PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies were outmatched by Matt Harvey on Sunday, and in the process, ended a mediocre homestand that had the potential to be a great one.
Behind six scoreless innings from Harvey, the Mets shut out the Phillies, 8-0, in the final game of their three-game set at Citizens Bank Park. It was the third loss in four games for the Phillies, who ended the week going 3-3 and head west on a 10-game road trip four games below .500 at 36-40.
While Sunday's loss -- in which the Phillies had just four hits and the Mets had nine extra-base knocks -- seemed like a sure thing for most of the afternoon, the other two defeats the Phillies suffered at home were well within their grasp. Closer Jonathan Papelbon coughed up a ninth-inning lead on Wednesday against the Nationals, and the Phillies blew a three-run advantage with Cole Hamels on the mound Friday against the Mets.
"We were 3-3 on the homestand, and it feels to me kind of like the way we play," manager Charlie Manuel said. "That's how I look at it. If you've watched us all year long, you've seen the inconsistent part of it, and that's kind of how we play."
The Phillies were shut out for the seventh time this season Sunday, after an eight-run performance in a quirky, walk-off win Saturday. Harvey sailed through six innings, and the only thing that stopped him was the weather.
Harvey, a right-handed phenom, allowed just two hits and struck out six on 72 pitches in six frames of work. Though he was dominant, he did not return to the contest after a 20-minute rain delay in the top of the seventh. Harvey is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA and 28 strikeouts in four career starts against the Phillies.
The only threat Harvey faced came in the fourth inning, when Chase Utley led off the frame with a double. Utley reached third on a groundout, but after he walked Ryan Howard on four pitches, Harvey blew a 99-mph fastball past Domonic Brown and got Delmon Young to ground out.
"Today was a good day," Harvey said. "Obviously, the velocity was there and I was able to hit the corners pretty well."
Phillies starter John Lannan kept his team in the game early, but things unraveled in the fifth inning.
Juan Lagares, who led off the fifth, sent a fly ball to center field and Ben Revere glided over to make a routine grab. But as he went to transfer the ball to his bare hand, the ball fell to the ground and it was not ruled a catch by second-base umpire D.J. Reyburn. Lagares reached third on the play, Revere was charged with an error and the Mets went on to score three runs in the inning.
Manuel said the umpires told him they did not think Revere had "complete control," and Revere was also upset with the ruling.
"I caught the ball," Revere said. "It's just the umpire was standing right there, looking right at me. You see it on TV that I clearly caught the ball, turned around, looking for my grip and it kind of slipped out of my hand. It was a terrible call."
The Mets went on to hit three RBI doubles in the inning, the first of which came off the bat of none other than Harvey. Lannan ended up running into more trouble in the sixth and exited before recording an out. He gave up six runs -- four earned -- on eight hits to go with three walks and three strikeouts.
"I knew I had a job to do there and I wasn't thrown off [by the error]," Lannan said. "I just wasn't making pitches. I wasn't as sharp as I wanted to be today, but I made some pitches when I needed to, but right there, I didn't. From then on, I really did not make a pitch."
While David Wright had four extra-base hits (two doubles, a triple and a homer), the Phillies had four hits total. They also lost another member of their bullpen, as Michael Stutes was placed on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis after the game.
Even with an abundance of things working against them, the Phillies will start their road trip 7 1/2 games behind division-leading Atlanta. With the All-Star break three weeks away, and the trade deadline looming, Michael Young said "every game is a big game now.
"Our best opportunity to get right in the thick of this race is right now," Young said. "We can't sit there and wait until after the All-Star break. You have to start showing some signs right now, start generating momentum. We're right smack in the middle of the season now, so it's time for us to hit the gas a little bit and get going."
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.