Mets Game 23: Loss to Phillies
Phillies 6 Mets 5
It was another poor outing by Oliver Perez, and it appeared the Mets would eradicate it with their bats.
Perez allowed four runs on five hits and six walks before being removed from the game with one out in the third inning. Newest Met Ken Takahashi did his best Darren Oliver impression in relief, holding the fort until the sixth inning.
And for once, the Mets did not give up. The bats kept coming back, matching the score, and even took a brief lead in the top of the sixth.
However, their one-run lead lasted only minutes. Pedro Feliciano came on in relief of Takahashi in the bottom of the sixth and gave up a homer to a LH batter for the second time in as many days.
The two teams remained deadlocked through four more frames, with the Mets holding an apparent advantage — they still had closer Frankie Rodriguez at the ready, while the Phils burned through Brad Lidge in the top of the ninth.
Unfortunately, the Mets couldn’t leverage that advantage.
They mounted a rally in the tenth that was quickly extinguished by a stellar double-play turn, and then put the game in the hands of Sean Green. However, those hands proved to be below the challenge. Green got a quick groundout from Jimmy Rollins, but Pedro Feliz followed with his second cheap swinging-bunt hit in the game. Green then hit pinch-hitter Matt Stairs, induced a flyout from Greg Dobbs, and walked Chris Coste to load the bases for Shane Victorino. Victorino worked the count full before watching ball four drop below his knees, forcing in Feliz to end the game.
J.J. Putz was remarkably efficient, expending only 17 pitches in his scoreless, two-inning stint. Though he’s pitched in both games of this series, and three times in four days, he probably will be available if needed on Sunday.
Someone check Alex Cora’s Wheaties, because he’s hitting like Rod Carew lately.
Ryan Church ripped what could’ve been a key pinch-hit single to chase Alex Cora to third base in that tenth inning rally off Jack Taschner — who happens to be a lefthanded pitcher — but a double play grounder by Carlos Beltran killed the rally.
I was dead wrong on Raul Ibanez. The guy hits lefties and righties, is clutch, can run the bases well enough, and can play the field a lot better than advertised.
Brad Lidge is not nearly the lights-out closer we saw in 2008. His fastball was topping out at 92 MPH and his slider is missing its bite. It looks like he’s worried about that right knee and staying too stiff, not getting good push off the rubber nor good downward leverage / bend in the back.
Danny Murphy must love Citizen’s Bank Park. If it were his home field, he might have 15 homers by now.
Jerry Manuel’s rebuilt and vaunted bullpen has now lost six times in seven chances, and has blown two saves in the last three games.
The series finale takes place at 1:35 PM in Philadelphia, with John Maine taking the mound against Joe Blanton.