Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Game #30: Mets 7, Phillies 4

Phillies' Juan Pierre slides into second base ahead of the tag by the Mets' Jordany Valdespin. (NYDailyNews.com)
Down but not out has been the Mets' mantra in 2012. Such was the case again when New York fell behind early at Citizens Bank Park.

The Mets scored 7 unanswered runs, including 4 in the 7th, to steal the game and the series from the Phillies, 7-4.

The Good Stuff:
  • Philadelphia scored 2 runs each in the 1st and 2nd to take an early 4-0 lead. Whereas for many teams this may have been time to signal the white flag, the New York Mets went ahead and said, "We've got them right were we want them." Boy did they ever.
    • The first run came in the top of the 4th: Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off with a double and came in two batters later on a single by Daniel Murphy. 4-1, chipping away.
    • Jordany Valdespin led off the 7th with a walk, but two quick outs hurt the team's chances of plating him. But the floodgates were opening fast: Andres Torres singled. Nieuwenhuis singled home Valdespin. 4-2. Pitching change. David Wright singles to right to score Torres. 4-3. But the play wasn't over: Wright gets caught in a rundown between first and second. This gives Nieuwenhuis the chance to feint enough off of third to attract Pete Orr's attention. Panicked, Orr's throw to third is wild, Kirk comes home, and David goes to third. 4-4. Lucas Duda then singles home Wright to give the Mets an improbable 5-4 lead.
    • New York would add more in the 9th: Mike Baxter led off with a walk (making it the 6th straight inning the Mets got the leadoff man on) and went to third on Torres's single. Nieuwenhuis hit a deep sac fly that scored Baxter and sent Torres to second. Two batters later, Duda singled home Torres to make it the final line, 7-4.
  • Despite the 2 errors, the Mets' glove were on display in a good way tonight. David Wright had a Web Gem in the 7th to save a big hit, and Daniel Murphy had two of his own at second base in the 8th.
  • After Batista muddled through 5.1 innings, the bullpen came in and took care of the rest. Manny Acosta got the W with 2/3 of an inning in relief and was followed by solid performances from Ramon Ramirez, Tim Byrdak, and Jon Rauch, who picked up his first save with the Mets and sent a dejected Philly crowd home unhappy.
The Bad Stuff:
  • The search for a viable Mike Pelfrey replacement in the rotation continued tonight: this time it was Miguel Batista's turn to come on down. He was given a rude welcome by the Phillie bats: 4 runs (2 earned) on 8 hits in 5.1 innings. He settled down after the 2nd, but the aura surrounding his start is way off (or something like that).
  • Josh Thole became the latest victim of the Injury Bug, going on the 7-day DL with concussion-like symptoms. Catcher Rob Johnson was brought up from Triple A Buffalo to fill the vacancy.
Final Analysis:
"Never give up, never surrender." New York didn't give up, scored a majority of their runs with 2 outs, and the result was their 4th straight win, which puts them 4 games over .500 again. Of the Mets' 17 wins this year, 10 have been of the come-from-behind variety, tied for first in the National League with the Atlanta Braves. Simply put, these guys do not quit. Credit goes to Terry Collins for creating a positive atmosphere, as well as to these scrappy, young men who have bought into a winning attitude. These guys are winning and having fun doing it. What more can you ask for?


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