NEW YORK -- Closer Jonathan Papelbon made his first visit to the MLB Fan Cave in Greenwich Village before Saturday's game. Papelbon did a number of activities at the Fan Cave, from talking with fans to doing promotional work to even sharing a few pitching lessons.
Papelbon was still eager to visit the Fan Cave after the Phillies' game against the Mets on Friday night took more than four hours.
"Long games make the season longer, but it was fine," he said. "It was nice to meet some people there. It was a lot of fun."
Papelbon said the best part of his experience was asking fans who were around the Fan Cave if they could take a baseball and throw a strike from a distance to hit bottles. He eventually participated in the game for a few minutes, too.
Papelbon has been strong for the Phillies this season. He has pitched 13 scoreless innings and converted his 10th consecutive save opportunity in Friday's 3-2 win over the Mets in 11 innings.
"Any time you're a closer and you get the opportunity to get the team back on track, it's definitely a good thing," he said.
Sandberg pleased with Phils' response after meeting
NEW YORK -- Before the Phillies' 3-2 win over the Mets in 11 innings on Friday night, manager Ryne Sandberg gathered his team in the clubhouse. Sandberg initiated the team meeting, the first one this season, to give his players a message that they needed to display better fundamentals and play with more urgency.
A day later, Sandberg said he was pleased with how his team responded.
"It was received very well," he said. "You start a new series and get it going in another direction."
When Sandberg was done speaking, the players spent a few minutes discussing their struggles among themselves. Sandberg said he does not plan on calling many team meetings in a 162-game season.
But he had his reasons before Friday's game: The Phillies entered the contest in last place in the National League East after they were swept by the Blue Jays, who scored 31 runs in a four-game series.
Sandberg hopes his team makes smarter decisions on the field and takes advantage of scoring opportunities. The Phillies were fortunate to win Friday's game despite leaving 17 runners on base. Yet for now, Sandberg said he felt he made the right decision to call the meeting.
"You do it only when you have to get their attention," he said. "Short and sweet, to the point I believe. To gather the guys when necessary, that's something that's important to me, to get everybody to at least know what I'm thinking and get everyone on the same page."
Hamels looks to solve career woes vs. Mets
NEW YORK -- Cole Hamels will try to do something Sunday that has always been a challenge for him in his career: beating the Mets.
Since his career began in 2006, Hamels is 7-14 against the Mets, which is his worst record against any National League team. His 4.65 ERA against the Mets is his highest among NL teams.
When manager Ryne Sandberg was asked about Hamels' struggles with the Mets, he didn't exactly have a reason as to why it has happened.
"You think the lineups would have changed year to year a little bit," Sandberg said. "It's also a game of things evening out, so you never know."
When Hamels last faced the Mets on April 29, he surrendered six runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He also issued five walks in a 6-1 Phillies loss.
If Hamels does beat the Mets on Sunday, he will achieve a milestone. He is one win away from his 100th career victory. His last win came over the Washington Nationals on Sept. 14.
Nate Taylor is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.