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September 15 2007

The Mets are just a better team than the Phillies.  They were yesterday, they are today and they will be tomorrow.  But that's sure not helping them win any games.  The Phils beat them this afternoon for the seventh straight time.

The Phillies are playing fantastic.  Good defense, clutch hits and solid pitching.  The bullpen, Tom Gordon in particular, is suddenly out of sight.  But the Mets seem to realize the Phils aren't their only problem.  For the second straight day the Mets focused on the umpires, the home plate umpire in particular, but for the second straight day the umpire was a non-issue compared to the way they keep shooting themselves in the foot.

Yesterday they lost in big part because their catcher couldn't catch a foul ball and Aaron Heilman's throw to second base in the tenth went into the outfield.  Today they ran wild on Chris Coste, but the six bases they stole probably didn't help them as much as the three times they were caught hurt them.  The caught stealing that ending the sixth inning in particular.  On the play of the game this afternoon, Carlos Beltran broke in when the Mets needed him to break back.

The Phillies beat the New York Mets today, winning 5-3 to improve to 79-69 on the year.  The Phils reach ten games over .500 for just the second time this season.

Kyle Lohse got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits.  One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double.  He walked four and struck out three.

Lohse walked Luis Castillo with one out in the first.  Castillo went to second on another bad defensive play from Coste, a passed ball off of his glove.  It didn't cost the Phillies, though.  David Wright lined a ball to left that Burrell caught easily.  Castillo either misread it or forgot the outs.  Burrell tossed to second to double Castillo off easily.

Carlos Beltran started the second with a double.  Moises Alou was next and reached on a softly hit ball to third.  Beltran went third.  Shawn Green walked to load the bases with nobody out.  Paul Lo Duca was next and he hit a ground ball to second.  Utley came home to force Beltran for the first out.  Lohse hit Lastings Milledge with a pitch, forcing in Alou to tie the game at 1-1.  Pedro Martinez struck out for the second out and Reyes popped to short to end the inning.

Castillo started the third with a single and stole second.  Lohse struck out Wright for the first out before Beltran singled to center.  Castillo scored to put the Mets up 2-1.  Beltran stole second before Alou popped to second for the second out.  Beltran stole third as Shawn Green walked, putting men on first and third with two down.  Green stole second before Lo Duca singled to right.  Beltran scored but Green had to hold third.  The Mets led 3-1.  Lohse got Milledge to fly to right to end the inning.

Four stolen bases in the inning for the Mets.

Reyes singled with one out in the fourth, but was thrown out trying to steal second on a pitchout as Castillo was trying to bunt.  Castillo flew to left for the third out.

Wright singled to right to start the fifth.  Beltran moved him to second with a ground ball to first before Alou fouled out to Howard.  Lohse walked the lefty Green intentionally and got the righty Lo Duca on a ground ball to third to set the Mets down.

With one out in the sixth, Ruben Gotay hit for Pedro and drew a walk.  Gotay took off for second and was safe, but came off the bag and was tagged by Rollins for the second out.  Reyes walked and stole second and Castillo followed with a walk of his own.  On the first pitch of Wright's at-bat, Reyes was caught stealing third.  Awful decision by Reyes.  The Mets ran wild on Coste, but he had Reyes easily on that play.  The Mets make two of their three outs in the inning on stolen bases, although Gotay was safe if he could have stayed on the base.

Alfonseca threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Romero started the eighth, pitching for his third straight day.  He was due to face the lefty Green, but Carlos Gomez hit for Green and Romero got him to ground to short.  Gordon came in to pitch to the righty Lo Duca and got Lo Duca on a fly ball to right and struck out Milledge to end the inning.  Gordon looked really good again, pitching for the second straight day.

Myers came on in the ninth for the save with the Phils up 5-3.  Marlon Anderson pinch-hit for the pitcher to start the inning and was called out looking at a close 3-2 pitch.  Anderson was ejected for arguing the call.  Reyes walked and stole second.  Castillo reached on an infield single to short with Reyes holding second.  With the tying run on first, Myers struck out Wright and got Beltran on a fly ball to right to end the game.

In the first two games of the series, the Phils' pen has allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings.  They've struck out nine.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Pedro Martinez went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Dobbs (7) Werth (8) Coste.  Dobbs plays third against the righty.  Coste catches the day game after Ruiz went last night.

Utley blooped a single in front of Beltran in center with one out in the first.  Burrell struck out for the second out before Howard moved Utley to third with a single to right.  Rowand looped one just inside the line in right that went for a double.  Utley scored to put the Phils up 1-0 as Howard went to third.  Dobbs struck out to leave men on second and third.

Lohse reached on a swinging bunt with two outs in the second and went to third when Rollins followed with a single.  Rollins stole second before Utley struck out to end the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third.

In the fourth, Coste reached on a bloop single with one out and Lohse followed and was hit by a pitch.  Rollins grounded to first to end the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fifth.

Rowand started the sixth with a double down the line in left, but Dobbs couldn't move him over, Werth struck out and Coste grounded to short.

Iguchi started the seventh, hitting for Kane Davis, and doubled.  Rollins ripped a ball to Shawn Green at first.  Green couldn't handle it and was charged with an error.  Iguchi scored from second to make the score 3-2.  Rollins stole second but Pedro Feliciano struck out Utley, Burrell and Howard to leave Rollins stranded at second. 

The lefty Feliciano came back to start the eighth and Rowand led off with a home run to left that tied the game at 3-3.  Helms hit for Dobbs against the lefty and Jorge Sosa came in to pitch for the Mets.  Helms walked and Roberson ran for him.  Werth bunted Roberson to second for the first out.  Hate that, but in Manuel's defense Werth was 0-for-3 on the day with three strikeouts.  Would have let him hit anyway.  Coste flew to left for the second out.  Laforest hit for Alfonseca and walked.  Rollins was next and he drove a ball to center.  Beltran misplayed it, coming in when he needed to go out, and Rollins had a two-run triple that put the Phils up 5-3.  Utley struck out to set the Phillies down.

It was surprising to me that Feliciano came back for the eighth.   He did a nice job against the righty Burrell in the seventh, but the Phils were sure to hit Helms for Dobbs in the eighth and leave Feliciano facing back-to-back righties to start the inning even if he did get Rowand.

Howard doubled with one out in the ninth.  Rowand went down behind him for the second out before Howard went to third on a wild pitch.  Nunez walked, but Werth grounded to short to end the inning.

Rollins was 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBI.

Utley was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.

Burrell 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Howard 2-for-5 with a double.

Rowand was 3-for-5 with a huge home run and a double.

Dobbs was 0-for-3.

Werth 0-for-4.

Coste 1-for-4.  The Mets stole six bases with him behind the plate and he was charged with a passed ball.

Adam Eaton (9-9, 6.31) faces lefty Oliver Perez (14-9, 3.42) tomorrow.

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