Mets Game 87: Win Over Phillies

Mets 9 Phillies 4

For a change, the Mets did a number of things that we haven’t seen too often this season.

Such as, they came from behind to win, late in a game. They pounded out 14 hits. Pinch-hitters supplied three hits, two runs, and four RBI. The bullpen held a lead. John Maine pitched inside.

Maine, in fact, might have been the most encouraging story of the night. After a poor outing blamed on a “dead arm”, Maine bounced back to pitch 5 2/3 innings, striking out 5, walking 2, and allowing just one hit to the powerful Phillies offense. Unfortunately, that one hit was a three-run homer by Ryan Howard. Other than that one mistake, Maine was as close to “lights out” as he’s been in months.

The Mets, however, couldn’t overcome the Howard homer in time to give Maine a win. Instead, they continued with the one thing that has been plaguing them all year – leaving runners on base. I thought 15 LOB was an extraordinary number on Friday night, but the Mets showed they could be even more miserable, leaving a collective 19 runners on the bases. NINETEEN. Yes, I know they scored nine runs, and that was great. But to leave 19 runners on base is astounding (the team’s LOB by inning was 9 — still kind of high).

Because of all those stranded runners, the game was a lot closer than the final score would tell you. The Mets jumped ahead 1-0 thanks to the patented “Get Jose on and David will drive him home” first-inning routine. Unfortunately, Wright swung at an awful pitch while ahead on the count and hit into a double play – which scored Reyed but got Jamie Moyer off the hook of what could’ve been a bigger inning. The Mets added another two runs in the top of the fourth when Wright doubled, stole third, and scored on an error by Howard, and then red-hot Damion Easley drove in Carlos Beltran a few moments later. In the bottom of the frame, however, Howard made up for the miscue with his homer, tying up the game.

The game remained tied until the seventh, when the Phillies scratched out a run against Joe Smith and Pedro Feliciano (ironically, Feliciano was awarded with the victory, despite giving up the go-ahead run).

Beltran led off the eighth with a groundout, but Easley and Carlos Delgado hit back-to-back singles, setting the table for pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson. Reliever Tom Gordon uncorked a wild pitch to score Easley with the tying run, and after Anderson walked, Endy Chavez grounded to first to move the runners to second and third. With the score tied, Brian Schneider came up to hit for the pitcher, and hit he did – a double to deep right center that scored two runs and put the Mets ahead 6-4.

Duaner Sanchez held the Phillies scoreless in the bottom of the eighth, and the Mets tacked on three more runs in the top of the ninth in a most unspectacular fashion. Fernando Tatis led off with a double, but from there on runs were plated thanks to an error, a fielder’s choice, and a single by Chavez.

Tony Armas, Jr. finished off the Phillies with a perfect ninth.


Wright and Reyes both hit their 21st doubles of the season. Wright, however, left five runners on base.

Easley was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Carlos Delgado stroked two singles, lifting his average to .237. Carlos Beltran walked twice and scored twice, but went hitless and is now floundering at .259.

The lefty – righty matchup thing was a little ridiculous in this game. In the seventh, the Phillies sent up pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs, a lefty, to face Joe Smith. The Mets countered with LOOGY Pedro Feliciano, and Dobbs was replaced with righty Jayson Werth. While Werth hit an RBI single, in the process the Phils burned through a consistent Met killer in Dobbs. The next inning, with Ramon Castro scheduled to hit with runners on the corners, RHP Tom Gordon was summoned to the mound. The Mets then sent Marlon Anderson to hit for Castro. Why? For no other reason than to put a lefty hitter vs. a righty pitcher? Because Marlon is hitting only .200. What would have made much more sense would be to leave Castro – who’s been swinging a hot bat lately – in the game, and putting Anderson or better yet Endy Chavez in the game to pinch-run for cinderblock-footed Carlos Delgado at first base. Delgado, after all, represented the winning run.

As it was, Charlie Manuel looked good after Werth hit the go-ahead single, and Jerry Manuel looked like a genius, because the Mets scored three runs in that convoluted inning.

Ryan Church left the game in the eighth, complaining of dizziness. Crap. Maine left the game with a cramped LEFT forearm – or at least, that’s how it was reported by AP. Hmm ….

Next Game

Oliver Perez faces Kyle Kendrick in a 1:05 pm start on Sunday in Philadelphia.

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 July 6, 2008 at 5:07 am
    I’ll take it. The bottle of “Santana’s Select Merlot” that I drank yesterday had done its job by then. Not a bad wine; drinkable, definitely.
  2. julie July 6, 2008 at 5:33 am
    Do we think there is something else going on with Maine’s arm???
    Hopefully Church will be fine. How long do we think it will take before Manuel takes Beltran out of the four hole? The guy is NOT a clean up hitter.
  3. sincekindergarten July 6, 2008 at 6:50 am
    It’s his non-throwing arm, Julie. As for Beltran out of the cleanup slot and into the “put Reyes into scoring position any way you can (read: #2)” position in the lineup, it’ll happen sometime this week.
  4. isuzudude July 6, 2008 at 9:16 am
    A couple things to address…

    1. Very enjoyable game, made even more enjoyable thanks to the Mets actually winning a game. I think Delgado’s hit against Romero in the 8th was the turning point in the game, as it not only put Easley on 3rd with 1 out, but came at a clutch time against a pitcher Delgado has notoriously done poorly against. After that at-bat it just seemed like, contrary to the night before, the Mets were “destined” to win.

    2. The broadcast team again went above and beyond to lend credit to Jerry Manuel for his use of his bench last night, and as you elude to Joe, quite unnecessarily. Think about it. He first used Argenis Reyes with the game tied at 3 in the 7th, and he hit a weak flyball for an out. He then pinch hit Anderson for Castro in the 8th vs Tom Gordon, leaving himself with just 1 catcher for the rest of the game. Easley scored on a wild pitch, which Marlon had nothing to do with, and then Anderson worked out a walk, big deal. Next up Chavez hit for Aguila, which was academic to get a lefty vs righty matchup, as well as upgrade defensively. So far nothing genius has come of Manuel’s moves. Schneider hits for Feliciano next, and drives in the go-ahead runs with a double. But in that spot, it was either pinch hit with the lefty Schneider, who had to be brought into the game anyway with Castro getting lifted, or the righty Tatis to face the righty Gordon. Yes, it was the right move by Manuel, but by no stretch was this a stroke of genius. The only reason Manuel comes out smelling like a rose is because Schneider came thru with the hit. The decision to use him in that spot, however, was not an example of genius managing, but more of common sense. The final use of the bench came in the 9th when Tatis, as the only remaining bench player, doubled pinch hitting for the pitcher. Not exactly rocket science to use him there. I really think it’s quite a stretch to pat Manuel on the back like he just discovered nuclear fission because of his bench use. These were all academic decisions that I’m sure if Willie Randoplh had employed would have been swept under the carpet and gone completely unnoticed and unappreciated. This love affair of Jerry Manuel is getting really tired.

    3. As for Beltran hitting 2nd, I’m against it. I agree he’s not a prototypical clean up hitter, but the fact he’s in a horrendous slump and hitting just .259 on the season is no reason to give him MORE atbats during a game. I heard the crew say their desired lineup would have Beltran followed by Church, Alou, Wright, Delgado, and then 2B and C in successive order. So I am to understand that Wright, the team’s RBI and OBP leader, should be demoted in the lineup and get atbats taken away from him so that the two biggest inconsistencies on the team, Beltran and Alou, can hit above him. If you want to temporarily bat Beltran 2nd to try and break him out of his slump, that’s fine. But don’t do it at the expense of your best hitter. There’s no reason in the world not to have Wright getting a guaranteed first inning atbat. He and Reyes have combined to put the Mets on the board early so many times this season, why does it make sense to break that up? If Beltran is to hit 2nd, you must have Wright bat 3rd, with Church cleaning up, then (assuming he’s healthy) Alou, Delgado, 2B, and C. You keep the L-R-L-R in order, and still have guys in places in the order they belong. However, a Beltran batting 2nd experiment will not work with Alou out of the lineup, because then you’re forced to bat Delgado 5th everyday, which is too high, nor will it work if Church is going to be out again because of his post concussion syndrome, as then Delgado bats clean up, which is far worse than Beltran in that spot. In the long run, I’d like to see Beltran hit 5th in future seasons, where he can get away with hitting .250-.260 with 25-30 HR and not create such a problem within the lineup.