Phillies 5 Mets 2
Early on, it appeared as though the Mets would cruise to an Opening Day victory, having scored two runs in the first four innings and Oliver Perez looking great on the mound. However, it was not to be, as the Phillies beat the Mets for the ninth straight time (going back to 2007).
Ollie pitched well through five, and got two quick outs in the sixth against the Phils’ top hitters, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Perez then got 2-2 to Pat Burrell before unraveling.
First, he lost Burrell and walked him. Then, he threw three straight balls to Jayson Werth, then balked on an attempted pickoff with the count 3-0. He threw a fourth straight ball to Werth, but crossed up Brian Schneider and the ball bounced off Schneider’s mitt, allowing Burrell to get to third (it was ruled a passed ball, not really fair but it almost always is if the ball doesn’t hit the dirt). Willie Randolph quickly removed Perez before he completely imploded, replacing him with Joe Smith. Smith walked Pedro Feliz to load the bases but induced a harmless grounder from Carlos Ruiz to end the threat.
Unfortunately, while Perez avoided an implode, the bullpen did not.
Randolph replaced Smith with Scott Schoeneweis to start the seventh. The Show retired So Taguchi to start the inning, then gave up a blistering single to Jimmy Rollins. Shane Victorino worked the count full before ripping a single up the middle, and then Schoeneweis hit Chase Utley to load the bases. In Show’s defense, Utley leaned into the pitch, and in fact the ball was only about 4 inches off the plate when it hit Utley’s right shoulder — but the umps allow him to stand there. Ryan Howard then hit a grounder to Delgado, and Carlos threw second for the force out, but the throw hit Utley in the back and rolled away, allowing two runs to score. It was a tough play for Delgado, as Utley was running to the outfield side of second and Reyes was set up to receive the ball in the same area. Looking at the angle on instant replay, it would have been very difficult for Delgado to throw to the inside (home plate side) of the bag. Even if he did, I doubt they would have turned a DP, so at least one run would have scored anyway.
Show was then removed for Jorge Sosa, who got a flyout from Pat Burrell, but then gave up a single to Jayson Werth on an 0-2 slider that drove in Utley with the go-ahead run. As Ron Darling noted, hitters have an easy time protecting against that pitch against Sosa, because all he throws are sliders off the plate. Batters can lean over and into the plate and hit the ball to right, as Werth did, since Sosa never goes inside with a hard fastball to move them off the plate or “get their feet moving”.
Aaron Heilman gave up runs four and five in the eighth, while LOOGY Pedro Feliciano never got warmed up. If there’s something physically wrong with Pedro Lite, we must wonder why in the world the Mets promoted Carlos Muniz and not Ricardo Rincon.
Newly promoted Carlos Muniz pitched a hitless ninth to preserve a save situation for Tom Gordon.
Aaron Heilman, Jorge Sosa, and Scott Schoeneweis are all on pace to appear in 108 games each this season.
Kind of fun to see Carlos Muniz face Carlos Ruiz in the ninth inning.
Red-hot Carlos Delgado hit his first homer of the year, a prestigious blast over the rightfield fence.
Speaking of Delgado, interesting to see the Phils run the “Delgado Shift” on Brian Schneider. From what I’ve seen of Schneider — both in ST and in this early season — he’s a dead pull hitter who rarely, if ever, hits the ball to the left of the pitcher’s mound. He and Jose Reyes should be working on going the opposite way in BP, IMHO.
Carlos Beltran remains hot, as he hit his seventh double of the season. He’s on pace to hit 189 this year.
The “Flyin’ Hawaiian” Shane Victorino stole a few potential extra-base hits — and prevented at least two runs from scoring — by snaring long drives off the bats of David Wright and Carlos Beltran. So far, it doesn’t look like the Phillies will miss Aaron Rowand, at least in the field.
Get the Frog Out of Your Glove
BTW, while Victorino saved two runs for the Phils, defensive specialist Brian Schneider had two passed balls that led to runs scoring. So much for winning more games by having better defense behind the plate and in the outfield.
Ron Darling slipped during the SNY broadcast, and no one was quick enough to hit the sneeze button. Right after Scott Schoeneweis plugged Chase Utley, Darling stated, “Peterson is gonna come out here and kind of settle the shit down because obviously Schoeneweis is shaken up a bit here …” I think his mind was thinking “the Show” when he said “the shit”. (See the seashells by the seashore … )
Keith Hernandez mentioned that Dave Kingman was at Shea to watch the game, and that the two had a lengthy conversation. Hmm … first, I can’t imagine Kingman having a lengthy conversation with anyone, and I can’t think of anything that Keith and Kong could possibly talk about for more than 20 seconds. Perhaps what Keith meant to say was, “Kingman listened to me speak for a lengthy amount of time”.
Mets host the Phils again tomorrow in a 7:10 PM start. Mike Pelfrey takes the mound against Kyle Kendrick.