The Team The Mets Can't Beat

For all the feigned bravado, for all the innings of seemingly unhittable Tom Glavine pitching, for all the momentum and anger and pride, the Mets didn't, by the 10th inning look any more like the favourites to win the NL East.

They looked like a team that can't beat their closest competitors. That's five straight losses to the Phillies and say what you like, five straight losses to the Phillies is an ugly thing.

Perhaps not as ugly as five straight losses to the Braves but these Phillies look like they may well be replacing the Braves as the proverbial thorn in the side of the Mets.

Alou and Mets Can't Avoid The Unrelenting Phillies

What else could explain losing a game with your number one fully healthy pitcher on the mound, with a lead held from the 1st inning, with homefield advantage with more than a half dozen games of success under your belt following the last humiliating sweep by the Phillies?

Well for one, having your backup catcher in the 10th inning drop what should have been out number one with a man on base. Instead, with a second life, Carlos Ruiz successfully sacrificed Jayson Werth and put him in scoring position.

Of course, if hot head Lo Duca hadn't gotten himself ejected, this might never have happened in the first place but nonetheless you've got to be able to rely on your bench to help, not hinder you.

Or maybe we should talk about Aaron Heilman who has a habit of late of not doing his job. Sure, the first single was bad enough but giving up the game winning run because you let a mug like Greg Dobbs smack such a deep sacrifice fly is simply inexcusable.

"We gave them the game tonight," said manager Willie Randolph, rightly enough. "It seems like lately, when we've played these guys, we've made mistakes."

We could also blame umpire Paul Emmel whose management on the strikezone last night bordered on anarchistic in its inconsistency. But you can't really blame the ump. Not unless you're Tom Glavine. Even if his clear 3rd inning misjudgement of the strikezone with Jose Reyes at the plate was enough to send people fuming.

And if we're going to blame the ump, there's a handful of others we can blame as well:

The usual suspect, Chase Utley, whose two-run homer came on one of Glavine's rare mistakes and tied the game.

The bullpen, or Heilman in particular for obvious reasons, this fear that keeps rearing its ugly head, the no lead less than a half dozen is safe with these boys any more, even if Billy Wagner did manage to strike out the side in an amazing inning of work before giving way to Heilman.

The one person you can't blame is David Wright who homered in the 1st to give the Mets their original lead and then made a diving catch in the 8th and doubled the runner off first to extinguish a mini-rally by the Phillies.

And whilst the division isn't lost the Phillies are slowly attempting to prove they are not the team to beat but the team the Mets Can't Beat.

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