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Jimmy Rollins Ignites Phillies To Series Sweep Of The Mets

Scott EisenlohrAnalyst IJuly 5, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 06:  Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies at bat against the New York Mets at Citi Field on May 6, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

As I was heading home to southern New Jersey from a Wimbledon party just outside of Philadelphia, I drove by Citizens Bank Park in southern Philadelphia on the way to the Walt Whitman Bridge and peeked into the stadium while driving.

All I saw was a sea of red.

The Phillies, on their way to the World Series, took care of business at home.

Something they have not done so far this season, until now.

Yes, you've got Ryan Church hitting clean up followed by Nick Evans, Jeremy Reed and Brian Schneider for the Mets. Not likely to scare any opposing pitcher.

But for the Mets, they had Johan Santana on the hill. The ace of the Mets' staff.

I knocked Jimmy Rollins recently for his play, but he has redeemed himself this weekend. Rollins led off the game with a solo home run, which would stand until Chase Utley connected for a solo shot in the sixth.

The double play was the pitcher's friend as the Mets grounded into two of them. Joe Blanton out pitched Santana and the Phillies completed their sweep of a depleted New York Mets team.

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The win gave the Phillies a one-game lead over the Florida Marlins, and four games over the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets.

The Phillies continue their home stand against the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, while New York and Florida head to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively. The Braves open a series with the Cubs.

No sense beating a dead horse about putting space between you and your rivals, but I am glad the Phillies took care of business and swept the Mets. It keeps them firmly in first place in the National League East, when they could have just as easily fallen into second or third.

Rollins raised his average to .217 during the weekend series, getting at least one hit in each game.

When Rollins reaches base, things happen for the Phillies and that is a good sign. Closer Brad Lidge looked good also, striking out the side for his 16th save of the season.

Without getting into detail, I feel much better about the team and am confident they will stay in first leading into the All-Star break.

Note: Speaking of the All-Star break, two of the three starting outfielders may not compete in the game. The Phillies' Raul Ibanez, The Brewers' Ryan Braun, and the Mets' Carlos Beltran were the top vote getters. Both Ibanez and Braun are on the disabled list and may not play. Just an odd circumstance and for sure, an irony, especially for Mets' fans.

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