|Mets outfielder Scott Hairston drives home two with a double in the third inning. (NYDailyNews.com)|
Jon Niese was near brilliant for 7 innings and Scott Hairston led the charge in Carlos Beltran's absence, as the Mets went on in front of a national TV audience and all-out crushed the Phillies, 11-2.
The Good Stuff:
- Carlos Beltran sat out today with the flu, so Terry Collins' already much-mangled lineup today consisted of Pagan-Turner-Hairston-Murphy-Bay-Paulino-Evans-Tejada-Niese. No Carlos? No problem.
- The Mets got to Philly ace Cole Hamels right from the start: Scott Hairston doubled and came home on Daniel Murphy's bloop single in the 1st. Hairston did an encore in the 3rd and brought home Jon Niese and Justin Turner. The next inning New York got one more on Angel Pagan's sac fly.
- In the 5th is where things got Amazin'. Murphy led off with a home run (a what?) to right center. Jason Bay followed with a single and stole second with Nick Evans at the plate. Turns out he didn't even need to: Evans tripled on the next pitch, knocking home Bay and knocking out a bewildered Hamels. On the very next pitch, Ruben Tejada brought home Evans and made it 7-0. This was already more than the Mets had scored in the past 3 games combined.
- But Terry's boys weren't done just yet. With two out in the 7th, pinch-hitting Lucas Duda doubled. Pagan followed with a walk, and Turner, Mr. RBI in these situations, came through again with a single to score Duda. Hairston, not to be outdone, promptly launched a 3-run bomb into the left field stands. It was here, at 11 runs, that the New York offense decided they'd had their fill.
- In a day of big games for many, Scott Hairston takes the cake with his home run, 2 doubles, and I'm guessing career-high 5 RBIs. Daniel Murphy lit up the stat sheet as well with his 3-5, HR, 2 RBI day.
- The bats gave Jon Niese more than enough to work with, and he did his job, holding the Phillies to 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits in 7 innings. He was efficient, walking just 1 and striking out 6, in his 103 pitches. Niese continues to make his case as the ace of the staff; in his last 9 starts (disregard the relief inning last Sunday), he's 6-2 with an ERA of 2.81, a 1.11 WHIP, and 54 strikeouts in 58 innings. That'll do.
- Heir apparent to K-Rod's closer role, Bobby Parnell, pitched an inning in relief, walking the first batter but settling down to get the next three, two by way of the K. Manny Acosta did mop-up work in the 9th to send the Citi Field crowd of 41,116 home happy.
- Six runs in three games then double-digits in one? Pace yourselves, guys! As much as I love these 11-run outbursts, maybe averaging 5 or 6 a game would be the better way to go.
Beating the Phillies would do on any day. Beating the Phillies with an even-more-makeshift-than-usual lineup when they throw Cole Hamels? Simply Amazin'. This team may be a fringe contender, probably not going anywhere this year, but you'd be hard pressed to find a team in the majors more fun to watch. Which is why I won't be reading many more books when the Mets are on.
|Lucas Duda slides safely into home as part of the Mets' four-run seventh inning. (NYTimes.com)|