The loudest cheers Sunday came when Jimmy Rollins emerged from the dugout to pinch-hit, representing the tying run in the eighth inning. The shortstop had missed the Phillies' last 14 games with a hamstring injury and had gone 18 days without an at-bat.
Many in the sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park stood and waved their towels as Rollins stepped to the plate.
He swung at the first pitch and weakly grounded out to first.
"I thought that was a good place to use him," manager Charlie Manuel said after the 7-3 loss to the New York Mets. "He made an out, that's all."
Originally, Manuel said he had planned on starting Rollins at shortstop Sunday. But Saturday night, he backed off those plans when he said Rollins was still feeling a little sore.
Now Manuel expects Rollins to start Monday, when the Phillies open a series in Washington.
"Yes," Rollins said Sunday, "I'll be playing tomorrow."
Rollins didn't get much of a chance to show he's healthy. He jogged to first on the groundout and then cleanly fielded a grounder to short in the ninth inning.
"He's been running OK," Manuel said. "I wouldn't have put him up there if I didn't think he could run."
Rollins said last week that he wanted to play in about six games before the postseason to work on his timing at the plate. He would have to play in all of the Phillies' remaining games to reach his target.
Sunday's appearance was brief. Mets righthander Elmer Dessens started Rollins with an 88-m.p.h. fastball.
"A lot of times when you're pinch-hitting, you get a good ball to hit, the first pitch is what it is," Manuel said. "If it's a fastball, you usually swing at it."
The two runs Ryan Madson allowed in the ninth inning had little effect on the game's outcome, but the appearance was still the setup man's worst in more than a month.
Madson had not allowed an earned run since Aug. 23 against Houston. Both runs Sunday came on an 84-m.p.h. change-up that Carlos Beltran crushed for a home run.
The righthander faced three batters and retired none. He walked David Wright on five pitches, and Manuel sauntered to the mound with the hook.
Madson has been used just about every day and has been nearly perfect. He had a 122/3-inning scoreless streak entering Sunday. Madson has pitched in 15 of the team's 24 games this month.
The Phillies sold out their 123d consecutive game Sunday. All 81 home dates at Citizens Bank Park were played at capacity, and the team drew a franchise-record 3,647,249 fans in 2010. The previous record, 3,600,693, was set in 2009.
The Phils also set a team record for average attendance (45,028), which topped 2009 as well.
Chase Utley has reached base safely in 25 straight games. Utley, a career .274 hitter after Sept. 1, is hitting .330 this month. Nine of his 29 hits have gone for extra bases. . . . The Phillies will face Washington lefthander John Lannan for the third time this season Monday. Lannan had a 7.27 ERA in his first two outings against the Phillies, allowing seven runs in 82/3 innings.