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.
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.
About the Author
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.