8.6.07

Season First: Swept Away

You had to believe that this was the Mets' night after Paul Lo Duca hit the third homer in a row off of Cole Hamels in the 6th with two out to give them a 3-2 lead.

Especially considering the umps overturned David Wright's triple into a homer following Lo Duca's and Willie's protest that the mightily struck ball had hit a yellow advertisement sign of the Official Potato Chips and Cheez Doodle® Sponsor of the Mets, just above the left centerfield fence.

I could go on and on with questions about why the Mets need an "official" potato chip and cheez doodle sponsor or even why they would choose to help market such unhealthy rubbish in the first place (perhaps this is why they are barely .500 at Shea this season, The Curse of the Cheez Doodle?)

But considering the Phillies had won the first two games of this series in what many might consider very dubious fashion, hell, what are the odds of them sweeping a third?

Considering Billy Wagner had reached the evil number 13 in consecutive save conversions, apparently the odds were pretty good.


Burrell trots around the bags in a surprisingly battery-less journey

Pat Burrell tied the game with a homer in the 9th, his 37 career homerun against the Mets, (17th at Shea) and then Scott Schoeneweis upheld the bullpen to ridicule for another night, allowing three runs in the 10th and giving the once-formidable pen a 9.00 ERA and an 0-3 record in this series.

Yes, these Phillies, the team ridiculed for dreaming they were the team to beat in the NL East this season and the team whose bullpen was ridiculed even harder for its own incapabilities and lack of promise, have swept the team to beat in the NL East.

And compared to the Mets' bullpen, you know what the Phillies pen did? Pitched 10 scoreless innings, gave up only 5 hits and earned a trio of saves.

Whose laughing now, funny boy?

Jimmy Rollins, whose three-run homer off of Aaron Heilman the night before led the Phillies to victory, raised his batting average to .406 (13-for-32) against the Mets this season by getting another pair of hits last night.

On the positive side, if in fact you could pluck a positive side from this like trying to find a penny farthing in a pile of faeces, you could note that Jose Valentin is back. Of course that really isn't much of a blessing in disguise considering the guy who replaced him already had 7 homers this season. Will Easley be reduced to a pinch hitter role again or will he replace the enemic hitting and in-over-his-head Ben Johnson in left until Moises Alou finds his way out of this eternal struggle with oblivion and injury?

You could also note that the Braves lost to the Cubs again, maintaining the Mets' lead in the NL East despite themselves.

John Maine's 7 impressive innings with nothing to show for it followed an easily traceable pattern of starters pitching great against the Phillies but apparently not great enough. Both El Duque and Glavine before him suffered similar fates and one might even question why the bullpen has started to stagger only since the drug-reformed Guillermo Mota has returned. Is that just the imagination? Is this the baseball gods punishing the bullpen for welcoming back a known steroid user?

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