Sunday, April 15, 2012

Game #9: Phillies 8, Mets 2

Mike Pelfrey gives the Mets six solid innings Sunday, but the bullpen implodes in Philadelphia, giving up seven runs in the final three frames. (
The door to the broom closet was opened up again, but the bats of Philadelphia slammed it shut.

The Phillies offense blew up for 7 runs in their last 2 innings as the Mets' early lead evaporated into an 8-2 loss.

The Bad Stuff
  • It was only a matter of time before the Mets' rock-solid bullpen was going to show a few cracks. But even if inevitable, it wasn't pretty. Up 2-1, Ramon Ramirez allowed the go-ahead runs to score in the 7th, wiping out a W for Mike Pelfrey (who we'll get to in Good Stuff). In the 8th, Philly took out a massive insurance policy, tapping Manny Acosta for 4 runs and Miguel Batista for 1 more. But it wasn't just the bats that did the relievers in: Ramirez's wild pitch put runners on second and third with 1 out and Acosta walked 2 straight with 2 out to force in a run before Ty Wigginton delivered the final blow with a bases-clearing double.
  • After putting 2 on the board in the 1st, the New York offense shut down at the hands of Cole Hamels, who went 7 innings and allowed no more runs on 6 hits, walking 1 and striking out 10. Chad Qualls allowed a hit but managed the 8th, and Jonathan Papelbon loaded the bases before striking out Justin Turner to end the game.
  • The Mets played shorthanded once again, this time with Jason Bay sitting out with a jammed right middle finger, apparently from sliding into first base, similar to what David Wright did on Monday.
The Good Stuff
  • The Mets wasted a fine outing by Mike Pelfrey, who went for 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 8 hits, walking 2 and striking out 2. He walked a fine tightrope and got into jams in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th, but managed to get out of them with little damage done.
  • The only offense New York got on the day was in the 1st inning when Ike Davis hit his first home run of the year, a 2-run blast off a Hamels cutter. An encouraging sign for Met fans, perhaps Ike has finally caught up after missing most of last year and dealing with his valley fever. He finished the day 2-4.
  • David Wright scored on Davis' home run and had another strong outing at the plate, going 2-4. He was picked off of first by Hamels in the 6th, but because he (presumably) kept his fingers in tact this time, it goes under Good Stuff.
  • Lucas Duda also had 2 hits on the afternoon.
Final Analysis:
A sweep in Philadelphia would have been nice and this loss is disappointing, especially since the bullpen had been so stellar. But when you look at the big picture, you see the Mets won the series and are 6-3 a week and a half into the season. They're still performing above expectations and a series win over the five-time defending NL East champs is an encouraging sign. They just have to get back on top of things tomorrow in Atlanta and keep the ball rolling.


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