NEW YORK—The shutouts continued tonight at Citi Field, but this time the Mets were the losers. Facing Phillies ace Roy Halladay, the Mets not only didn't hit, but their fielding was atrocious.
When a pitcher like Halladay is the opposing pitcher, a team can't make mistakes, and the Mets made three errors in a three-inning span.
The Mets called Pat Misch up to make the start, and he retired the first eight batters he faced.
The first hit he allowed was to Halladay, the second straight game the opposing pitcher recorded the team's first hit. That opened the door to a one-run inning, as two consecutive hits followed to produce a run.
Meanwhile, Halladay, who has a perfect game this season, retired the first nine batters he faced.
In the fourth, Misch made the Mets' first error, throwing a ball down the line on a comebacker.
In the Mets fourth, Jose Reyes lead off with a triple to deep right-center field. Just like last night, a leadoff triple was stranded, as Angel Pagan, David Wright, and Carlos Beltran grounded out and struck out twice respectively. That would've been a huge run to score off Halladay, but the Phillies kept their 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, with two on and one out, Mets second baseman Ruben Tejada made an error on a potential double-play grounder.
He threw the ball to second for the force and it got away from Reyes, into left field, allowing a run to score. Ironically, the next batter would hit into an inning-ending double play.
The most costly and inexcusable error by the Mets came in the sixth, their third of the game.
Pat Misch gave up two singles to start the inning. After an advancing out, he intentionally walked Wilson Valdez to get to Halladay. He struck Halladay out to set up the bases loaded and two outs for Jimmy Rollins.
After fighting hard to make the right pitches, Misch induced a groundball to third base. David Wright let the ball go through his legs, kicking off his left shoe, and into left field allowing two runs to score, making it 4-0 Phillies.
Misch in six innings, allowed four runs, but only one earned. David Wright, who also had another rough night at the plate, heard some boos from the Citi Field crowd.
Halladay pitched eight innings, allowing zero runs on four hits. He walked none and struck out seven.
In the ninth, Francisco Rodriguez returned from his two-day stint on the restricted list. He got booed on his way in from the bullpen, and after allowing a leadoff double, stranded the runner at second.
After the game, he answered some questions from the media, but ended the interview after the questions got a little personal.
In the last of the ninth, the Mets tried fighting back down four runs against Ryan Madson.
They loaded the bases, but Josh Thole struck out on ball three in the dirt, and the Mets lost, 4-0.
Ruben Tejada went 0-for-2 and has still not recorded a hit since his Aug. 7 call-up. He was pinch-hit for by Luis Castillo in the eighth. Ike Davis continued his struggles, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
The Mets will try to win the rubber game against the Phillies tomorrow night, with Mike Pelfrey opposing Kyle Kendrick.
NL East standings (top three teams)
Philadelphia 65-51 (2)
NY Mets 58-58 (9)
NL Wild Card (Leader and Mets)
San Francisco 67-51
NY Mets 58-58 (8)
Series probable pitchers:
New York: Mike Pelfrey (2010: 11-6, 3.95 ERA) vs. Philadelphia: Kyle Kendrick (2010: 7-5, 4.60 ERA)
New York Mets:
August 15 vs. Philadelphia Phillies
August 16-19 @ Houston Astros
August 15 @ New York Mets
August 17-19 vs. San Francisco Giants