Sunday, June 23, 2013

Game #72: Mets 8, Phillies 0

The offense the Amazin's had failed to put behind Matt Harvey came out all at once. The result: doublepalooza in Philadelphia.

David Wright slugged four extra-base hits, including two of the team's six doubles, as the Mets put the hammer to the Phillies, taking the series finale 8-0.

The Good Stuff:
  • With NL All-Star voting winding down and his nemesis Pablo Sandoval injured, David Wright made his strongest push yet to start in his home ballpark. Wright went 4-5 with a pair of doubles, a triple, a solo home run, two runs, and two RBIs to give the game its final margin.
  • The visitors were beneficiaries of a controversial call in the 5th inning.
    • Juan Lagares appeared to fly out to center fielder Ben Revere for out number one, but in the process of a quick transfer from glove hand to throwing hand, Revere was ruled to have lost possession of the ball and Lagares was awarded a three-base error.
    • Sensing the opportunity to pad his own lead, Matt Harvey seized the chance two batters later with a double to the gap in right center, scoring Lagares.
    • On the very next pitch, Eric Young laced his own two-batter into the left field corner to plate Harvey.
    • Wright broke it open two batters later by smashing his second double of the game, this one to around the same spot as Harvey's and missing clearing the fence by a few feet.
  • Lagares had an RBI double of his own later in the game, and Marlon Byrd drove in a couple runs with a couple of his own hits of the two-base variety.
  • Matt Harvey usually makes due with two or three runs behind him, so with the pressure of a close game lifted, he was able to completely subdue the non-Phightin' Phils through six innings, allowing two hits and a walk against six strikeouts. He was removed after just 72 pitches due to a short rain delay, giving him a little extra rest before his next outing, which I'm sure both he and the Mets are grateful for.
  • Harvey's presence was hardly missed in the last three innings, as LaTroy Hawkins and Brandon Lyon shepherded the New Yorkers to three scoreless innings, retiring nine of 10 batters on the way to preserving the shutout.
The Bad Stuff:
Final Analysis:
Except for a narrow blemish yesterday afternoon, this was a very impressive series for the New York Mets, who have won six of their last nine games. The bats have been producing overall and in the clutch, and the bullpen for the most part was rock solid. Matt Harvey's dominance elevated a very ordinary showing from the starting pitchers. Starting pitching is usually clearly the Mets' strong point, but if the team can win two out of three and push the third to the absolute limit with just average starting pitching, they will be in very good shape.

After sleepwalking through the couple weeks after the Subway Series, the Mets have woken up in a big way. Will they elevate their performance to playoff contention? Almost positively not. But the New York Mets are playing good baseball right now, and I hope the fans are taking notice.


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