Mets Game 157: Win Over Phillies

Mets 2 Phillies 1

A huge win for the New York Mets, who pull to within 23 games of first place and one game closer to third with five left to play. If only Bud Selig would consider extending the season by another 30 games, the Mets would still be in it.

Enough of the sarcasm. If nothing else, at least the Mets are entertaining in this final week. We were treated with a near no-no, a dramatic comeback victory starring someone named Valentino, and to top it all off, it was the Phillies who were defeated. Oh, and there’s still another game to play! Can’t really ask for much more on a meaningless September Saturday.

Mets Game Notes

R.A. Dickey really had a great knuckler going in this game, and I surmise it may have had something to do with the humid weather and gentle breeze. Too much wind makes the ball dance too much, and arid air can make it difficult to grip as well as difficult to get downward sink. The conditions on Saturday afternoon, I believe, may have been ideal — and Dickey took full advantage, allowing only one run on three hits and a walk in 7 solid innings. Dickey had a no-no going into the seventh, broken up by Shane Victorino‘s leadoff double. Dickey lost the shutout moments later when Ryan Howard singled. Regardless, it was a masterful performance.

After seeing no scoring through the first six, both teams crossed the plate in the seventh. The Mets responded with a run of their own in the bottom of that inning, thanks to a pinch-hit homerun by The Thing Val Pascucci — his first MLB homer in seven years. Geez, Val, whadja do? Break a mirror?

The go-ahead run in the eighth was scored by Ruben Tejada, who has been doing everything in his power over the last few weeks to make us forget that Jose Reyes is moving on over the winter. If Tejada can continue to provide adequate offense and solid defense, why offer the moon to Reyes? Good timing for all involved.

Don’t look now, but Manny Acosta is asserting himself in the closer role. He’s impressive in short spurts, but methinks this is too little, too late for consideration as the 2012 closer. Acosta is a streaky pitcher whose periods of hot and cold are exclusively dependent on his confidence — this has been who he is since 2007, and now, at age 30, I’m not expecting a drastic change. But hey, another reliever with a similar make-up wears a Phillies uniform: Brad Lidge. And Lidge had a couple outstanding years as a closer, so maybe there’s hope for Acosta.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Phillies do it again in a few hours — starting time is 7:10 PM. Dillon Gee goes to the hill against Joe Blanton.

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.