Mets Game 23: Win Over Phillies

Mets 9 Phillies 1

Keep on rollin’ … Mets remain in phirst place as they parade past the Phillies.

Game Notes

Jon Niese couldn’t have pitched any better in a tough park against a tough lineup. Niese spun 7 (count ’em, 7!) innings, allowing only one run on four hits and a walk, striking out 7. His delivery is starting to look the same throughout his pitches, making it difficult for opposing batters to pick up what’s coming. In the past, the speed of his motion and his arm and body angle varied depending on the pitch, which would tip off hitters who could quickly decipher the subtle differences. Further, Niese had better command than he’s shown before — maybe another result of the consistent delivery / release point. A great night overall for young Jon Niese.

Rod Barajas hit many high, high fly balls over the fence — including two in fair territory. His two taters and two-bagger produced 3 RBI and 3 runs scored.

Jeff Francoeur played like he was back in high school, on the gridiron — banging into things, getting hit, throwing on the run. He also mashed a solo homer, stole his first base of the year, and played a strong game overall but left early due to a bruised elbow that resulted from a 95-MPH fastball from Danys Baez.

Phillies pitchers were pounding the ball inside to the Mets batters, and Jennry Mejia retaliated with a cut fastball to Chase Utley’s calf. I’d prefer the Mets pitchers throw inside as a routine rather than only when they feel the need to “retaliate”.

Angel Pagan went 3-for-5 with a triple, double, 2 RBI, and a run scored. If he hits like that I don’t care where Jerry Manuel puts him in the lineup.

David Wright went deep, then disappeared. No worries, his offense wasn’t needed beyond that.

Raul Ibanez hit a long drive for an out in the second and a hard single in the ninth. I get the feeling he’s emerging from his slump; I hope I’m wrong.

The Mets did not hit a single until the seventh inning — it took 30 batters and 7 runs scored before Jose Reyes struck an RBI single to drive in Angel Pagan.

Next Mets Game

Who’da thunk Mike Pelfrey would be part of a “marquee matchup”? Big Pelf goes against Roy Halladay at 3:10 PM on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. And yes, unfortunately, that bizarre time slot means the game will be on FOX.

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 May 1, 2010 at 9:00 am
    I’m the first to comment on a game that was the most gratifying so far in 2010, eh? I guess the rest of the blog frequenters stayed up too late celebrating.

    First off, awesome win. The Mets did nothing wrong last night. Where this sudden focus on fundamentals and hustle has come from, or how long it will last, is anybody’s guess…but it is really pleasant to finally see. Niese was just brutal on the Phillie hitters (the hook he punched Polanco out on was so sweet). Apparently Francoeur took the “overrated” comment to heart and showed the Philly trash talkers what he’s capable of. And I totally agree with the majority of Met fans in that he’s not an all-star performer, and he’s got a reputation for swinging too much, but the guy has been a revelation on offense since the trade to NY, and his defense is entirely overlooked way too often. Plus his personality was just what the doctor ordered to change up the stoicly bland culture of the Mets clubhouse, and has rubbed off on some guys and allowed them to play more loose and fun and stop worrying about all the pressures around them. It sounds corny but I think it’s true and it should count for something.

    Secondly, I was taken aback by the lack of hustle and passion from the Phillies. Shane Victorino failing to run out a third strike that got away from Barajas. He just kinda lollygagged to first, and had he ran it out he definitely would have beaten the throw. I also wasn’t very impressed by some of the at bats Phillie hitters were having – Utley swinging at bad 3-1 pitch with Niese on the ropes early in the game and grounding out weakly; other hitters taking get-me-over fastballs on 2-0 counts, being entirely too passive. It’s almost as if the Phillies have gotten complacent in their success and are just going through the motions expecting to win. What team in recent history does that remind you of? (Hint: they played at Shea Stadium and are notorious for their September collapse.)

    And then there’s the luck. If either Francoeur or Bay don’t come up with their catches in the 2nd inning, without a doubt the Phillies are scoring more than just 1 run on Jon Niese. Also remember Ryan Howard’s bullet that Luis Castillo was positioned perfectly on. When a team is going good the ball finds its way into your gloves. It’s just so refreshing to see the breaks going our way after seemingly every break has gone the other way over the majority of the last 2 1/2 seasons.

    If Pelfrey can outduel Halladay today, it will be tough to discredit this current wave of momentum. People may actually have to start taking the Mets seriously again – including me.

  2. CatchDog May 1, 2010 at 9:42 am
    For me, the highlight of the night was 20 year Jenrry Mejia completely dominating Ryan Howard. The 97 mph heater coupled with the “Lord Charles” curve, had Howard flailing up there. Death by Mejia.

    That certainly was one for the good guys. Now let’s shock the world and take it to Halladay today.

    Ya Gotta Believe !

  3. Mike May 1, 2010 at 9:52 am
    Niese finally had his above average or better curve today and it was no surprise that this was his bast start of the year. As I’ve said he can win 12 games this year at least with his repertoire. That is great to hear, Joe, that he is repeating his delivery leading to increased deception.

    The offense is starting to role, the defense has been spectacular (if a bit lucky) and the team is playing smart and crisp baseball. Keep it going today but I will settle for a 2-1 Phillies win against the best pitcher in the game if Pelfrey matches him. Silver lining is even with their best pitcher going we still can win, even if we don’t. Of course just winning would be best but I’ll settle for that scenario. Especially if we win Sunday.

  4. sincekindergarten May 1, 2010 at 12:37 pm
    Maybe I’m a tad greedy . . . yeah, I am . . . but I think that the Mets were taking Halliday’s comments on how the NL is a lot easier of a league to pitch in, to heart. Halliday actually made comments like that a day or two before his last start–and the Giants promptly beat him. I think that Big Pelf’s going to outdo Halliday today in the pitching department. Then, Johan against the only pitcher on the Phillies that I like–Jamie Moyer, because he’s older than I am–for the Sunday night game. I think that the Mets get to Halliday today.

    The game last night just seemed like the Mets were going to take it to Kendrick, from the first pitch. When Wright put it waaaay over the CF wall in the second, it was all over. You felt that the Mets were going to find a way to keep it that way, and Francoeur and Bay proved it the next half-inning with their defense.

    Speaking of which, Jason Bay has made some damned fine plays on defense this season. Somehow, I don’t think that his defense is what we as Mets’ fans had in mind when he was signed.

    Anyway, I have to admit–two weeks ago, I was wanting next February to come for pitchers and catchers to report; I had written off this season. What was I thinking?

  5. Mike May 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm
    ‘kindergarten you are just like the rest of us: a “prove to me I should believe” Mets fan. Think about how little this team gave us to believe in. Not much. And we all still know how flawed they are. They are proving that these flaws are overcome-able and that the rest of the league is flawed as well. All we should hope is that this team stays healthy and continues to not beat themselves. It’s easy to forget the Mets were very good in 2007 and 2008 but certain things out of their control (and many things they could, too) caused them to fail. So it was never a far stretch that they could do this, we just had no reason to expect it. It’s a long season, so lets just hope they continue this.
  6. wohjr May 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm
    oh, I haven’t forgotten ‘dude… but you can’t kill the poor kid every night, especially if we are getting some decent arms for him in return.

    Joking aside, that looked like yet ANOTHER batting stance from Dwright last night… more upright and less movement of the bat/hands. I know he crushed a tater but the guy looks lost out there to me… how can he have success changing his approach every few games?