Game Recap: Chris Young Surrenders Late Lead, Bullpen Does Rest in 9-2 Loss

By Matt Musico

On a day where most Americans were having some beverages with hot dogs and hambrugers to celebrate the independance of the good old USA, they had the opportunity to watch a whole lot of day baseball. Chris Young was opposing Cliff Lee, who inexplicably was still without a win in 2012. After some early runs, Lee shut down the Mets as the Phillies were able to score some late runs to put their lefty in the win column and snap their six-game losing streak.

Mets Offensive Highlights:

Both teams were held scoreless through the first three innings, until the Mets were able to break through against Lee. In the bottom of the fourth, Scott Hairston joined Lucas Duda and Ike Davis as the team leaders in home runs, as he yanked his 11th long ball of the year to left field. After Young was able to retire the Phils in order, thanks to an inning-ending double play, New York went back to work in the bottom of the inning. Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy both singled with two outs, and David Wrighthit a soft fly ball to right field, driving in Tejada. Unfortunately, the Mets couldn’t put any more runs across, as the bullpen let the game get out of reach.

Phillies Offensive Highlights:

In danger of losing their seventh game in a row, Philadelphia scored three runs in each of the last three innings to get back in the win column. It started in the seventh inning, as Juan Pierre singled to lead things off, followed by a Chase Utley homer to tie the ballgame up. Immediately following that, Carlos Ruiz hit his second homer of the series, giving Philly the lead. In the eighth, it was the bullpen that let the game get out of hand, as Jimmy Rollins drove in John Mayberry with an RBI double. After an intentional walk to Ty Wigginton, Ruiz was at it again, driving Rollins in with a single. Hunter Pence then followed that with another run-scoring single to make it 6-2. In the ninth, Jeremy Hefner gave up some more runs as Rollins plated Mayberry with an RBI groundout, and Wigginton continued to kill the Mets this season with a two-run homer to left field.

Pitching Highlights:

Cliff Lee was, well, like Cliff Lee Wednesday afternoon. He ended up throwing 8 innings against the Mets, surrendering 7 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs on 9 strikeouts. Charlie Manuel pulled him after 116 pitches for Jonathon Papelbon, who retired New York in order to end the ball game.

On the other hand, Chris Young pitched very well, until the 7th inning. For a pitcher with a fastball velocity of around 83 mph, location is vital to his success, and for a three batter stretch in the 7th, he lost that control, which ended up dooming him to his second loss of the year. In his 7 innings of work, he gave up 5 hits, no walks, on 3 runs while striking out 3 hitters. Each of the three relievers that Terry Collins called upon (Miguel Batista, Tim Byrdak, and Jeremy Hefner) all gave up at least one run in their respective appearances.

Worth Noting:

After their 11-run, 15-hit outburst from the night before, the Mets only mustered 7 hits Wednesday afternoon, with Ruben Tejada the only player to put together a multi-hit game for the home team, while the Phillies boasted three multi-hit games and four multi-RBI gamesby their players. As for the 9 strikeouts they suffered at the hands of Cliff Lee, 7 of them came without swinging.

The Nationals just keep on winning, and the Mets loss puts them at 44-38 on the season, sitting 4.5 games out of first place in the NL East.

Probable Pitchers Thursday:

The rubber game of this series will be played Thursday night, as the pitching match-up is the most anticipated of this three-game set. R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.15 ERA) will be looking to become the first pitcher in baseball to get to 13 wins against fellow NL All-Star, Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.08 ERA). First pitch is scheduled at Citi Field for 7:10pm.