For Ryne Sandberg, there is always next season.
In his first game since the Phillies decided to bring him back as manager next year after 34 games as the interim one, Philadelphia lost 4-3 to New York as the Mets completed a three-game sweep.
"I'm looking forward to not only the eight games left but to 2014 and getting the wheels turning in that direction," Sandberg said before the game.
Cliff Lee (14-7) gave up three runs, two earned, and eight hits in seven innings. He struck out eight without a walk in Philadelphia's final home game of the season, but the Mets still managed to tie Philadelphia for third place in the NL East.
"He keeps us deep in game and did it again today," Sandberg said. "Offensively, it was the same for the whole weekend. Missed opportunities with men on base. We couldn't capitalize over the weekend."
Wilfredo Tovar knocked in two runs with a single in the seventh to put the Mets ahead by one with his first major-league hit.
"I made a good pitch so I have to tip my hat," Lee said. "He hit the pitch I was trying to make."
LaTroy Hawkins earned his 100th career save and 12th on the season by striking out Jimmy Rollins to end it. Carlos Torres (4-5) struck out six in six innings for New York and allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks.
Domonic Brown put the Phillies ahead in the sixth with a one-out RBI single that made it 2-1.
After Kevin Frandsen hit an RBI double in the second inning, the Mets' Andrew Brown answered with an RBI groundout in the fourth.
Cody Asche struck out with the tying run on third in the eighth. Philadelphia pulled within one when Carlos Ruiz tagged and scored from third on a foul-ball pop up by Darin Ruf.
The Phillies fell to 18-17 under Sandberg.
"It was a really good atmosphere for the last game. It says a lot about the fans," Sandberg said. "A good crowd and they stayed until the end."
NOTES: The Mets won the season series over the Phillies, 10-9. ... The Phillies eclipsed the 3-million mark in attendance for the seventh straight season in their final home game Sunday, finishing with a total gate count of 3,012,403. Philadelphia led the major leagues in attendance in 2011 and 2012 and project to finish in the top 10 this season. ... The Phillies finished the year with a home record 43-38. ... The Phillies embark on their final road trip Monday against the Marlins in Miami, where Roy Halladay (4-4, 6.71) will take the hill.