The Mets last beat the Phillies on June 30, 2007, which would be unremarkable except for the fact that the Phillies have played them nine times since. Whatever it is keeping the Mets from beating the Phils, if they are trying to nail it down through process of elimination I think I speak for everyone in saying they can safely cross not-throwing-a-baseball-at-Chase-Utley-enough off the list as a primary factor. Utley was hit by a pitch three times today and also hit by a thrown ball in a critical play while running the bases.
For the Phils, today’s win featured strong performances from two guys who had struggled early this season. Shane Victorino, who came into the game hitting .143, had two hits and a walk and dazzled defensively in center field. Coming off of a weak outing in his first start of the season, Moyer held the Mets to a pair of runs on four hits over six innings.
The Phillies beat the New York Mets this afternoon, winning 5-2 to improve to 4-4 on the season.
Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out one and dropped his ERA to 4.66 after two starts. Very nice outing by Moyer, who was aided by two brilliant plays by Victorino and a wind that may have knocked down a couple of well-hit balls
After Moyer got Jose Reyes on a ground ball to short for the first out in the first, Luis Castillo followed and drew a walk. David Wright was next and hit a ball hard to center, but Victorino tracked it down at the warning track for the second out. Moyer got Carlos Beltran on a ground ball to third to end the inning.
Delgado led off the second and hit a 1-0 pitch well out to right, putting the Mets up 1-0. Angel Pagan was next and Moyer got him on a ball that Victorino took in deep left-center field for the first out. Moyer hit Ryan Church, but Brian Schneider was next and he hit a double-play ball to second. Utley tagged Church and threw to first to get Schneider, meaning that the pitcher Perez would lead off the third.
Moyer threw a 1-2-3 third, getting the final out with the help of a diving play by Howard at first.
Wright led off the fourth and drove a ball to right-center field. Victorino had a long way to go but made the catch on a dead run and collided with Werth. Victorino somehow managed to hand on to the ball — a fantastic play. Werth and Victorino were both slow to get up, Victorino slower, but both stayed in the game. Beltran followed with a walk and Delgado moved him to second with a single. Angel Pagan was next and he hit a ground ball to second. Utley thought about throwing to second and then threw to first, but it was too late. Pagan was safe at first and the bases were loaded with one out. Church hit a soft ground ball to second and Utley had to go to first. Beltran scored to make it 2-0 with men on second and third for Schneider. Moyer walked the righty Schneider intentionally, loading the bases for the pitcher Perez. Moyer struck Perez out to end the inning.
More bad defense in the infield as Pagan’s single costs the Phils — a stark contrast to the fantastic play the Phils got from Victorino in the outfield in the same inning.
And there was more to come in the fifth. With two outs, Wright doubled to left on a ball that got past Burrell and to the wall. Beltran drove a ball to deep center field and again Victorino made a long run and tracked it down. Second excellent defensive play in center in two innings for Victorino.
Moyer threw a 1-2-3 sixth.
Chad Durbin entered the game for the Phils in the seventh coming off of weak outing on Saturday in Cincy in which he took a loss, charged with a run on a hit and two walks while getting just one out. Schneider singled to start the inning, but Durbin got Endy Chavez, who pinch-hit for the pitcher Sosa, to hit into a double-play. Reyes followed with a single out of the reach of Utley and with two outs Damion Easley hit it hard to left, but Taguchi, who had entered the game with Durbin, took it to end the inning.
Romero entered the eighth with a 5-2 lead. The other choice was Madson, who hadn’t pitched since Friday (update: apparently, not so — we probably would have seen Romero in the eighth anyway, given the hitters, but Madson may have been unavailable). But with the lefties Delgado and Church looming potentially in the inning, Manuel went with Romero. Romero struck out Wright for the first out before Beltran doubled down the left field line. Delgado grounded to second and Utley threw him out as Beltran moved to third. Righty Brady Clark hit for the pitcher Heilman and walked on a 3-2 pitch, bringing up the lefty Church as the tying run. Romero got Church on a weak ground ball to leave the runners stranded.
Nice inning by Romero, who got through the lefties Delgado and Church as well as the switch Beltran. Church had two big spots with the bat in the game, one in the fourth and one in the eighth. Both came against lefties (Moyer and Romero). In the fourth he brought in a run with his ground out, but he still left four runners stranded on the day.
With Lidge having thrown at least 20 pitches in each of the last two days, Gordon came on in the ninth to try to nail down his first save of the year. He struck out Schneider, got Chavez on a ground ball back to the pitcher and got Reyes on a ball hit to Werth in right to give the Phils the win. Two perfect innings in two days for Flash.
Romero threw 25 pitches, which may him on the shelf for game two of the series. Durbin threw just six pitches and Gordon needed just 11 to notch his first save of the year. Despite the low pitch count Gordon has pitched on Monday and Tuesday — three days in a row may be too many regardless of how many pitches he throws.
The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Oliver Perez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. It’s just the second lefty the Phils have faced on the year after Matt Chico started for the Nats on opening day. Werth is in right against the lefty and hits sixth instead of seventh as he did on opening day. Feliz and Werth are flipped, which I think is the better lineup. Victorino stays in the lineup and in the two-hole despite his struggles. Moyer is caught by Ruiz after Coste caught his first start and Moyer got bombed.
Victorino blooped a single into center with one out in the first. Utley was next and was grazed by a 2-2 pitch, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard flew out to shallow left-center for the second out. Burrell struck out looking to end the frame.
Werth led off the second with a single into right. Feliz was next and hit a one-hopper to first. Delgado fielded, tagged out Werth and stepped on first to complete the double-play. Ruiz flew to center for the third out.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third.
Utley led off the fourth inning and was hit again by a pitch. Howard followed and struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch that was way outside for the first out. Burrell flew to right for the second out. Werth grounded out to short. Phils get turned away despite the leadoff base runner. Howard chased and Burrell hit it hard, but right to Church. Awful at-bat by the struggling Howard for the first out.
Ruiz singled to right with one out in the fifth and Moyer followed and drew a walk. It put men on first and second with one out for Rollins. Rollins got ahead 2-0 but then hit a 2-2 pitch to third. Wright threw to second to get Moyer for the first out, but Rollins was safe at first. Victorino came up with men on first and third and popped to Reyes in shallow left to end the frame.
Utley and Howard went down to start the sixth before Burrell drew a two out walk. Werth would walk on four pitches, but not before Burrell went to second on a balk. Ball four to Werth got away from Schneider, allowing Burrell to go to third. Righty Joe Smith came in to pitch to Feliz with two down and men on first and third and walked him to load the bases. Great to see Feliz take a walk there. Ruiz was next and he grounded the 0-1 pitch to short to turn the Phillies away. Two lefties on the bench for the Phils that are better hitters than Ruiz in Dobbs and Jenkins, but the Mets surely would have brought in a lefty to pitch to either of them.
Dobbs hit for Moyer with the righty Smith still on the mound for the Mets to start the seventh. Lefty Scott Schoeneweis relieved Smith and Manuel called on Taguchi to hit, wasting Dobbs. Taguchi grounded to second, but Rollins and Victorino followed with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second with one down for Utley, facing Schoeneweis who had already thrown 18 pitches. For the third time in the game Utley was hit by a pitch, this time in the middle of the back. Howard grounded to first and Delgado’s throw to second hit Utley in the back. Rollins scored and Victorino scored to tie the game at 2-2. With men on first and second and one out, righty Jorge Sosa came in to pitch to Burrell. Burrell flew to right for the second out, deep enough to send Utley to third. Werth stayed in to hit against the righty and delivered a single into right, scoring Utley to make it 3-2 as Howard went to second. Feliz flew to left for the third out. Big hit for Werth against a righty, he needs to play more against right-handed pitching. Delgado’s throwing error was a huge part of the inning.
Aaron Heilman walked Carlos Ruiz to start the eighth and Taguchi bunted him to second. Rollins singled into right and Ruiz scored, extending the Phillies’ lead to 4-2. With Victorino at the plate, Rollins went to second on a passed ball. Victorino drew a walk, putting him on base for the third time in the game, bringing up Utley with men on first and second with one out. Utley smashed a double over the head of Church in right and Rollins scored. 5-2 with men on second and third. Howard was walked intentionally to pitch to the pitcher’s hole behind him, and Jenkins hit for Durbin against the righty Heilman. Big chance for Jenkins to blow it open against the righty, or even drive in a run with an out, but he popped to second for the second out. Werth flew out to right for the third out.
Rollins sprained his left ankle going back to second on a faked pickoff play in the inning. Bruntlett entered the game to play short in the bottom of the eighth.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Rollins was 2-for-5 with an RBI. If he misses time with his ankle it’s a serious blow to the Phils.
Victorino was 2-for-4 with a walk, raising his average to .188.
Utley was 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI. He was hit by a pitch three times. His double was the Phils only extra-base hit on the day.
Howard continues to struggle — 0-for-4 with a walk to drop his average to .179.
Burrell was 0-for-3 with a walk and left five men on base.
Werth was 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He left four men on base. Jenkins had a bad at-bat, 0-for-1 with three men left on base.
Feliz was 0-for-4 with a walk.
Ruiz 1-for-4 with a walk.
Taguchi got two at-bats and went 0-for-2.
Kyle Kendrick (1-0, 7.20) faces righty Mike Pelfrey (NR) in the second game of the three game set. Pelfrey went 3-8 with a 5.57 ERA and a 1.71 ratio in 15 games for the Mets last season, 13 of which were starts. Pelfrey was much worse at home than on the road in 2007, throwing to a 6.35 ERA at home and a 4.28 ERA on the road. He faced the Phillies once, on July 1, and allowed three runs over five innings. Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run home run off of him in that game. Kendrick didn’t pitch well his first time out, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings on Friday against the Reds. Kendrick started the July 1 game linked above in his only action against the Mets last year, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks over 6 2/3 innings and getting the win.