Archive: April 19th, 2008

Mets Game 15: Win Over Phillies

Mets 4 Phillies 2

Jose Reyes jumpstarted the Mets in the initial inning, leading off the game with a double and scoring — along with Ryan Church — on another double by MVP leader David Wright. From then on, the Mets never relinquished the lead.

In the seventh, Reyes ripped a two-run homer to put the Mets ahead 4-0, giving plenty of wiggle room to Scott Schoeneweis et al.

Once again, Oliver Perez was less than efficient with his pitches — throwing 108 in 5 2/3 innings — but allowed no runs and four hits, striking out seven and walking five. Willie Randolph may not be happy with his efficiency, but it’s hard to argue with nearly six shutout innings vs. the Phillies lineup in CBP.

The Phillies’ best chance to come back came in the eighth, as they loaded the bases against Joe Smith and Pedro Feliciano. They scored one on a bloop single off Aaron Heilman, but Heilman then struck out Geoff Jenkins and Jayson Werth to end the threat and the inning.

Notes

The top of the order — Jose Reyes, Ryan Church, and David Wright — went 6-for-12 with three runs scored and four RBI. Wright is 6-for-8 so far in this series.

Even though Aaron Heilman came up big and shut the door on the Phillies with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, I’m not comfortable with the frequency with which he’s being used. He was throwing from a low arm angle — from fatigue — and from that release point Aaron does not have his sharp control. Yes, he got away with it this time, but he did not have his good command, and if you noticed he didn’t throw too many changeups. Good thing, because when he drops down to Joe Smithlike level, the changeup floats up in the zone, and is easy to hit. It looked like he was using either his splitfinger or possibly his slider instead.

Next Game

The final game of the series will be played at 8:05 pm on Sunday, with Mike Pelfrey going against Adam Eaton. The game will be broadcast on ESPN, so once again I suggest you put the TV on “mute”.

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Mets Game 15: Win Over Phillies

Mets 6 Phillies 4

What promised to be a pitchers’ duel between the two aces turned out to be just that — until the aces left the game, and then all heck broke loose.

Both Johan Santana and Cole Hamels pitched into the eighth inning in a classic matchup of dominating lefthanders, and in the end it was Santana who prevailed. Johan struck out ten batters in seven innings of work, allowing three runs on four hits before being lifted in the eighth inning with two runners on base. Hamels was nearly as good, but gave up two early runs and another two before he himself was taken out in the eighth frame. Both starters were victimized by their replacements from the bullpen, but in the end Santana was the victor and Hamels took the loss.

Hamels looked good, not great, as the Mets managed eight hits and three walks, with only 4 strikeouts. But he had only allowed two Mets to cross the plate before the fateful eighth, when he loaded the bases without getting an out and was removed from the ballgame. Reliever J.C. Romero — previously a Met killer — gave up a run on a groundout by Carlos Delgado, another on a double by Angel Pagan, and a third thanks to a Brian Schneider single. All three runs were charged to Hamels, so Romero still has a tidy 0.00 ERA on the season.

Similarly, Johan was cruising through seven, but allowed two singles to open the eighth, and Willie Randolph called on Aaron Heilman to put out the fire. Unfortunately, Aaron threw gas onto it, immediately giving up a three-run homer to pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs to bring the Phillies within one. Heilman came back to retire Geoff Jenkins and Jayson Werth, then handed the ball to Pedro Feliciano, who struck out Chase Utley to end the inning and preserve the lead.

The Mets tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth off Brad Lidge (though it was unearned), and Billy Wagner knocked down the Phillies 1-2-3 to save the win.

Notes

Though it’s only April, this game had the feeling of the fall — both teams clearly “came to play”, with the starters pitching their hearts out and players diving for balls and hustling on the bases like it was a playoff game. Fun stuff.

David Wright continued his MVP bid by going 4-for-4, while the two ex-Nats, Brian Schneider and Ryan Church, were a combined 5-for-8 with three runs scored and an RBI. Meanwhile, the vaunted duo of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were stymied, with only a hit between them with four strikeouts in eight at-bats.

There was a bit of a scare in the third inning when Jose Reyes went headfirst into Chase Utley’s knee while stealing second base. Reyes appeared to have suffered a concussion, but remained in the game after being examined for several minutes by Mets trainer Ray Ramirez. The Phillies fans were oh so gracious by cheering wildly went Reyes didn’t initially get up, and furthered their reputation as high-class individuals by booing him when he got up and took a jog. Nice people … can’t wait to visit the “city of brotherly love” sometime soon.


Next Game

Mets face the Phillies at four o’clock, with Oliver Perez taking the hill against Jamie Moyer. Unfortunately, the game will be shown on FOX, so you’ll have to put the TV on mute.

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