Game 32: Loss

Phillies 5 Mets 4

Everyone has been so concerned with the Atlanta Braves, yet the Phillies are now right in the Mets’ rearview mirror at only three games back. Tonight’s game was an example of what happens when a good team (the Mets) runs into a red-hot team (the Phillies): everything seems to go right for the hot team, despite the best efforts of the good team.

While it’s true the surging Phils are establishing themselves as a team to be reckoned with, this game is nothing to be concerned about. SO many things fell into place for the Phillies: the near-catch by Nady that turned into a triple; the dropped catch by Burrell that turned into a forceout at 2B; the awful strike-three call on Kaz in the eighth; the triple by Dellucci in the ninth, which was fair by about three-tenths of an inch; and of course the misplay by Heilman on the swinging bunt by Abreu that ended the game. If any of those plays go the Mets way, the Mets probably win.

Despite all the balls bouncing the Phillies’ way, the Mets did not bury themselves, but instead phought back, phorcing a blown save by Philadelphia closer Phlash Gordon. What the Mets are showing this year is that, no matter the circumstances, they will be competing, and will not go down easy. Theirs is the tenacity of a champion.

With the emotional outcome of this game, don’t be surprised if the momentum carries over into game two, and don’t panic if the Mets drop another one. It’s early in the season, and over the long haul, it looks like the Mets will be the dominant team in the East.

However, I would like to slap poker-faced Pat Gillick, who before the season was telling anyone who would listen that he absolutely did not expect the Phillies to compete for first place this year. Sorry, pandering Pat, we see right through the ruse: you have an up-and-coming team THIS year, and no amount of self-pity will excuse you if the Phillies fall short.

This promises to be a fun and exciting summer !

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.