Show of hands – how many people watching this game still never felt safe with a six run lead? Granted, I can’t see you if you’re raising your hand or not, but after the last nine games where the Phillies have made the Mets their collective bitches, and doing so in every possible way, I never ever felt safe watching this game. Isn’t that a shame? The Mets offense scores bushels of runs early on, and I still never felt like the Phillies couldn’t make a comeback. The game ended with the Mets winning 8-2, but even in victory, the scars of 2007 remain.
Another show of hands – how many people reading this would have ever guessed that the Mets would score eight runs in a game where Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Carlos Beltran were a combined 0 for 12? How strange is that? Granted, they all reached base thanks to walks and errors (the story of the game for the Phillies), and in truth, the Mets only had five hits, and no Met had more than one. But still, those are the guys who are supposed to be the driving forces behind this offense, and when the Mets score eight runs, you assume it’s because one or more of them had a big day at the plate to lead the charge, but that didn’t happen today.
In truth, while Mets fans and the Mets themselves will surely take this win, they also got a lot of help from the Phillies. Kyle Kendrick looked absolutely awful in 2.1 innings, walking six and allowing four hits. He allowed more baserunners than outs, and, well, it’s hard to win in that situation. Even then, the Mets gave him some help when they managed to load the bases in the first and second innings thanks mostly to walks, and only managed a lone run on the situation. It wasn’t until the Phillies defense fell apart 2007 Marlins style in the third where the runs started scoring for the Mets, 6 in all. Despite all of the baserunners, and despite the seven runs that scored on his watch, Kyle Kendrick was only charged with one earned run, which to me, speaks of the folly of “earned” and “unearned” runs more than anything, but still…not a game Kyle Kendrick will remember fondly.
On the other hand, Big Pelf had a nice little game today. Two earned runs (and truthfully, the Mets should have turned a double play in the second that would have kept one of those runs from scoring, but instead Jose Reyes committed an error that would aid in scoring a run for the Phillies), five hits, two walks, and three K’s. It looked like Pelf lost some steam as the game went on, and while he only walked two, he did have a few long at-bats in the later innings that drove his pitch count up and lead to him leaving the game early. It wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was a nice start for Pelfrey, especially considering he hasn’t pitched in a game since spring training ended a week and a half ago. Here’s hoping this is the start of a nice comeback year that helps raise Pelfrey’s star again in 2008.
The Mets will look to take the rubber game of this three game series tomorrow night at Shea Stadium, with John Maine taking the mound for the Mets against Adam Eaton. I’d like to think that on paper, the Mets have a nice sized advantage here, but whenever I’ve thought that over the last year against the Phillies, they’ve proven me wrong. Hopefully today was the start of reversing that trend. Game time is 7:10, with the game appearing on SNY.