Monday, May 2, 2011

Game #28: Mets 2, Phillies 1 (14)

Chris Young provided a solid start for the Mets, pitching 7 scorless innings. (
In the top of the 9th, it ceased to be just a baseball game. To those 45,000+ fans at Citizens Bank Park, last night became the answer to the question: Where were you when you heard about Osama bin Laden's death? But what was lost in the euphoria of the end of a nearly 10-year manhunt is that this was one heck of a game.

Ronny Paulino capped off a career night with the game-winning hit in the top of the 14th and the Mets survived a marathon in Philadelphia, taking the game 2-1 and avoiding a sweep.

The Good Stuff:
  • It starts and ends with pitching. On a night when Cliff Lee was elevated on a national display, he was outshined by the other guy: Chris Young. Making his case for the ace title, Young came through in a big way, allowing 2 hits over 7 innings of work, walking 3 and dishing out 7 Ks. With only 97 pitches to his credit, he probably could have (maybe should have) gone another frame, but understandably he was pinch hit for with 2 on and 2 out in the 8th.
  • Aside from Jason Isringhausen and Tim Byrdak giving up the tying run in the 8th (Is put the runner on, Byrdak gave up the hit), the bullpen did their very best to keep the lid on a Philly offense that two days earlier scored 10 runs. After K-Rod roller-coasted through the 9th, Pedro Beato came on and delivered a performance that will go down in Mets folklore: ten years earlier, Beato watched the Twin Towers fall from the roof of his Brooklyn high school. Moments after news of the 9/11 perpetrator's demise, Pedro shut down Philly with 3 innings of 2-hit baseball, striking out 2. Taylor Buchholz picked up the win with a scoreless 13th and 14th.
  • How's this for a return from the DL? In his first start of the year, backup catcher Ronny Paulino went 5-7 and brought David Wright home in the 14th with an RBI double. This stat won't last, but it's staggering to look at Paulino's batting average and see .625.
  • Also noteworthy: Carlos Beltran broke through in the 5th with a double off Cliff Lee that brought Wright home and put NY on the board. Wright finished 3-6 with both Mets runs.
The Bad Stuff:
  • We did win, but it took 14 innings when it probably should have taken 9. We got runners on base in every inning but the 12th and 13th, chalking up 14 hits in total, but could only plate 2 runners. Standing out for individual futility was Ike Davis, who went 0-6 and left the bases loaded in the 1st. When Cliff Lee lets you get runners on base, you have to bring them home.
Final Analysis:
The Amazin' Mets seem to have a thing for winning long games. Last year they took a 20-inning affair in St. Louis, and this year they have a 14-inning triumph under their belts. The Mets also have a thing for coming up big on patriotic nights. Remember September 21, 2001? Mike Piazza cemented that day as one of the greatest in Mets and New York City history. And on May 1, 2011, Ronny Paulino provided an exclamation point on another great day for New York City. One can only imagine what happens if the New York Mets can pull off a win tomorrow in Queens against the world champion San Fransisco Giants.


P.S. Check out this amazing drawing from last night's game by Joe P. It's awesome.

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