New York Mets News

Mets Whitewash Phillies….For an Entire Frickin’ Series!

By Adam Garnett

The Mets utter destruction of the Phillies these past three days was one of the most stunning feats and events I’ve ever witnessed on an athletic field, and lord knows I’ve watched a lot of sports in my day. So many factors made this three-game blanking so shocking, but let’s start with who the Mets sent to the bump on Tuesday and Wednesday.

R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi each successfully shut down the potent Phillies offense for six innings in their respective starts. We’re not talking about Tom Seaver and Sid Fernandez here. This is R.A. “F’ing” Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi, both afterthoughts as far as the Mets starting rotation was concerned when spring training opened in February.

I understand this is a Phillies batting attack that his scuffling big time (it still boasts Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jason Werth…which is nothing to sneeze at), but each guy had to use some serious mettle to get out of a few dangerous jams, at that my friends is most encouraging. Considering the panic attacks induced watching John Maine and Ollie Perez continually melt down in tough spots over the past few years, what a breath of fresh air the past few nights have been.


Of course Dickey isn’t going to keep this up and Takahashi is sure to come back to earth a bit soon, but these guys know how to pitch. Clearly, they have shown us that the old adage about guys knowing how to pitch rather than just throw can get people out rings true. If I had to make an educated guess based on what I’ve witnessed live at Citi Field the past week (Takahahi’s 2 starts, Dickey’s last one) and what Jerry Manuel has intimated in his postgame press gatherings, Takahashi is here to stay and they’ll ride Dickey for as long as they can.

Did I mention that is was the vaunted Phillies whom the Mets just shut out for three games in a row? It marked the first time since 2004, when Johan Santana and the Twins did it against Kansas City, that a team collected three straight shutouts in a 3-game series. It was actually the second time in Mets history that they accomplished this feat. The first came way back in the fateful 1969 season, when the Amazins’ blanked this same Phillies organization with Jerry Koosman and Tome Seaver each firing complete game shutout gems.

The fact that this was the Phillies, not a woeful offensive team like San Francisco or Houston, is almost inconceivable. Again, granted the Phillies came into this series struggling terribly at the dish, but the fact that were not able to muster a single run is almost impossible. They left an extraordinary 25 runners on base over the three games.

After these stunning developments, when the dust settled at about midnight last night, the Mets found themselves a mere two games out of first place. While it is clear this team has now constructed a decided home field advantage in Flushing, compiling a 19-9 record, the true test starts tonight in Milwaukee. With three against the Brew Crew and then three against the surprising Padres in San Diego, we’ll see what this team is really made of.

Good teams are labeled as such when they are able to sustain winning streaks, no matter if on the road or at home. Mediocre teams have 6-14 road records and ride heavy peaks and valleys throughout the course of a 162-game season. This trip may go a long way into characterizing what kind of team this 2010 edition of the NY Mets are. Having Johan Santana on the hill tonight to start off the proceedings doesn’t hurt the cause.