Phillies 4 Mets 2
An uninspiring loss on a gloomy day of sad memories through stormy weather.
Nelson Figueroa wasn’t pretty, but he did the job, holding the Phils to two runs in 5 1/3 innings while scattering 9 hits and 5 walks. He struggled every inning but somehow managed to keep too many runs from scoring. Unfortunately, the Mets offense was completely handcuffed by Cole Hamels, who allowed only one run through 6 2/3 innings.
Hamels earned his first win over the Mets since 2006, and his ninth victory of the season.
Hamels had an intriguing approach in this game, relying predominantly on his change-up and other soft stuff to set up his fastball, which he used sparingly. Generally you see more fastballs on a windy, rainy day, but the plan worked well for Hamels. The Mets waved weakly at the low-speed hurls and froze when the 90+ heaters entered the zone. In fact it looked as though the umpire was surprised at some of the fastballs, to the point where he might have missed a few calls that should’ve been strikes.
When Angel Pagan made a nice running catch to nab a Carlos Ruiz fly ball in the seventh, Keith Hernandez remarked, “That was ‘Carlos Beltran-esque’. Angel Pagan can go get ’em, he’s an excellent defensive outfielder”. He forgot to add, “when he’s not running into other outfielders, misjudging fly balls, taking bad routes to balls in the gap, and forgetting how many outs there are.” Otherwise, yeah, he’s “excellent” out there.
Jeremy Reed is quietly winning a job as a fourth or fifth outfielder next year — though it may not be for the Mets. He ripped his 15th pinch-hit of the season, which would’ve scored anyone in baseball from second other than Omir Santos or Ramon Castro (unfortunately, Santos was the runner). Having that kind of bat in the late innings is hard to find, and rarely found matched with a plus-plus glove and above-average speed. However, I doubt the Mets will pay the $1M+ he’ll command. Watch him get non-tendered and hook up with someone else next year.
Things are so bad that I caught myself rooting for Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth at certain points in the game. Sorry, but it’s hard for a former player not to appreciate the effort and execution of the Phillies. They’re tough, motivated, unflappable, confident, and polished.
The Mets have now lost four in a row, and are 19 games behind the league-leading Phillies. I’m not certain, but I think one more loss this weekend will mathematically eliminate the Mets from the NL East championship.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Phillies do it again at 4:05 PM on Saturday afternoon. Eternal enigma Mike Pelfrey faces the ageless Jamie Moyer.