Mets 1 Phillies 0
Usually, the Mets have trouble scoring runs for their ace because he’s facing the opposing team’s ace. In an unusual state of affairs that should have given the Mets a distinct advantage, Johan Santana took the hill against perhaps the worst starting pitcher in the big leagues (especially considering that Oliver Perez is now officially a reliever) — Chan Ho Park.
Remarkably enough, Park no-hit the Mets through four and a third, and held them to just one hit and no runs in six full innings of work. However, Johan Santana was even better, shutting out the Phillies through seven. Even more remarkably, the game’s only score came when Carlos Delgado scored from first on an infield hit. It may be time to play lotto.
It’s true. Delgado walked to lead off the seventh, and Scott Eyre retired the next two hitters. Fernando Tatis came in to pinch-hit for Jeremy Reed and hit a broken-bat dribbler to Pedro Feliz. Feliz, normally an excellent to outstanding fielder, barehanded the ball and threw it wide of first base. As the ball rolled up the right field line, Delgado chugged toward third and ran through Razor Shines’ stop sign. Phillies rightfielder Jayson Werth picked up the ball and was in such shock to see Delgado rounding third that for a moment he forgot to throw the ball. When he came to his senses and realized it wasn’t a dream, Werth fired to home, a split-second too late to get Delgado, who slid in safely with the only run of the game.
Pedro Feliciano pitched a scoreless eighth and Frankie Rodriguez set down the Phils in order to record his 8th save in as many chances.
The Mets are now 13-13. Is that lucky, or unlucky? Guess it depends on which part of the world you’re from.
Johan Santana had absolutely hellacious stuff, and great command, yet he walked opposing pitcher Chan Ho Park — not once but TWICE. Crazy.
Do the Mets hate Johan? I mean really … one hit and no runs against Chan Ho Park? CHAN HO PARK?
Do not be swayed by the pregame catching practice sessions held by Sandy Alomar, Jr., nor by Ron Darling’s gushing over Omir Santos’ receiving skills. Santos is not very good at catching the ball, and does not trick any MLB umpire with his feeble attempts at “framing”. In fact, he continues to lose close pitches that might be strikes because he’s jerking (aka “framing”) the ball into the strike zone, rather than catching it when it’s a strike and “sticking it”. That’s not to say Santos is a poor catcher — merely setting the record straight.
Further to the point, a “framed” pitch might look really good from the centerfield camera. However, it’s an entirely different viewpoint BEHIND the plate, which is where the umpire stands. Next time you go to a little league or high school game, stand behind the backstop and you’ll see what I mean.
For about the 800th time this year, the SNY announcers mentioned the “curveball drill” instituted by Jerry Manuel during spring training BP. As if on cue, Carlos Beltran struck out looking at a yellow hammer almost immediately after the words fell out of Ron Darling’s mouth.
Prior to the game, Jerry Manuel said Santana would get pushed to 115 pitches. As it was he threw 101. Manuel also said that both J.J. Putz and K-Rod would be unavailable. Putz was held out, but Rodriguez obviously closed out the game. WFAN’s Wayne Hagin suggested that Jerry made these statements to play head games with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. C’mon, now, seriously? Someone needs to remind Mr. Hagin that the Wilpons do not sign his paycheck.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Phillies do it again at 7:10 PM on Thursday night. Undefeated Mike Pelfrey goes against Jamie Moyer. No, Moyer is NOT twice Pelfrey’s age (25) … but he’s close (46). If Jonathan Niese (22) came up to make the start vs. Moyer, we’d have a story.