Archive: August 23rd, 2009

Mets Game 124: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 9 Mets 7

You can’t say this game wasn’t entertaining.

What began as another circus-like outing by Oliver Perez turned out to be an unusually tenacious effort by the Mets.

Perez allowed two three-run homers in two-thirds of an inning and was on the verge of walking Pedro Martinez when he was replaced by Nelson Figueroa in the initial inning. Other than putting an end to the first frame, Figgy wasn’t terribly effective, allowing another two scores before yielding to Pat Misch. Misch proved he’s much better in the role of long man than LOOGY by holding the fort for four full frames, allowing just one hit and striking out four. His performance allowed the Mets to chip away and make the final innings interesting.

Meanwhile, Pedro Martinez’s return to Flushing was somewhat emotional and otherwise unimpressive — though he pitched well enough to earn his second win as a Phillie. He “held” the Mets to four runs in six innings, then let the Phillie bullpen finish up.

Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Mets were down by three but Angel Pagan led off with a triple by getting to third on a three-base error by Ryan Howard to spark a rally and ignite the Citi Field crowd. After two consecutive misplays by Chase Utley’s understudy Eric Bruntlett, the Mets had men on first and second with no one out and Jeff Francoeur at the plate. Perhaps to guard against a rally-killing double play, Jerry Manuel put on a hit-and-run — which did keep them out of a DP but created instead a TP. With the runners moving, Francoeur ripped a liner up the middle that was snared by previous goat Bruntlett, who stepped on second base to eliminate Luis Castillo, then tagged oncoming runner Dan Murphy to complete an unassisted triple play that ended the inning and the game.

Notes

Before Mets fans gripe that the triple play was “a lucky break”, they should remember that Pagan’s “triple” sneaked under Howard’s glove and that the Mets were “lucky” that Bruntlett muffed the next two balls to create the situation. If anything, the Mets’ luck was running out.

Again, is it safe to say Pat Misch is better suited to multiple innings, than to be used as a per-batter specialist?

Pagan hit an inside-the-park homer to lead off the first, though it would’ve been a triple had the ball not lodged under the padding in centerfield, causing Shane Victorino to give up on the play and raise his hands to the umpires. Apparently, Victorino was not cognizant of the ground rules at Citi Field.

Luis Castillo continued his hot-hitting, going 3-for-4 and raising his average to .321. He remains in fourth place among NL hitters — three points behind the disabled David Wright.

Dan Murphy also had three hits, hitting out of the three-hole (“I bat third”). His efforts also produced a run scored and another driven in. Murph is now 10 for his last 30 with 4 doubles and 2 RBI.

Next Mets Game

The final game of this four-game series begins at 1:10 PM on Monday afternoon. Bobby Parnell begins the game against Cliff Lee.

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Mets Game 123: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 4 Mets 1

This time, the bullpen couldn’t hold the fort.

Phillie killer Tim Redding allowed no runs and only one hit through five frames, giving the bullpen a golden opportunity to hand him and the Mets a win. Four innings was all they had to cover, but one night after shutting down the Phils, the bullpen caved.

Immediately upon being inserted into the game to start the sixth, lefthanded specialist Pat Misch walked Shane Victorino and allowed a homer to Chase Utley to give the Phillies a lead they’d never relinquish.

JA Happ scattered 8 hits through 7 innings to get the win for Philadelphia.

Notes

Luis Castillo collected another two hits, and is now at .317 on the season — fifth in the NL.

Jeff Francoeur scored the Mets’ only run, driven in by Omir Santos.

Jerry Manuel needed six arms to cover those final four frames.

Next Mets Game

Game three of the series begins at 1:10 PM on Sunday. Oliver Perez pitches against Pedro something or another.

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