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Phillies-Mets: Chase Utley Carries Philadelphia to Heated Win Over New York

Kevin McGuireSenior Analyst IJune 11, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 10:  Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies bats against  the New York Mets during their game on June 10, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Chase Utley got under the skin of Mets starter Mike Pelfrey.

Utley hit a pair of solo home runs, with his second coming in the top of the 11th inning, and Ryan Madson entered the game with a 5-4 lead to pick up his first save as the official closer. The Phillies pushed their division lead back to three games.

Utley's performance overshadowed the rather poor outing from ace Cole Hamels. Hamels lasted just five innings and allowed four runs to score on 11 hits. Had the Mets not come up short so often with base runners on, the damage could have been much worse.

While Hamels had a less than stellar outing, the Phillies bullpen picked up the slack and went six innings, shutting out the Mets in the process. The Mets batters collected just five hits off of Phillies relievers, three of them coming off of Chan Ho Park's two full innings.

Chad Durbin allowed one hit and walked two. J.C. Romero allowed one hit and one walk. Jack Taschner and Scott Eyre were perfect in their situations.

But the story of the night was clearly Utley. In a park not known for its home runs, Utley hit his second and third of the series. He was the only Phillies player to get more than one hit on the night, and of course two of them left the playing surface.

Jimmy Rollins was 0-for-5, but those numbers may be deceiving, as multiple outs came off of hard hit balls. Shane Victorino, in the second spot of the lineup, went 0-for-4.

Down 4-1, the Phillies used small ball to score three runs to tie the game in the seventh inning. In the process they chased starting pitcher Pelfrey from the game. The Mets squandered opportunities to put the Phillies away in the inning.

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Carlos Beltran dropped a deep fly ball to center field, making what seemed like an unnecessary jump for the ball, and the result was that the ball went off his glove. David Wright failed to pick up a ground ball as he went to make a throw home for a force out.

Before you knew it, the game was tied.

In a battle of the bullpens, the Phillies gave up more hits (in two more innings) but allowed zero runs to score. The Mets bullpen allowed just three hits, but Utley's lead-off home run in the 11th inning off of Bobby Parnell was enough to set up the victory.

The game never would have reached the 11th inning, though, had Jayson Werth not made a fantastic diving catch on Wright's line drive in the 10th inning. The catch was the third out and had he missed the ball, Fernando Martinez would certainly have scored from first base for the walk-off victory.

For the Phillies it was another come-from-behind victory. This team will play every out, no matter the situation. There is no argument about that. The Mets had many chances to win this game and just could not land the big hit once Hamels was out of the game.

Both games of this series have been tight and worth watching. The series opener may have had more fireworks but for fans of gritty baseball, last night was the game to watch.

Whatever happens tonight, the Phillies will return home with at least a two-game lead in the division. Jamie Moyer will face Tim Redding tonight in the series finale.

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