Phillies Phecked At Home

Considering the "upsurge" in reader responses, the fact that the Army had marched on to another house in the remote countryside which resulted a lack of wifi reception in addition waiting for a new broadband connection and thus, no Mets coverage, all for the last 5 days, seems to have gone almost unnoticed.

However now that the Army is connected with civilisation once again, here's a brief summary of the highlights of what was missed:

Pelfrey (0-6) doing his Anthony Young (0-16)impression

1. Revenge At Citizens Bank Park - Depending on whether your one of those glass half-empty or half-full sorts of people, you would view them Mets taking three out of four from the Phillies with either joy at the notion of revenge that saw the Phillies knocked back to give games from the NL East lead, or disappointment that after winning the first three, the Mets couldn't get the fourth in the series to make it a complete whitewash.

Considering the state we believed the Mets to be in less than two weeks ago, taking three out of four from the Phillies in Philly is nothing to sneeze at.

David Wright summed it up neatly: "If someone told me coming into this series that we would take three out of four, I would have been pleased, but after winning the first three, I wanted to be greedy and would have loved to have come out of today with a sweep."

Only the snide sneered that The Mets "can't finish" off series sweep.

Pelfrey, whilst lucky at the craps table in Atlantic City when his start was rained out (alleging to have won $500), wasn't as lucky in the run support department and subsequently saw his winless streak stretched to seven starts as the Mets lost the finale 5-3.


El Duque Argues His Way To Opening Game Victory

Apparently, he didn't want to pitch Game Two of the Doubleheader and was thus allowed, after public vitriol, to face the ghastly J.D. Durbin in lieu of the formidable Cole Hamels - a pleasant turn of events. No one asked El Duque afterwards if he was ducking Hamels but you can't really say, given his splits, that he would pitch better in the daylight since even after this game his daylight ERA is 4.76 versus nighttime ERA of 2.20. Just wanted an early start to the weekend?

Then, before the game even started, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel pissed El Duque off even more, insinuating there was too much rosin and dirt on the back of his cap, which caused the ump to have to inspect it.

He struck out seven Phillies in that opener, gave up only three hits but two runs over six innings as the Mets won the opener, 6-5.

It helps that Durbin has an excruciating 21.94 ERA and gave up all six earned runs before the conclusion of the 5th inning powered by a 2-run shot from Carlos Delgado and a solo job by Jose Reyes, two unlikely sources of power of late.

As for the bullpen, Guillermo Mota, having gone four straight appearances without giving up a run, gave up a reasonably meaningless two-run shot to Wes Helms in the 7th. Nor was Pedro Feliciano above reproach, needing Aaron Heilman to save his skin in the 8th before Billy Wagner returned home to an unsympathetic Phillies crowd, striking out the side to earn his 16th save of the season.


All Star Loser

Winner, but not an "official" All Star

Although not billed as such, this was the game between an All Star pitcher (Cole Hamels) and John Maine who was inadvertently effed by a rubbish All Star selection.

Maine finished a miserable Mets June as one of the few bright spots (3-2 2.66) and Hamels finished June A LOSER. Maine, with one less start, had an identical 9-4 record to Hamels, a vastly superior 2.74 ERA compared to Hamels' 3.87 but hey, wasn't flashy enough. Hamels had a 116-29 strikeout/walk ratio while Maine's was a considerably less impressive 84-38.

Nevertheless, backed by a pair of Carlos Beltran homers, five walks from Hamels and 10 hits, completed the doubleheader sweep with a 5-2 victory. Maine, shunned by the All Stars, proved his point with a sparkling outing allowing only four baserunners in eight official innings of work before Billy Wagner closed off any potential rally.

Beltran's homers were both first-pitch, empty-base, left field shots and were complimented by Damon Easley's two-run shot to dead centerfield in the 7th. Both he, Beltran and Reyes had a pair of hits.


Another pair of homers

8-3 victories and three in a row off the Phillies are always going to be pleasant but Carlos Beltran ignited a game to remember with a pair of homers for the second game in a row. After three right-sided shots to left field, his fourth homer in two days came from the left side of the plate and was nearly stolen by what would have been a mind-boggling, gravity-defying grab by Aaron Rowand in centerfield.

In addition to his four hits (raising his batting average to .277) and three RBIs (49 on the season), Beltran also robbed Jimmy Rollins of extra bases in the 3rd inning.

Paul Lo Duca and David Wright both hit homers in the first inning to give the Mets and early lead they did not relinquish.

But the victory was not entirely painless.

Jorge Sosa strained his left hamstring whilst beating out a ball to first, limped off the field and out of the game and ended up headed for the DL.

Up to that point Sosa has been sailing and even though he pitched only 5 innings (giving way to a suprisingly silent trio of Schoeneweis, Heilman and Feliciano) managed his 7th win of the season against only 3 losses.

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