The New York Mets came into Citizen’s Bank Park on something of a hot streak. They had just finished a stretch in which they swept the Diamondbacks and managed to take two of three from the Nationals. Even more surprisingly, Jason Bay seemed to be the catalyst behind their unMet like behavior with the team going 6-1 since his return from his latest stint on the disabled list. There was even some “hottest team in baseball” talk spewing from a few misguided baseball talking heads.
In conjunction with the Mets recent ability not to lose, the Phillies have not been able to hit the ball very hard recently. Outside of two games in their previous series against the Diamondbacks, the offense has been down right offensive (see what I did there?). I believe that I have determined what the panacea for the Phillies offensive woes; New York Mets pitching.
Mike Pelfrey started the game for the Mets and made quite a “Mets” of things (Justin used this play on the similarity of the word met and mess in his preview of the series and it does not, I repeat DOES NOT, get old). Pelfrey slogged through 4 1/3 innings of work allowing eight hits and four earned runs before giving way to Dillon Gee. He had been battling the flu recently and it was reported that he lost eleven pounds. Mets fans continue to be sick when the tall right hander makes his way to the mound. He carries a 1-3 record and a 7.39 ERA after last night’s shellacking. Gee didn’t fair much better. He managed to allow two walks and a grand slam in his inning and 2/3 of work. Outside of the always hurt Chris Young, the Mets starting rotation has been absolutely terrible this year.
Joe Blanton was scheduled to start tonight, but was added to the DL with a right elbow impingement. Impingement? Really? The Phillies called up Vance Worley from Lehigh to take the place of the rotund right hander. Every time I see Worley, he reminds me of Kurt Rambis from the 1980′s Laker teams because of his googles. The fact that I remember Rambis playing basketball makes me feel old and kind of makes me mad at Worley. He made me feel a little bit better by shutting down the Mets line-up in his six innings of work. He allowed two hits, walked four struck out five and used two double plays to escape from any damage. Because of his performance, you will start to hear calls for him to replace Blanton in the starting rotation. He looked good, but lets see if his success is sustainable before he bestow a rotation spot upon him.
The Mets were bad. Worley was good. The recently struggling offense you ask? Well, I am glad to see that you are still interested. They managed ten hits and ten runs and generally pounded the living shit of Mets pitching. Ryan Howard obliterated a two run home run off of Pelfrey to start the scoring in the fourth and hit a grand slam off of Gee in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Ben Fransisco came through again with men in scoring position, hitting a two run single to chase Pelfrey in the fifth. Palcido Polanco also continued to swing an extremely hot bat and hit a two run single in the bottom of the seventh. Just for reference, this is Howard’s third home run in the last two games after he endured the second longest homer drought of his career. Good times.
Things seemed to be in line for another Phils shutout. Worley baffled the Mets through six, we got to see Michael Stutes again as he relieved Worley and tossed a scoreless inning. Danys Baez pitched in a zero leverage situation and managed to preserve the 10 run lead. In the top of the ninth, the Phillies turned to David Herdon to give them a meaningless inning in a game that was completely out of reach. One inning pitched, two hits (both of them homers), one walk and three runs allowed later, we all have seem enough of Herndon this year. There is always a problem when a major league relief pitcher cannot miss bats. Herndon recorded a strikeout in his inning of work, but also found the bats of Ike Davis and rookie Jason Pridie. Two sinkers up equals two home runs. The shutout would have been nice, but the Final score of 10-3 is still a resounding victory.
Next up Roy Halladay gets the ball versus Jon Niese.