Mets-Phillies: Always Interesting, Last Night Was No Exception

Wendy AdairAnalyst IJune 10, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 09: Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies holds onto the ball as Fernando Tatis #17 of the New York Mets slides in and is out at home during their game at Citi Field on June 9, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Mets and Phillies squared off at Citi Field and, as usual, the game was very eventful.

Two of the more striking aspects of the game were both unusual, one was good for the most part, but the second part is a bit alarming, even though they won the game.

The seven home runs generated by both sides in a pitcher-friendly park was the first part.  It was good to see the Mets generating runs and hitting well on a Santana start, even though he surrendered four home runs himself and was not as sharp as usual. 

Wright, Beltran, and Church all hit rockets that either gave a lead or took a lead back in the game.

The shot by Wright in the second inning snapped a 100 at bat HR drought by Wright and gave him the fourth of the year and gave the Mets a 1-0 lead.   Beltran's two run homer the next inning increased the lead to 3-0.  Ryan Church's home run was the most timely because it came after the Phillies had gained the lead on back to back homers by Howard and Ibanez.

Another aspect was Fernando Tatis being safe at home plate, but being called out; neither Jerry Manuel or the on field coaches argued the call even though many players, including David Wright, the "captain", were pleading for their manager to argue, and were all being ignored. 

Wright has been pressed into taking on even more leadership roles on the team due to the injury to Carlos Delgado and by him speaking him to his manager about arguing and having a back turned to him definitely sends a mixed message about leadership. 

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Manuel had previously identified Carlos Delgado as the clear cut leader of the clubhouse and on field activities, counseling pitchers, positioning fielders, etc.  Wright and Beltran have both stepped up and have assumed more leadership responsibilities as well as generating speed on the bases in the absence of the fourth core player, Jose Reyes.

David Wright does remain very even-keeled under almost any circumstance, so seeing him clearly agitated no doubt motivated his teammates and should have set off a warning signal to Jerry Manuel that something needed to be done to show support to  his players. 

If nothing else came of it, fine, but Manuel acknowledging that Wright was speaking up for what he thought was best for the team and for the sake of one of his teammates in not getting a close call would have been a respectful gesture. 

Tatis should probably have argued but didn't, so Wright had his back and was anxious for the umpires to be forced to think about their on-field call, as many players point out to the umpires calls that go against their teammates.

I do hope that Manuel did speak to Wright after the game about the play, so he at least acknowledges Wright's leadership assertiveness and that he was not being shown up in the dugout.

It would have been an insurance run, not the game decider, but we all know that the Phillies battle until the bitter end, and this run not scoring could very well have been the difference in the game.

Jimmy Rollins did his point to they sky to the fans when he homered and Shane Victorino was clearly furious when K-Rod did his celebratory point to the sky after the final out was recorded.

Tonight, it's Mike Pelfrey against Cole Hamels so it should be another interesting game, and I am sure there will be more eventful occurrences, as these games between the rivals are certainly always intense.


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