7/20 Game Recap: Bullpen, Timely Hitting Help Mets Prevail
Saturday afternoon saw the Mets try to recover from their 13-8 loss Friday when Jeremy Hefner was roughed up early and often. The Mets sent out Zack Wheeler to face Cole Hamels to try and cool the Phillip’ hot bats. Despite Wheeler starting, it was the bullpen who helped the Mets get their first victory of the second half by a score of 5-4.
Jul 20, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcherZack Wheeler
(45) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
It did not go right as planned in the first inning as on the third pitch of the game Jimmy Rollins smacked a home run to right, just over the glove of Marlon Byrd, good for a 1-0 Philadelphia lead.
While Hamels had the lead to work with in the first inning, he could not hold it as the Mets answered with a three spot of their own in the opening frame. Daniel Murphy started it with a one out double to right, followed by a David Wright walk and Murphy steal of third. Byrd followed with an RBI single to tie the score. Satin walked to load the bases and Juan Lagares blooped a single to right to score Wright. Anthony Recker then hit a double play ball to third but Michael Young double clutched it, and could not get Recker at first and the Mets scored their third run of the inning.
In both the second and third, the Phillies had runners on first and second with only one out, but Wheeler came through and got out of both jams. He ended both innings via the strikeout, one of Cole Hamels and the other being Darin Ruf. With the Phillies threatening and hitting foul balls, Wheeler’s pitch count was 68 after three innings.
Wheeler registered his fifth strikeout of the game in the fourth, but the highlight of the inning came when Omar Quintanilla made a great play in the hole to start a double play to end the threat.
After Hamels and Rollins singled, Michael Young walked and the Phillies loaded the bases with no one out in the fifth. Chase Utley hit a sacrifice fly to left to make the game 3-2. Wheeler fell behind Dominic Brown 3-0, but got him to fly out to Lagares in center. Wheeler could not finish the fifth, as he walked Darin Ruf to load the bases again, so Terry Collins brought in Gonzalez Germen. Germen stranded the bases loaded as he fanned Delmon Young to end the threat.
The Mets answered with a run in the bottom half with an Eric Young, Jr. single and steal of second. He moved to third on Murphy’s deep lineout to center. Wright singled in Young with a single up the middle and the Mets took a 4-2 lead.
The Mets did add one more to take a 5-2 lead in the seventh inning on Daniel Murphy‘s bloop single into right which scored Quintanilla from second.
Bobby Parnell came on in the ninth for the save, and got the first two outs easily. Michael Young then hit a ball to the right side, which was misplayed by Satin for an error. After getting Chase Utley to two strikes, Parnell hung a pitch and Utley made it a one run game with a homer to deep right. Domonic Brown followed with a double to put the tying run at second. Darin Ruf looked to have single to right, but it was lined right at Murphy to end the game.
> Zack Wheeler went 4.2 innings today, and would have been in line to get his fourth win in the Majors. He had trouble putting away hitters, and his pitch count was high early in the game. He gave up seven hits, two runs, two walks and had five strikeouts.
> Gonzalez Germen went 1.2 innings of scoreless ball with three strikouts and may have recorded the biggest out of the game when he struck out Delmon Young with the bases loaded in the fifth.
> Daniel Murphy went 2-4 at the plate, including a double and RBI single. He appears to maybe gotten out of that slump he had heading into the All Star Break.
> Marlon Byrd had another good game at the dish getting two hits in four at-bats, driving in one in the first.
> Bobby Parnell recorded his 18th save despite making it very interesting in the 9th after Satin’s costly error.
Jul 20, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Marlon Byrd (6) crosses the plate to score during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
> The win snapped the Mets’ losing streak at Citi Field against the Phillies, which was at seven games.
Wheeler had an auspicious start to the game, giving up the leadoff homer, but seemed to settle down a little after that. The fifth inning killed him, and he just couldn’t get that last out to get the win. His pitch count just got too high, and Collins made the right move taking him out.
Germen and the rest of the bullpen was superb today, giving up no earned runs. Germen, Rice, and Hawkins all did not allow any runs, with Germen looking the most impressive, earning his first win.
Marlon Byrd continues to prove he could end up being the Comeback Player of the Year with the numbers he is putting up. His two hits just add to his success story.
It may go unnoticed but Omar Quintanilla continues to play a great shortstop, and keeps on showing why he deserves to play every day at short.
The Mets close out their three game set with the Phillies tomorrow afternoon. A great pitching match-up is set, as Matt Harvey is going to duel against Philadelphia ace Cliff Lee. It will be Harvey’s first start since pitching two innings in Tuesday’s All Star Game as he looks to get his eighth win of the season.
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