Quantcast 2008 Philadelphia Phillies: Mets Overtake Phils in NL East Division
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Mets Overtake Phils in NL East Division

The Phillies (54-48) needed this series and they did not get it. After winning the first game of the series in dramatic fashion, the Phillies could not do it again as they dropped both games over the weekend to now fall one game back of the Mets (55-47). With the Marlins (53-49) facing the Cubs now this was a golden opportunity for the Phils to gain some ground in the East, but the Mets have silenced that opportunity for now as they continue their unbelievable play. The Phillies really need to turn things around before the Mets run away with the division, at the rate they are playing right now. The pitching remains a problem for the Mets, but if they keep getting timely hitting the way they are, then the pitching will not be a problem. The Mets are now 9-5 against their hated rivals now.

Philadelphia Phillies hats In the first game of this crucial three game set at Shea Stadium the Phillies needed a rally and a comeback to get the win and they got just that. With former Philly closer Billy Wagner out with a muscle spasm in his arm, the Phillies staged a rally against three Mets relievers en route to a 8-6 comeback victory. The Mets got off to a quick start against new Phillies pitcher, Joe Blanton. After a questionable check swing call on Carlos Delgado, Delgado came back and hit a two run shot to right field to give the Mets a 3-1 lead. Ramon Castro also hit a two run shot off of Blanton for the Mets to make it 5-1. It was a very poor outing for Joe Blanton who had been very good against the Mets this year when he pitched for the A’s. Blanton managed to pitch six innings but he gave up five runs off of eight hits which raised his ERA to over 5 now. The Phillies cut the deficit to three runs after a Shane Victorino home run and then the Phillies got one more run to set up the ninth inning rally. Johan Santana pitched eight strong innings and he didn’t come out for the ninth, now Mets fans wish he would have pitched the ninth. A couple of base hits and a Jose Reyes error loaded the bases for the Phillies and they capitalized on their opportunity. So Taguchi lined a double over the head of Endy Chavez to tie the game at 5 and then with runners on second and third, the Met villain, Jimmy Rollins doubled down the left field line to bring two more in to make it a 7-5 game. Ryan Howard drove a run in on a groundout to make it 8-5. After that the game was turned over to Brad Lidge. Lidge gave up one run but nailed the save down for his 22 nd save in 22 chances.

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In the second game of the series, the Phillies could not stage another comeback while down three runs in the ninth because this time the Mets had their star closer and Phillies nemesis, Billy Wagner. Brett Myers had a very sporadic outing in his first appearance since he was demoted to the minors. He walked five in the first two innings but he seemed to settle down after that. The Mets got three runs off of him early but the Phils were able to rebound with back-to-back homers by Shane Victorino and Geoff Jenkins. Jimmy Rollins then tied the game with a rbi double to center to make it 3-3, but the Phils bullpen could not hold it. The best bullpen in baseball gave up three runs to the Mets in the sixth inning and that proved to be the difference. Ryan Madson served up a three run homer to Jose Reyes and that was all she wrote after that. Jose Reyes pointed to the sky as he rounded the bases which the Phils did not like, but this series had the feeling of a playoff series and it was justified. John Maine was in and out of trouble during the game but he pitched seven innings and gave up only three runs in the victory.

In the finale of the three game set the Mets and Phils played an afternoon game. A very good pitching matchup with Jamie Moyer facing Oliver Perez and whomever came out of the game first was going to lose this game. With a 1-1 game all the way up to the seventh inning, it looked like we were headed to another dramatic finish, but Carlos Delgado squashed that scenario. After Moyer came out of the game, Delgado faced J.C. Romero and lined a double that brought in two runs in the seventh inning. That made it 3-1 and the Phillies had a chance to cut into that as they loaded the bases in the top of the eighth inning but Jayson Werth lined out to center to end the threat and Billy Wagner came in the ninth to pick up another save and the Mets vaulted themselves back into first place in the division.

With this heartbreaking series loss and seeing their lead in the NL East vanish, maybe the Phillies (54-48) will get a sense of urgency and start playing better ball. The Atlanta Braves (48-53) are next on the Phillies schedule and the Phillies have owned the Braves this year with a 8-1 record against them already. The Braves may be without their all star third basemen Chipper Jones as he left the game against the Marlins yesterday. The pitching probables are as follows:

  • J. Jurrijens (9-5) vs. K. Kendrick (8-4)
  • J. Reyes (3-9) vs. C. Hamels (9-6)
  • J. Campillo (5-4) vs. J. Blanton (5-12)

 

By Andrew Nuscis
Philadelphia Phillies & Tampa Bay Rays Correspondent


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