Mets Game 124: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 9 Mets 7

You can’t say this game wasn’t entertaining.

What began as another circus-like outing by Oliver Perez turned out to be an unusually tenacious effort by the Mets.

Perez allowed two three-run homers in two-thirds of an inning and was on the verge of walking Pedro Martinez when he was replaced by Nelson Figueroa in the initial inning. Other than putting an end to the first frame, Figgy wasn’t terribly effective, allowing another two scores before yielding to Pat Misch. Misch proved he’s much better in the role of long man than LOOGY by holding the fort for four full frames, allowing just one hit and striking out four. His performance allowed the Mets to chip away and make the final innings interesting.

Meanwhile, Pedro Martinez’s return to Flushing was somewhat emotional and otherwise unimpressive — though he pitched well enough to earn his second win as a Phillie. He “held” the Mets to four runs in six innings, then let the Phillie bullpen finish up.

Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Mets were down by three but Angel Pagan led off with a triple by getting to third on a three-base error by Ryan Howard to spark a rally and ignite the Citi Field crowd. After two consecutive misplays by Chase Utley’s understudy Eric Bruntlett, the Mets had men on first and second with no one out and Jeff Francoeur at the plate. Perhaps to guard against a rally-killing double play, Jerry Manuel put on a hit-and-run — which did keep them out of a DP but created instead a TP. With the runners moving, Francoeur ripped a liner up the middle that was snared by previous goat Bruntlett, who stepped on second base to eliminate Luis Castillo, then tagged oncoming runner Dan Murphy to complete an unassisted triple play that ended the inning and the game.

Notes

Before Mets fans gripe that the triple play was “a lucky break”, they should remember that Pagan’s “triple” sneaked under Howard’s glove and that the Mets were “lucky” that Bruntlett muffed the next two balls to create the situation. If anything, the Mets’ luck was running out.

Again, is it safe to say Pat Misch is better suited to multiple innings, than to be used as a per-batter specialist?

Pagan hit an inside-the-park homer to lead off the first, though it would’ve been a triple had the ball not lodged under the padding in centerfield, causing Shane Victorino to give up on the play and raise his hands to the umpires. Apparently, Victorino was not cognizant of the ground rules at Citi Field.

Luis Castillo continued his hot-hitting, going 3-for-4 and raising his average to .321. He remains in fourth place among NL hitters — three points behind the disabled David Wright.

Dan Murphy also had three hits, hitting out of the three-hole (“I bat third”). His efforts also produced a run scored and another driven in. Murph is now 10 for his last 30 with 4 doubles and 2 RBI.

Next Mets Game

The final game of this four-game series begins at 1:10 PM on Monday afternoon. Bobby Parnell begins the game against Cliff Lee.

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 August 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm
    When do pitchers and catchers report to PSL again?
  2. gary s. August 23, 2009 at 9:51 pm
    after hearing minaya and manuel are returning, why would anyone look forward to next year??the wilpons continue to be the laughing stock of baseball..not in a hurry to see this act again in 2010..
  3. sincekindergarten August 24, 2009 at 5:12 am
    Agreed, gary–Minaya has to go.
  4. CatchDog August 24, 2009 at 9:07 am
    At least we can cross “game ending unassisted triple play” off the list of the how the Mets have lost games this season.
  5. isuzudude August 24, 2009 at 9:57 am
    Good one, C-dog. Gary Cohen kept shouting that the unassisted TP was “unbelievable!”, but I say au contrair. When dealing with the Mets version .2009, the crazy feats to lose games – like unassisted triple plays, outfielders falling down, runners missing third base, runners failing to slide, popups being dropped to allow the opposition to score from first, bases loaded HBPs, walking the pitcher with the bases loaded, failing to cover 1st/2nd base, etc, etc – are not only believable, but inevitable. So what’s left?

    – 9th inning balk with runner on 3rd
    – 2 Mets’ fielders colliding to allow a game winning hit to fall
    – Batted ball hitting off the top of an outfielder’s head and bouncing over the wall for a HR (my bet’s on Sheffield)
    – Winning run scoring on catcher’s interfence
    – Mets losing in their final atbat after batting out of order

    Let’s see which of the above the Mets can accomplish before the season is over. Stay tuned!