What a heart breaker.
The Mets had the Phillies by the throats tonight, but unfortunately, they let the game slip away. After building a 4-1 lead, the Phillies stormed back to tie the game at 4-4 in the seventh. Then, a Chase Utley homer in the 11th sealed the game for the Fightin’ Phillies.
The Mets had a big offensive night as they cranked 16 hits on the day. But when they started to build rallies, it was often station to station, evidenced by the fact that 15 of their hits were singles. The only extra base hit was by Mike Pelfrey, who had his batting average rise almost 100 points tonight.
Let me tell you who I have a problem with in this game.
Let’s start with the manager, Jerry Manuel. With the bats like Utley, Howard and Ibanez due up, how could you send in a fireballer that throws predominantly fastballs? That is not a recipe for success, and as my good friend Matt Falkenbury can attest to, I told him before the inning started, “I would be shocked if the score is still tied after this half inning.”
Unfortunately, Chase Utley didn’t take much time to prove me right.
There are other options in the bullpen. I would have gone with Takahashi personally, but I am not sure how he would respond in such a spot. We also have guys like Stokes and Nieve who can mix it up, but neither is proven. I think the trust in Parnell is what got him the appearance and Jerry got burnt.
Another guy who was awful tonight was Fernando Tatis. As much as I compliment him, it is time for me to give him a little bit of criticism. This guy has been putrid recently with runners are on base. He just can’t seem to get a hit with runners on base since what seems like April.
I would be a big advocate in giving Tatis the day off against Moyer tomorrow. Daniel Murphy was good in the series finale against Washington and it would be nice to see him get a start.
Another guy who is in a serious rut is Gary Sheffield. It seems like he is becoming all or nothing with that gargantuan swing. Although he had a hit tonight, he has been making a lot of weak outs recently, and it may be a nice time to get him a day off before the Yankee series.
I am sure he is going to want to be in there against his old mates. If I was the skipper, Fernando Martinez would be in left and batting second tomorrow night.
Kudos goes to Jeremy Reed, who continues to be the most underrated player on this team. He made a big leaping catch against Ryan Howard in the 11th, and he might be earning himself some playing time if he keeps on impressing the manager.
Since I am handing out kudos, another goes to Pedro Feliciano, who may be the best lefty specialist around. He went through Utley, Howard and Ibanez like they were the bottom three for the Nationals. Well done.
I love the fight, but we need to execute more and make sure to do the little things. If there’s a runner on second and nobody out, hit a ground ball to the right side. Then a fly ball will score a run.
Little things like that are what makes teams win championships.