Saturday, June 22, 2013

Game #70: Mets 4, Phillies 3

For all the abuse the New York outfield has taken in 2013, tonight it was two of its unsung/new additions that put the team over the top.

Eric Young had a couple RBIs and Juan Lagares's run-scoring double in the 6th put the Mets up for good as they beat the Phillies 4-3 in the series opener.

The Good Stuff:
  • Juan Lagares got the best of Cole Hamels, going 3-4 with two doubles against the former Philly ace. His two-out double in the 6th inning scored a hustling Lucas Duda to put the Mets up (for good) 4-3.
  • New acquisition Eric Young went 2-4 with a run and a two-run single in the 5th inning that tied the game at 3-3.
  • David Wright drove in the first New York run with an RBI single in the 4th.
  • The runs backed up Jeremy Hefner, who earned his second W of the season (as many as Hamels) with a three-run, 10-hit, six-inning outing that resulted in yet another quality start. He walked just one and struck out six on 107 pitches, knocking down his ERA to 3.89.
  • Scott Rice, Carlos Torres, and Bobby Parnell combined for three hitless innings in relief of Hef, and Parnell picked up his 12th save on a 1-2-3 9th in which he struck out Ryan Howard to "put it in the books."
The Bad Stuff:
  • New York committed two errors, as Daniel Murphy made an errant play in the 2nd inning that resulted in one of the Phillies' three runs in the frame, and Anthony Recker's throwing error led to an extra baserunner in the 4th.
Final Analysis:
The Mets' best wins always seem to come in Philadelphia, and tonight's showing in front of 40,062 fans at Citizens Bank Park was no exception. The Amazin's had everything from quality starting pitching to clutch hitting to lockdown bullpen work in their corner tonight as they won their fifth game in seven.

Jonathon Niese's injury is certainly unfortunate, but it means Jeremy Hefner will get most likely a full season as a starting pitcher, which up to this point he has earned. His W-L record doesn't show it, but when has it ever for the Terry Collins era Mets (see R.A. Dickey's 2011)? Hef is doing Perkins, Oklahoma proud by establishing himself as a genuine major-league starter: five of his last six outings have been quality starts, and he hasn't allowed more than five earned runs all season. He'll never be more than a fourth or fifth starter in the majors, but every team needs one of those in their rotation, and Hefner has been quite valuable in that role for the Mets in 2013. Here's hoping he continues to impress and keeps on giving us the chance to win night after night.


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