It would have taken something incredible to bump the New York return of Pedro Martinez off of the front covers of the city's newspapers. In correspondence with the Mets' season, though, miracles do occur—unfortunate miracles, that is.
The Mets were defeated on Sunday in front of a near sell-out crowd against the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies, all by a score of 9-7. The remarkable part: the game ended on an unassisted triple play for only the second time in baseball history.
On May 31, 1927, Johnny Neun of the Detroit Tigers successfully turned one against the Cleveland Indians to seal a 1-0 victory. Now, on August 23, 2009, second baseman Eric Bruntlett joins him in the history books.
"I was almost laughing, it doesn't happen," exclaimed Bruntlett as he stumbled over his words to describe the feat.
The play occurred during the Mets' frame in the bottom of the ninth, with Luis Castillo on second and Daniel Murphy on first.
On the 2-2 count from Brad Lidge to Jeff Francoeur, New York skipper Jerry Manuel decided to attempt a hit-and-run. Instead, the Mets outfielder hit a line drive to Bruntlett, who promptly stepped on second, concluded by placing a tag on the dodging Murphy. Francoeur slumped his head in astonishment, as the fans attempted to recognize what they had just witnessed. Bruntlett himself proceeded to pump his fist, improving the Phillies record to 71-50.
Only a day after Mets owner Fred Wilpon guaranteed the return of general manager Omar Minaya as well as the aforementioned Manuel, the team suffers yet another dramatic loss. Even despite an Angel Pagan inside-the-park home run, the team fell to 57-67.
Martinez, on the other hand picked up his first win against the New York squad since leaving them this past offseason, embracing the applause from the crowd. Pedro pitched six innings, allowing four earned runs with five strikeouts. Jayson Werth added in a three-run home run in support of Martinez.
Oliver Perez, who started the game for the Mets, continued his inconsistency, pitching only 2/3 of an inning.
On a bright note for the Mets, the team announced that third baseman David Wright is expected to return from the disabled list on September 1 after recovering from post-concussion symptoms, and outfielder Carlos Beltran is aiming to come back by season's end.
Even with the help, the men from Flushing are on their way to a pitiful end of 2009.