Mets 6 Phillies 5
Johan Santana tried to give this game away three times, took it back once (with his bat!), and in the end wound up a winner.
Fresh off the harsh criticism of Larry Jones, who termed the park “a joke”, Citi Field played like Fenway Park on Tuesday night, as seven big flies found the seats.
The Mets jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the game thanks to homers by David Wright and Carlos Beltran, but the Phillies fought back with four of their own on “taters” by Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, and Jimmy Rollins.
However, the Mets rallied in the sixth, with Johan Santana delivering the key hit, a two-run double to right that tied the game (it was an old-school “slash” / “butcher-boy” show-bunt-but-swing play). Moments later Alex Cora ripped a single up the middle to score Omir Santos with the go-ahead run.
Ryan Church blasted a solo shot into the homerun apple beyond the centerfield fence to provide an insurance run, and Santana cashed in that policy immediately, yielding a homer to Chase Utley to lead off the top of the eighth.
Bobby Parnell came in relief of Santana and gave up a single to set the stage for Pedro Feliciano, whose first pitch resulted in a double play and fourth pitch finalized the inning. Talk about efficiency.
As usual, K-Rod kept things interesting but ultimately earned his 16th save of the season.
Johan was none too happy about being removed from the game in the 8th after giving up a homer to Chase Utley. He held the ball up to Jerry Manuel’s face and expressed his protest, though I’m not a lip reader and couldn’t make out what he said. ** UPDATE ** Apparently, Santana said to Manuel, “I am a man!”, though Jerry wasn’t sure what exactly that meant. Maybe Johan said it in Spanish, and really meant “mensch“, but something was lost in the translation?
Rollins came into the game hitting .222, but collected three hits and two RBI. This combined with a two-hit game on Sunday suggests he might be coming out of his season-long slump. Great timing, J-Roll … you couldn’t wait a few more days?
Everyone in the Mets lineup had a hit except leadoff man Luis Castillo. David Wright and Alex Cora were the only Mets with more than one (they each had two).
Is K-Rod earning his salary? Sixteen saves and only two earned runs in 28 innings pitched.
Next Mets Game
Game two begins at 7:10 PM on Wednesday evening. Mike Pelfrey faces Cole Hamels.