Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 10 Phillies 9

"They win the damn thing by a score of 10 to 9."

In a blog that pays daily tribute to the memory of Bob Murphy you knew I had to break that one out for this game. This meltdown was actually more subtle than the one in 1990 when Murphy made that comment.

As bad as this game seemed, I really think we should focus on the positive.

The Mets won, they took 3 of 4 from the Phillies, in Philadelphia, after losing the opener, a game in which Johan Santana pitched against J.A. Happ.

The offense is really pounding the ball, they have 48 hits in the last 3 games.

Endy Chavez had 3 more hits. The reaction to him is so funny. When he's playing everyday and doing poorly everyone says "he's exposed," but when he's playing everyday and doing well everyone says "he's in the groove because he's playing everyday." The truth is, he's a decent player who would probably be a weak outfielder if he were an everyday starter. But when he starts only in short spurts he has hot streaks and slumps, just like any other player. But the fact is, he's a near perfect number 2 hitter for this team (he lacks a little patience at the plate) and a Gold Glove caliber outfielder. He's started 8 of the last 9 games and is 16 for 37 (.432) over that span.

Damion Easley is also filling in remarkably well for Castillo, but I expect him to slow down because he is old. With his 3 hits in this one, he is now 14 out of 30 (.467) in 7 starts in July.

David Wright had another good game, bringing him to 70 RBI and Jose Reyes reached base and got things started.

And Pedro Martinez gave his second best effort of the season, looking a lot better in doing so. And dropped his ERA below 7.

pedro about to throw a changeup

But when he started to peter out in the 6th, that's when the trouble started.

Tony Armas allowed 3 runs, the last 2 on a disputed home run by Ryan Howard. It should have been called a double. The obnoxious Phillies fan had his arms so far over the wall it was at least possible the ball wouldn't have gone out. In which case it has to be called a ground rule double. At the time it seemed meaningless, but it loomed large later.

Heilman got out of that inning but allowed 2 more runs of his own.

Then came Billy Wagner. All you can judge a closer on is saves and blown saves. And he got the job done here. So while I am still very worried about him down the stretch in crucial games, he got the save here, and for a closer that's all that matters.

wagner nails it down...barely

And for a team too. If they had held on to the 10-1 lead or if they eked out a 10-9 victory, it counts the same in the standings.

And right now the standings are looking pretty good for the Mets. They're over .500 for the first time in more than a month. They're only 2 losses behind the Phillies and they've possibly exorcised some of last season's demons by beating the Phillies 7 of 10 times so far this season.

A win is a win and the Mets needed one, and got one.

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