Mets Game 102: Win Over Phillies

Mets 3 Phillies 1

Did the Mets really lose the opener? I hardly remember it now … it seems so long ago.

The “new” Mets completely blew off their devastating loss on Tuesday, and took not only two games from the Phils but sole possession of first place.

In the most important game of the year to this point, Oliver Perez was up to the task. Ollie set down the fightin’ Phils through 7 and two-thirds, allowing one run on six hits. He walked only one and struck out 12 in a 108-pitch effort.

However, it wasn’t enough to get the win — Perez exited with the game tied 1-1, bases loaded, two outs, and Met killer Jayson Werth stepping up to the plate. Much to the chagrin of the Shea faithful, Aaron Heilman was summoned from the bullpen, and Aaron induced a harmless fly ball for the third out, preserving the tie.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies sent J.C. Romero to the mound — the guy who had retired 61 of the 65 lefthanded hitters he’d faced this year (he allowed a total of three singles and one homer). It was a good move by Charlie Manuel, as it would force the Mets to use one of their lesser pinch-hitters, and Endy Chavez was due up third. And if it got that far, Carlos Delgado would be fifth.

Romero’s first two batters, however, hit from the right side. Pinch-hitter Robinson Cancel led off with a single, and was sacrificed to second by Jose Reyes. Chavez then became Romero’s 62nd victim, and David Wright was intentionally walked. This set the stage for exactly the matchup the Phillies were looking for: Romero vs. Delgado, who, despite his recent hot streak was hitting about .215 vs. lefties. But oftentimes the best-laid plans fall astray. Delgado drove a 2-2 offering from Romero into left field, chasing home both Cancel and Wright with the deciding runs of the game. To everyone’s astonishment, Delgado was thrown out digging for third. No matter, the Mets were up by two with their closer ready.

Billy Wagner set the Phillies down in the ninth to earn his 26th save of the season. So much for not being able to save “big” games.


The Mets were so surprised and concerned about Delgado sliding head-first into third that they assumed he had fallen face-first from all the exercise and excitement of running around the bases with a full head of steam. Trainer Ray Ramirez rushed to check for a pulse and associated vital signs, and Delgado assured him that the slide was all part of the plan. Still skeptical, Ramirez shoved smelling salts under Delgado’s nose and informed him of all the dirt on his uniform. Again Carlos responded that he was aware of the situation and was OK with getting dirty. At that point Ramirez called for a stretcher.

Crazy that the Mets couldn’t manage more than two hits against Jamie Moyer, who threw a slew of slowballs and lollipop curves. Note to self: do not recruit any of these Mets for a slo-pitch softball team.

The only Met hits before the ninth came off the bats of David Wright and Fernando Tatis.

Aaron Heilman’s three-pitch effort was rewarded with his first victory of the season.

Next Game

The Mets open a weekend series at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. First game is on Friday at 7:10 pm, with Mike Pelfrey going to the hill against Mitchell Boggs.

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 July 25, 2008 at 6:10 am
    I think it’s accurate to say we’ve been waiting for *this* team to show up since last year. I think, deep down, we all knew, and somewhat expected, the Mets would start getting the big hits, and coming out on top against division rivals. But to come back in this kind of fashion after what transpired at Shea on Tuesday night is just unbelieveable. I truly didn’t have the confidence or faith to think they could pull this off. FULL HOUSE MOMENT: I’ve learned something from this. 162 games is an incredibly long time. And no matter how dead, beat-up, downtrodden, lost, unmotivated, or games back of first place a team is, never count them out until they’ve officially been counted out. Just a mere month ago, there was no way in hell we thought Delgado could become the threat he has morphed into, or that Ollie would be as dominant as he’s become, or that the team would rattle off a 10-game win streak and win 5 out of 7 from Philly with Endy Chavez, Fernando Tatis, Marlon Anderson, and Nick Evans platooning as your corner OFs. The $64,000,000 question is: can they keep it up? Hope, don’t demand. It seems to be working so far.

    And by the way, having the Phillies fall flat on their faces couldn’t have happened to a more deserving bunch of fans. I’ve been venturing in to the enemy’s den every now and then at, and it’s amazing the kind of filth and utter nonsense they speak over there when talking about the Mets. It’s all fueled by hatred and jealous anger, which is dangerous…but probably also explains why the Phillies haven’t won a damn thing since 1980. Kharma finds a way to catch up with you, and for the amount of trash and vulgarity they speak, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Phillies don’t win another WS for a hundred years.

  2. David W. July 25, 2008 at 8:02 am
    Delgado deserves al the glory, but let’s not overlook Robinson Cancel. He has three pinch hits, one rbi, and two runs scored. If I’m not mistaken, he has driven in or scored the tying or go-ahead run three times. That’s pretty amazing.
    Heilman throws three pitches and gets the win. It was a critical out, but even so, Perez’s WPA was almost twice that of Heilman’s, 23.8 to 14.3. Maybe we should allocate wins according to a new statistic that captures both WPA and some measure of effort–like (WPA / log of pitches thrown).

    Isuzudude–you are absolutely right about Phillies fans. I never believed there could be a huge difference between the fans of two neighboring cities with similar demographics, but I’ve changed my mind now. They are incredibly pessimistic, vulgar, and at times, racist. Our commenters sound like choir boys in comparison.

  3. joe July 25, 2008 at 9:49 am
    isuzudude, glad you were able to recover from that opening game … your mood swings worry me at times … 🙂

    I’d hate to read those Philly blogs in the winter when they’re booing their football team.

    I’m taking full responsibility for Delgado’s resurgence. If I didn’t call him out as a snake he’d never have been motivated to prove me wrong.

    OK … MAYBE it was something else that got him going …