enough not to rule out any team, particularly one as deep-pocketed as the Phillies. “He has told me he likes working with young guys. I'm like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I'm not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I'm not really in his position.”

Williams smiled.

“I hope to be one day,” he said.

Williams marveled at Arrieta's work ethic in the gym.

And he expressed gratitude for the kindness and generosity Arrieta has showed him.

“He's bought a lot of my protein shakes,” Williams said.

Time will tell if the Phillies add a starting pitcher to the group that already consists of Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin and other youngsters. The hunch is they will, though it's unclear what the magnitude of that talent will be. Klentak's search for an arm likely won't stop with the addition of one pitcher and it will likely continue through July. And beyond. The quest to build a championship-caliber staff never stops.

“The pursuit is very real,” Kapler said of Klentak's search for pitching. “I have a lot of trust that we'll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we're better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”