Mets 5 Phillies 4
It was supposed to be the toughest road trip the Mets would face in the first half of the year, possibly of the entire year. They finished it 9 and 1.
Yet again — and it sounds like a broken record — the Mets got runs early and took a commanding lead in the first inning. This time, however, Steve Trachsel was pitching, and we know that Trax is never quite sure what to do with a lead.
In the end, the Mets prevailed, sweeping the Phillies in front of their hometown boo-birds. Though the score was close, the game never really was; the most enthusiastic Phillie on the phield was the Phanatic.
That broken record again: David Wright hit ANOTHER home run. No you’re not reading yesterday’s post, he did hit another one, a three-run blow that capped off a four-run first. He’s making a strong case to earn the third-base spot on the All-Star team, and he picked a year when Scott Rolen is also having a “career” year.
Trachsel pitched just well enough to almost lose, then yielded the game to the Crisco Crew: Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez, and Billy Wagner. Heilman looked better than he has; his arm angle was closer to where it was earlier in the season, though I still don’t think he’s exactly where he needs to be. Dirty Sanchez was excellent; his command was nearly perfect. He’s had a lot of rest and obviously benefitted from it. By quietly closing out another game, Billy Wagner made the whole Philly issue a non-issue.
Before the series, Paul LoDuca said to a writer that the Mets needed to sweep the Phils, to “bury” them. They did just that, and I won’t be surprised to see Philadelphia continue their tailspin, and drop behind the Braves in the next two weeks. The Mets’ dominance over them clearly demoralized the team.
Julio Franco’s single in the ninth gave him the NL lead in hits for pinch-hitters. He also stole second base and took third on a wild pitch, making him the oldest person in MLB history to steal two bases in a year and the oldest to take third on a wild pitch. He’s also the oldest to wear a flap helmet, the oldest to get a pinch hit single in a day game against a Phillie, the oldest to ….
Newcomer Eli Marrero got a start in the outfield when Lastings Milledge slept in. Lastings needed the rest, and the time to think about his dogging the night before (when he made Julio Franco the oldest player to ever miss out on an RBI due to a rookie’s lack of hustle). Milledge’s latest escapades will only make it easier for Mr. Willie and Omar to demote him back to Norfolk when Xavier Nady returns from the disabled list.
The Mets finally return home tomorrow, taking on the Baltimore Orioles at Shea as interleague play returns. Alay Soler goes against Erik Bedard. Anna Benson will be available for fashion tips before the game.