For one of the few times in 2012, R.A. Dickey didn’t have his best stuff last night, and it looked as though the knuckleballer would be getting his second loss of the season going into the All-Star break. However, the Mets were able to mount a rally off All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon for the second time this year, as David Wright put the punctuation on a walk off victory and series win in their last meeting with the Phillies until the end of August.
Mets Offensive Game Highlights:
Going up against another left-handed pitcher in Cole Hamels, New York was hoping to try and break their streak of struggling against southpaws. However, it was the same two right-handed batters that kept the Mets in the game, and eventually helping them win it. After going down 2-0, Scott Hairston cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the second with his team-leading 12th home run. The next inning was another two-out rally; R.A. Dickey and Daniel Murphy both reached with singles, and Wright made Hamels pay with an RBI single to tie the game. Dickey gave up the lead in the fourth, but Wright helped steal it back with his 11th homer of the year, a two-run bomb to left field, scoring Ruben Tejada. That was it for the scoring until the rally in the ninth; Ike Davis got is started with a double, and Josh Thole sacrificed him to third. Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out, bringing up Jordany Valdespin with two out, facing Papelbon for the first time since his three-run homer off him in May. Papelbon ended up hitting Valdespin. After a walk to Tejada, Murphy drove in a run with an infield single, and Wright hit a blooper to right field that Hunter Pencecouldn’t handle, giving the Mets a walk-0ff win.
Phillies Offensive Highlights:
Shane Victorino got the scoring started in the top of the first with an RBI single, plating Juan Pierre. In the second, Jimmy Rollins doubled in Placido Polanco as part of a three-hit inning. Philly grabbed the lead back in the fourth briefly as Rollins and Fontenot singled, allowing Hunter Pence to come up with runners on and he came through with an RBI single of his own. In the sixth, Cole Hamels recorded his second hit of the night, and Rollins drove him in with a triple, and he scored after a sacrifice bunt. That was all the scoring the Phillies offense could muster, as the Mets bullpen was able to keep their bats silent a day after they gave up six runs in two innings.
As was said before, Dickey didn’t have his best stuff, but he was still able to throw 7 innings on 99 pitches, despite giving up 5 runs on 11 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 7. Jon Rauch, Tim Byrdak, and Pedro Beato combined to throw a scoreless eighth, then Bobby Parnell did so by himself in the ninth, lining himself up for the victory.
Cole Hamels also piched 7 innings last night, allowing 7 hits and 1 walk on 4 runs, while also striking out 7. Unlike his opposite number in Dickey, the Phillies southpaw gave up two long balls. Antonio Bastardo threw a scoreless eighth, but it was Jonathan Papelbon who couldn’t hold on in the ninth, blowing his second save of the season, and earning his third loss.
Both David Wright and Daniel Murphy put together mult-hit games, but Wright was the offensive star with four more RBI, now giving him 59 for the year. Murphy has been doing work himself, putting together his fourth multi-hit game this week. As was said before, this is the second time the Mets have beaten Papelbon in the ninth this season, the first times they’ve been able to do so since Omir Santos hit a grand slam off the closer at Fenway a few years ago.
Everyone in the NL East won last night, except for the Phillies; Washington has now won four in a row, and the Mets were able to keep pace, staying 4.5 games out in second place. With winning two of three from Philadelphia, New York is 45-38 on the season, with three games against the Cubs left before the All-Star break.
Probable Pitchers Friday:
The Mets get a second crack at taking a series from the lowly Cubs, sending Johan Santana (6-4, 2.76 ERA) to the mound to avenge his first career loss against Chicago a couple weeks ago. He will be opposing Travis Wood (3-3, 3.05 ERA), who hasn’t allowed a run in 18.2 innings, the longest strectch for a Cub pitcher since Ted Lilly in 2008. First pitch at Citi Field is scheduled for 7:10pm.