Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s an old joke, I know. For fans of the Fightin’ Phils, it’s getting to be an old, tired joke. Unfortunately, it’s one that shows no signs of getting old for the comedians in blue and orange, who keep pulling it on the fall guys in red pinstripes.
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On Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park, the Mets took a 3rd straight in this most recent series between the NL East rivals by a 9-4 final score. They have now won 8 straight between the two teams, 10 of 11, and 22 of 27 stretching back to May of 2014.
It seems like a different type of story each night, only with the same outcome. A blowout by the Mets, followed by a narrow win by the Mets, followed by some goofiness or drama…ending in a win by the Mets.
After taking the opener via blowout and the 2nd game close, this one was a bit goofy. New York rolled up a 6-0 lead behind rotund, ageless veteran Bartolo Colon, watched the Phils stage a late inning rally, then pulled away at the very end to clinch another victory.
The Mets took advantage of a shaky 1st inning from the Phillies defense, and from rookie Phils’ starter Jerad Eickhoff, who was making just his 2nd career start, to bolt out to a 3-0 advantage.
Curtis Granderson started the game by reaching on a two-base error on center fielder Odubel Herrera, who simply dropped an easy fly ball that should have been out number one. Granderson moved to 3rd on a single, and scored on a ground out to give New York the lead.
Eickhoff (1-1) may have been dwelling on the fact that there should have been a man on first base and two outs, with no runs having scored. Whatever his state of mind, the results coming next were all on him. The Mets strung together three consecutive hits, including an RBI double from Michael Cuddyer, to break out to that early 3-0 lead.
The rookie settled down well after that poor initial inning. Giving up 4 hits and a walk to the Mets in that 1st, he would yield just 2 hits and walk no one over his final 5.2 innings. Lesson perhaps learned, his bounce-back is a good sign moving forward.
On the Mets side of things, Colon (11-11) was sharp, as he often has been in providing a veteran presence out in front of their youthful staff. Over 7 innings, the 42-year old scattered 5 hits, striking out 8 and walking just 2 batters. It was vintage 1999 for the venerable righthander, who threw 75 strikes among 107 pitches.
The Mets got another run in the top of the 6th when Juan Uribe singled home Michael Conforto, who had doubled for his second hit of the night. Then in the 8th, New York tacked on a couple more, as Cuddyer smacked his 10th homer of the season over the left field wall to stretch the lead out to 6-0.
Terry Collins then decided that Colon had gone long enough, and turned the game over to his bullpen in the 8th. It almost produced disastrous results, as the Phillies rallied to score 4 times.
After two one-out singles, Andres Blanco‘s RBI ground out broke the shutout. Then with two outs and the bases loaded, Cameron Rupp ripped a 2-run double. When Jeff Francoeur followed one batter later with an RBI single, it was suddenly a 6-4 game, and the Phils had two men on base. However, rookie Darnell Sweeney struck out to end the threat.
In the top of the 9th, the Mets would snuff out any chance of the Phillies coming all the way back. A pair of errors on shortstop Freddy Galvis, an RBI double from Granderson, an RBI triple from Yoenis Cespedes, and a sac fly to score the hot Cuban pushed three more New York runs across, opening the lead back up to 9-4.
The Phillies went down meekly in their half of the 9th inning, the visitors had another victory over the hosts, and a few thousand Mets fans who have been flooding the South Philly ballpark this week had themselves a nice ride back up I-95 to the Big Apple.