Phillies Spoil Final Shea Opener for Mets

Todd TranauskyCorrespondent IApril 8, 2008

The New York Mets lost their Home Opener to the Phillies, 5-2 in front of over 56,000 fans at the final opener in Shea Stadium. Jamie Moyer got his first win of the season, giving up two runs over six innings.

Scott Schoenweis was saddled with a blown save and the loss as he allowed three runs in one third of an inning out of the bullpen. Tom Gordon pitched a perfect ninth to nail down his first save of the year.

The win was the ninth consecutive for the Phillies against the Mets, and their first in eight opening day games at Shea. Moyer pitched well and the Phils offense rallied back in the seventh and eighth innings to make a winner of the veteran lefty.  

Reigning National League MVP and Shea Stadium Fan favorite Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. He got the Phils rally in the seventh inning started with a one out single to left that led to a three-run Phillies outburst. That gave the Phils a 3-2 lead, that they would not relinquish the rest of the way.

Rollins had to leave the game in the middle of the eighth inning after scoring the team’s final run of the game. Rollins was in the dugout for several minutes before heading to the clubhouse, with what is being called a left ankle sprain. He is listed as day-to-day.

The injury happened as Rollins was retreating to second base on a series of step-off moves by Mets reliever Aaron Heilman. It appeared that Rollins stopped suddenly when he got to the bag and turned over on the ankle, though the exact point when the injury occurred is unknown.

The Phillies will need production from the other eight positions in the batting order if Rollins misses any significant time.  This includes the number eight spot, that has been split between Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste.

The number eight hitter in a National League lineup is crucial; they must get on base anyway possible when there are two outs in an inning to turn the lineup over and get the pitcher spot out of the way for the next inning. This allows a team to start the next inning with their lead-off man , instead of the pitcher’s spot.

Ruiz and Coste are a combined 0-for-10 in those situations through the season’s first eight games.  They must do a better of job of getting on base and turning the lineup to help contribute to generating additional offensive opportunities for their team.

Chad Durbin was hit hard in the seventh in relief of Moyer, but was able to escape the inning unscathed, as was the trio of Phillies relievers who saw action. Gordon pitched the ninth because Brad Lidge was unavailable after pitching back to back days at the end of the Reds series.