|Jordany Valdespin rounded the bases on a three-run homer, his first major league hit. (NYTimes.com)|
Jordany Valdespin blasted a 3-run homer in the top of the 9th for his first big league hit and gave the Mets a thrilling 5-2 come-from-behind victory over the Phillies.
The Good Stuff:
- With Roy Halladay on the mound it didn't appear things would be so good for New York on this night. With a 2-0 lead early, Doc Halladay was cruising, at one point retiring 13 straight batters. But the 14th was Andres Torres, who drew a 2-out walk in the 6th. Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with a single to bring up David Wright. A Phillie Killer in his own right, David laced a double down the third base line that took a weird hop off the fence and allowed both runners to score. Down and out, within 13 pitches the Mets were right back in it.
- In the 9th, Philadelphia brought on Jonathan Papelbon to try to send it to extras. Ike Davis's full count walk was sandwiched between strikeouts by Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner, bringing up Mike Nickeas, into the game for an injured Josh Thole (see Bad Stuff). Usually an easy out, Nickeas showed a touch of power, smashing a double to the left field corner to put runners on second and third with 2 out. Enter Jordany Valdespin, called up again after the injury to Ruben Tejada, and still looking for his first hit in the majors. Welcome to the big leagues, kid: Valdespin took an 0-1 splitter from Papelbon and deposited it into the right field stands on a monstrous golf shot.
- Frank Francisco came in to slam the door on the deflated Phillies, only needing 5 pitches to sit them down 1-2-3 and give the Mets their third straight win and Valdespin his first career pie in the face from Justin Turner.
- Things didn't start out looking so great: Jon Niese had allowed a run in each of the first 2 innings, but he settled down and grinded out 5 long innings of 4-hit ball to keep it close.
- Manny Acosta had a perfect 6th inning and handed off to Bobby Parnell, who loaded the bases in the 7th but got Hunter Pence to ground into a double play that was made possible by interference from Shane Victorino, who slid out of his way to mess up the throw from Justin Turner to Ike Davis. Parnell got into a jam in the 8th as well, but got 2 outs and made way for Tim Byrdak to strike out the third (Byrdak would pick up the W on the night).
- Josh Thole put a tag to Ty Wigginton in the 8th for a force at home, but Wigginton slid hard into him and Thole left with an apparent head injury. Let's hope it's nothing too serious, certainly not a concussion.
You could just hear it in Gary Cohen's voice when Valdespin launched his rocket in the 9th: total pure excitement. That's what tonight's game was for Met fans: first knocking out your archrivals, second doing it against baseball's best pitcher, and third with darn good closer on the mound, another promising youngster coming through. The result was New York's 3rd win in 4 tries in Citizens Bank Park this year and a 3-game winning streak. How much more Amazin' can you get in May?