The Mets are 4-3 vs. the Phillies this season and 15-10 against them going back to last year. But it doesn’t really seem like it, does it? Why does it feel like the Phillies win every game against the Mets? Maybe it’s because the Mets have had the lead in just about every one of those contests.
The Mets won a thriller in the opening game of the series (as usual, all the games were nail-biters), but it turned out just to be a tease. The Mets are really, really good at teasing us, aren’t they?
They blasted three home runs in the game, but that was just a tease also. Johan Santana wasn’t great, but boy was he tough. He drove in a run, started an impressive double play and picked up his eighth win of the year.
His attitude may even be catching on little by little. After Jimmy Rollins took out Alex Cora with a great slide, I thought if one of the sliding-challenged Mets tried that, he would have broken or dislocated something, or maybe even contracted some rare disease caused by the Citi Field dirt.
But there was Cora knocking over Chase Utley on Wednesday (though Cora doing it was not really a surprise), and David Wright tried to do the same thing on Thursday. Mike Pelfrey did his Santana impression by giving Utley the Kevin Youkilis treatment.
Pelfrey looked like the Jolly Green Giant next to Utley when they crossed paths paths at the end of the inning.
For a second there it looked like Pelfrey was going to pick up Utley and Davey Lopes and start swinging them around, reminiscent of when Andre the Giant wrestled all those midgets. There’s a new grouchy Carlos Beltran that we haven’t seen before. And Tim Redding even threw a pitch over Jayson Werth’s head.
But all that, too, was just a tease. In the second game, the Mets couldn’t get out of their own way. Beltran dropped an easy flyball (even the official scorer had a bad game—how can that not be ruled an error?), and Wright made a crucial error that let in a run.
The team always seems to screw up at just the right (or is it the wrong?) time. And if you make one too many mistakes, the Phils will be there to capitalize. We won’t even mention the 16 runners left on base (ok, I just did).
Wednesday’s game also saw a few World Series reenactments. Werth did his Ron Swoboda impression from the 1969 Series. And the umps got into the act, too.
Ed Armbrister and Carlton Fisk of the ‘75 Series were played by Fernando Tatis and Carlos Ruiz (Tatis did everything but announce to the ump before the pitch was thrown that he was going to interfere with the catcher—maybe it was a makeup call from the night before when Tatis was safe by a country mile at home).
And the 1985 Series was reenacted with a blown call at first, when Beltran was clearly safe on a double play, costing the Mets a run.
Last night’s game was a foregone conclusion once the Phils tied it up. It was just a matter of time.
Redding pitched well, Luis Castillo scored three runs with three hits, Beltran drove in three runs, Wright was good and bad (like every game) and Pedro Feliciano was outstanding in all three games, but the Phillies won because they have better players. And they can hit home runs.
I thought for sure that Matt Stairs would belt a three-run homer when he came up. How can you not like Stairs? When he pinch-hits, I always expect him to turn back to the on-deck hitter and say, “Here, hold my beer.”
And I have a feeling Ryan Howard will someday be on the Mets, because he’s one of the few players that hustles less than they do. What does it take to get him to run more than 10 feet out of the batter’s box or get in position for a cutoff? But when you can hit the ball 500 feet, I guess you can get away with that.
Could the Mets have won all three games? Sure. But they didn’t. The Phillies are just a better team. The Mets, on the other hand, are just like Charlie Brown.
They’re so close to kicking that football (or getting a win or going on a hot streak), but Lucy pulls that damn ball away at the last minute every time. To paraphrase Linus: Of all the Mets in the world, they’re the Metsiest. Good grief.