Mets Game 15: Win Over Phillies

Mets 6 Phillies 4

What promised to be a pitchers’ duel between the two aces turned out to be just that — until the aces left the game, and then all heck broke loose.

Both Johan Santana and Cole Hamels pitched into the eighth inning in a classic matchup of dominating lefthanders, and in the end it was Santana who prevailed. Johan struck out ten batters in seven innings of work, allowing three runs on four hits before being lifted in the eighth inning with two runners on base. Hamels was nearly as good, but gave up two early runs and another two before he himself was taken out in the eighth frame. Both starters were victimized by their replacements from the bullpen, but in the end Santana was the victor and Hamels took the loss.

Hamels looked good, not great, as the Mets managed eight hits and three walks, with only 4 strikeouts. But he had only allowed two Mets to cross the plate before the fateful eighth, when he loaded the bases without getting an out and was removed from the ballgame. Reliever J.C. Romero — previously a Met killer — gave up a run on a groundout by Carlos Delgado, another on a double by Angel Pagan, and a third thanks to a Brian Schneider single. All three runs were charged to Hamels, so Romero still has a tidy 0.00 ERA on the season.

Similarly, Johan was cruising through seven, but allowed two singles to open the eighth, and Willie Randolph called on Aaron Heilman to put out the fire. Unfortunately, Aaron threw gas onto it, immediately giving up a three-run homer to pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs to bring the Phillies within one. Heilman came back to retire Geoff Jenkins and Jayson Werth, then handed the ball to Pedro Feliciano, who struck out Chase Utley to end the inning and preserve the lead.

The Mets tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth off Brad Lidge (though it was unearned), and Billy Wagner knocked down the Phillies 1-2-3 to save the win.


Though it’s only April, this game had the feeling of the fall — both teams clearly “came to play”, with the starters pitching their hearts out and players diving for balls and hustling on the bases like it was a playoff game. Fun stuff.

David Wright continued his MVP bid by going 4-for-4, while the two ex-Nats, Brian Schneider and Ryan Church, were a combined 5-for-8 with three runs scored and an RBI. Meanwhile, the vaunted duo of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were stymied, with only a hit between them with four strikeouts in eight at-bats.

There was a bit of a scare in the third inning when Jose Reyes went headfirst into Chase Utley’s knee while stealing second base. Reyes appeared to have suffered a concussion, but remained in the game after being examined for several minutes by Mets trainer Ray Ramirez. The Phillies fans were oh so gracious by cheering wildly went Reyes didn’t initially get up, and furthered their reputation as high-class individuals by booing him when he got up and took a jog. Nice people … can’t wait to visit the “city of brotherly love” sometime soon.

Next Game

Mets face the Phillies at four o’clock, with Oliver Perez taking the hill against Jamie Moyer. Unfortunately, the game will be shown on FOX, so you’ll have to put the TV on mute.

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. isuzudude April 19, 2008 at 5:12 pm
    Last night signified why Johan Santana was acquired, and why he should not be getting booed after one mediocre start. If he was great in his first start in Florida, he was spectacular last night. I could just sense the Phillie fans shaking their collective heads in agony, realizing “shit, we gotta face this guy 3 or 4 more times?”

    Heilman really is beginning to concern me. I know it’s still a relatively small sample size, but 3 home runs in 11.1 innings is a startling statistic. He’s always had the propensity of surrendering a long ball from time to time, but this is alarming now. The early line on Heilman, though, suggests he’s only struggling against left hand hitting. Lefties are hitting .438 against him (7 for 16), while walking 5 and giving up all 3 of his HRs against them. Yet, vs. righties, he’s held them to an .043 average (1 for 25) with 2 BB and 9 K. So, what could the problem be? What could be wrong that would allow lefties to be having such great success against him? Or is this just a weird fluke that should be chalked up to it being a beginning-of-the-season aberration? Whatever it is, I hope it gets solved quickly, because I still believe Heilman is the most important middle reliever we have.

    Sucks for Philly fans, but how nice is it not facing a lineup with Jimmy Rollins?

  2. sincekindergarten April 19, 2008 at 5:20 pm
    ID, I tend to think that he just needs a talk from The Jacket and Billy Wagner. A real, heart-to-heart, sit-down-and-pour-your-heart-out type of talk.
  3. isuzudude April 19, 2008 at 6:23 pm
    And perhaps he got just that, SK, as he came up with 2 HUGE strikeouts this afternoon. He and Reyes definitely share the game balls today.