Tag: cole hamels

Mets Game 115: Win Over Phillies

Mets 1 Phillies 0

The R.A. Dickey dreamscape continues …

For the first time in 42 games — about a month and a half — the Mets won back-to-back games. And it took two straight shutouts, the first time they did that in eight years (the last time it was Pedro Astacio and Jeff D’Amico).

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey was tremendous, and would’ve thrown a no-hitter had it not been for a duck snort by opposing pitcher Cole Hamels. The only other baserunner was a walk to Wilson Valdez in the third inning. Remember Wilson Valdez? Dickey struck out 7 and expended only 105 pitches. How can you not love this guy?

Tough-luck loser Cole Hamels gave up only five hits and two walks, striking out 8 in 8 innings. He also threw only 105 pitches. If Shane Victorino didn’t misplay David Wright‘s liner in the sixth, this game could still be going on — with both pitchers still on the hill. Gutsy, competitive performance by both.

In the fifth, it appeared as though the Mets went up 1-0 when Mike Hessman hit a ball that appeared to be a homerun to left — though, Phillies leftfielder Raul Ibanez protested immediately, possibly citing interference by a fan. After six and a half minutes of video review, the umpires ruled it interference and gave Hessman a ground-rule triple.

I don’t get how they decided it was a triple and not a double. Anytime a fan interferes it is automatically a double, and had Ibanez played the ball rather than stopped immediately and pointed to the fan, I’m not sure the lead-footed Hessman would’ve made it all the way to third base.

The SNY crew was convinced it was NOT interference, despite seeing only one vague, fuzzy camera view. They were condescending and critical of the umpires about the call, which I found annoying, because to me, it was not crystal clear. I don’t care whether the call went for or against the Mets, I care about getting the right call, and I don’t like being made to feel stupid for disagreeing with Gary, Keith, and Ron. A rare misfire by what is usually an outstanding announcing team.

As it was, the Mets couldn’t score Hessman from third, getting three shots to do so. They also failed to score Angel Pagan from third with one out in the first.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Phillies play again at 7:10 PM on Saturday night. Pat Misch makes his first MLB start of 2010 against Roy Halladay.


Mets Game 110: Win Over Phillies

Mets 1 Phillies 0

The Mets played the role of spoiler, beating the Phillies and knocking the reigning NL East champions a game further from the Braves, who also won on Saturday evening.

Game Notes

Johan Santana was brilliant, shutting out the Phillies through 7 1/3 and allowing only 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out 6.

The hero of the game was none other than the oft-maligned Jeff Francoeur, who blasted a solo homerun to create the only score of the ballgame.

Interestingly, a “rocket” was requested of Francoeur when Alex Cora exited the clubhouse and the team. Per the Associated Press:

When popular and well-respected infielder Alex Cora was released by the team on Saturday afternoon he told Francoeur to “hit a rocket” that night against the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I didn’t promise him a home run. I don’t do that,” Francoeur said, with a laugh. “I’m not Babe Ruth, but I promised him I’d try.”

For one swing, Francoeur got his Ruthian result, and it traveled just over the right-field wall. It came on a day when he was told by manager Jerry Manuel that he would platoon with Fernando Martinez, who was called up with second baseman Ruben Tejada. Francoeur also hit a game-winning home run on Aug. 3 off Atlanta’s Billy Wagner.

“If my name is in the lineup, I’ll play,” Francoeur said. “That’s all I can do.”

Cole Hamels was tough on the Mets, allowing only 6 hits, no walks, and striking out 11 in 7 innings. The Francoeur homer was the only blemish of Hamels’ performance.

Francisco Rodriguez miraculously converted a 5-out save, working out of a stressful bases-loaded jam in the 8th. I have to admit my faith was waning when he took the mound — even if he is paid very handsomely to do this type of thing. It took him 34 pitches to earn his 24th save — could that make him unavailable on Sunday? I’m guessing no.

Speaking of the Santana removal, my wife asked me four times why Johan was taken out, and I had no plausible answer. In hindsight, it’s easy to provide an explanation — after all, it worked out fine. But at the time, well, as Jerry Manuel might say, “that’s a good question”.

This was the first 1-0, 9-inning win for the Mets this season. They won a rain-shortened 1-0 game earlier in the year but that was it.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 1:35 PM on Sunday afternoon. R.A. Dickey faces Roy Halladay. Now you tell me: if it was April, would you feel nearly as confident as you do right now about that matchup? Baseball is a funny game — and good for R.A. for rising to this level. He has reached a point where we will be mildly surprised if he doesn’t give the Mets an excellent chance to win against a superior team with possibly the best pitcher in baseball on the mound.