Mets 6 Phillies 3
How’s that for turning the tables?
Mets fans who have been conditioned to turn off the TV after the 6th inning when the Mets are down, having learned that their favorite team has little fight in the late frames, missed a genuinely enjoyable comeback. Heck, they were the “fightin’ Mets” — for at least one night.
Starter Johan Santana was good, but unspectacular, allowing three runs on three walks and five hits in six innings. It was a “quality start” and he kept the Mets in the game, but it was far from an “acelike” outing. I’m willing to cut him slack, though, considering the dozen or so acelike performances he’s put on, only to be unsupported by the bats and/or bullpen.
Unfortunately for Johan, he left the game two innings too early, and down by a run — his only options were a loss or a no-decision. The Mets rewarded him with the latter.
Carlos Delgado drove in the Mets’ first three runs — the first on a first-inning single and the next two on solo homers. His second homer tied the ballgame 3-all in the eighth, and sparked a two-out rally. Delgado’s dinger was followed by a cue shot infield single by Carlos Beltran (who had two such “blasts” in the game), which chased Rudy Seanez from the mound. Closer Brad Lidge was brought in to put out the fire, and after Beltran swiped second, Lidge intentionally walked Ryan Church, choosing instead to face rookie Daniel Murphy. It seemed like a smart decision — considering Murphy’s 0-for-13 skid — until Murphy ripped a line drive into the right field corner to score Beltran and send Church to third. Brian Schneider followed with bloop single into no-man’s land in short left, clearing the bases and finalizing the score at 6-3.
Pedro Feliciano and Joe Smith teamed up to shut down the Phillies in the bottom of the eighth, and Luis Ayala got three grounders to short to earn the save.
Brian Stokes, who allowed three baserunners but kept the seventh scoreless, was credited with the victory — his first as a Met.
Without Delgado on this evening, the Mets are not even in the game. He’s reinvented himself and reminds me of the guy we acquired from the Marlins prior to the 2006 season. In short, he’s fun to watch again.
In addition to Delgado’s 3-for-4 day, Jose Reyes and Beltran both went 3-for-5. Two of Beltran’s singles were “lucky”, but he’s also hit screaming line drives right at people all year. Another two dozen squibs and things might be evened out.
David Wright was the only position player without a hit. He had a tough night at the plate, just missing several pitches. Nothing to worry about, though. D-Wright did make a spectacular backhand play on a Shane Victorino grounder in the eighth, so he made a contribution with the glove.
The Mets have Thursday off, then head south to start a series with the Marlins. Friday night’s game begins at 7:10 pm, and will pit Oliver Perez against Chris Volstad.