Mets Game 8: Win Over Phillies

Mets 4 Phillies 3

It took 12 innings, but the Mets were able to finish on top, beating the Phillies to take the game and the series.

Jose Reyes led off the 12th with a double off the centerfield wall, then came home on a single up the middle by Angel “Moises Who?” Pagan.

The Mets took a 3-0 lead thanks to RBI singles by Ryan Church and Carlos Beltran in the fourth and sixth, but eventually allowed the Phils to even it up.

Starter John Maine cruised through the first five and two-thirds innings, allowing no baserunners until running into a bit of a jam in the sixth, when he loaded the bases with two out before retiring Geoff Jenkins on a ground ball to end the inning. Maine gave up a homerun and a double to start the seventh, so Pedro Feliciano was brought in to relieve him.

Feliciano walked pinch-hitter Jayson Werth, but struck out the next three batters to retire the Phils without further damage.

However, Aaron Heilman immediately gave up a leadoff homer to Ryan Howard — a tremendous blast over the wall in dead center, a good 450+ feet. Heilman proceeded to load the bases (the details are too painful to reproduce here) and eventually allowed the tying run to score before inducing three outs. It was another bad outing for Aaron, but I refuse to blame him … another post on why is coming soon.

An array of Mets relievers held the fort from innings nine through 12, with Jorge Sosa the last of the mohicans and the eventual winning pitcher.


John Maine was throwing some nasty breaking balls tonight, that were dropping straight down, but I can’t tell what they are. They appear to have too much downward break to be sliders, and are too fast and low to be overhand curves. I’m going to guess it’s his splitfinger fastball / forkball, which he had previously used as an alternative change-up (Aaron Heilman uses one similarly).

Is it too early to award Shane Victorino with a Gold Glove? He’s catching every … friggin’ … fly ball out there.

Speaking of the Flyin’ Hawaiian, Brian Schneider made a PERFECT throw to nail Victorino attempting to steal in the sixth.

Angel Pagan — who went 3-for-5 and is batting .370 — is doing everything, quickly becoming a vital cog in the everyday lineup. He’s smacking the ball the other way for extra-base hits, taking pitches, dropping down perfect sac bunts, running the bases well, and fielding his position better than most. Keep it up, Angel!

Next Game

Mets host the Brewers in a 7:10 PM start at Shea. Hometown boy Nelson Figueroa makes his first start of the year against Manny Parra.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. sincekindergarten April 11, 2008 at 4:32 am
    I might have turned in around the beginning of the 12th, if not for my daughter waking up and demanding to be fed a bottle. Timing is everything. 😉

    Maine looked to be on cruise control in the fifth. Then the wheels came off with Howard’s shot.

    Aaron Heilman and Scott Schoeneweis appear to have switched outcomes, when each pitches. Big kudos to “The Schoe” for his performance. Also, Pedro Feliciano striking out the three batters he faced in the seventh was huge. Nailing Utley on the slider inside that broke out over the inside corner was sweet. 🙂

    What is Angel Pagan on, and where can I get some? The guy is making a pretty big statement about staying on the roster when some old guy maned “Moses” . . . wait a sec . . . “Moises” comes back.

  2. isuzudude April 11, 2008 at 5:41 am
    “Pagan — who went 3-for-5 and is batting .370 — is doing everything…He’s smacking the ball the other way for extra-base hits, taking pitches, dropping down perfect sac bunts, running the bases well, and fielding his position better than most.” Not to mention collecting walk-off hits! What an absolute godsend he has become. I know it’s only been 8 games, but Omar’s trade for Pagan that cost him 2 minor league nobodies is looking sweeter and sweeter every day. And you know what? Pagan’s making a hell of a case to stick around in that #2 spot after Castillo returns to the lineup (although I still think the chances aren’t good).

    I’ve got thoughts on Heilman, too, but I’ll hold my tongue until a more concentrated post is up.

    I know Willie gets a lot of crap for mismanaging the bullpen, but I think he did an outstanding job last night. Leaving Maine in to face 7-8-9 in the 7th was the right call in my book, and once he had given up the HR to Feliz and double off the wall to Coste, it was time to pull him for Feliciano. And Pedro Lite did a great job striking out Rollins, Bruntlett, and Utley. Heilman, struggling or not, was the right pitcher to go to in the 8th (who would you rather, Schoeneweis?) I thought after he allowed Jenkins single he would have gotten pulled for Joe Smith, but Willie stuck with him. Although Heilman coughed up the game-tying run, he did get out of the jam without putting the Mets in the hole. And then you can’t argue with any other moves after that because, as evidenced by the zeros the Phillies put up, the bullpen did its job the rest of the way. So, since we’re so quick to blame Willie for blowing a game with bad decisions, he justly deserves credit for last night’s game because he made all the right decisions.

    Are we going to see Raul Casanova at all before Castro returns from injury? Just wondering.

  3. Micalpalyn April 11, 2008 at 12:19 pm
    I must admit I have not been able to enjoy these games as I usually do (lack of time) so my 2 cents is really devalued currency.
    So thanks for listening:

    A. Joe; we criticize each other for loving/deflating various players- I am NOT on the Heilman sauce. I think he gets a pass because he stepped up when the BP needed him and was reliable when Ro-hern was traded away and Dirty had his near fatal NY cab experience. But I felt the Yadi molina HR would sit with him… the time. Klast yr the NY mets TANNED the St Lou cards to open the season….then El duque led off the series with ATL and pitched a GEM….only to have Heilman give it away. while I acknowledge his value and stability and I think maybe he will be fine…he has periods where he just leaves that change up UP and it gets blasted. His by-line will look fine but I decry the fact he does LOSE(cough up) his share of games late. ….but before I say more I will default to Joe.

    B. Pagan: The reason I like him is he is a fundamentals guy, like Endy and I harken back to another observation, that he really was not much of a decrement from Lastings. I hope he gets regular action after Moises comes back. as for the #2 slot I think castillo as a #6/#7 has credibility.

    C. Ditto I-Dude. Given Schneider’s hamstring issues, Casanova should be factored in.

  4. joe April 11, 2008 at 12:25 pm
    Heilman’s tendency to leave the ball up is not his fault — it’s Willie’s. I’ve brought this up in 2006, 2007, and again will have to do it in 2008. I’m trying to get hold of some freeze frames from the SNY broadcast to demonstrate my point … hopefully will be able to get them soon. In short, Willie over-uses Heilman — as well as others in the ‘pen — and that leads to mechanical flaws that lead to HR balls. More to come, hopefully sooner rather than later.