Just about everyone thinks that this weekend’s series between the Phillies and the Mets is more important to the Phils than it is to the Mets. And I agree with them. But maybe not by quite as much as you might think. The Mets came into the series with a chance to bury the Phils, and if they don’t do it the ghosts of last season are going to start to stir even more than they have already.
Last night the Phils took game one behind a fantastic pitching performance from Brett Myers. Myers went eight shutout innings and struck out ten while allowing the Mets just three hits. The Phils squeaked out a run in the first and got two more on a home run from Dobbs in the seventh.
Despite the win, the story is still much the same for the Phils. They can’t score runs and anything that has to do with the bullpen is terrifying. Lidge was the only guy to make an appearance for the Phils in relief last night. He kept the Mets off the board but looked shaky, allowing two hits and needing 26 pitches to get through his inning.
The Phillies beat the New York Mets last night, winning 3-0 to improve to 77-64 on the season. The Phils trail the Mets by two games in the NL East.
Not to be forgotten is that the last couple of the series between the Phils and Mets have started well for the Phils. In each of the last three series the teams have played, the Phils won the first game of the set and the Mets have won every other game.
Myers got the start for the Phillies and went eight shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks. All three of the hits that he allowed were doubles. He struck out ten.
He started the first up 1-0. With one out, David Murphy hit a ball into left that Burrell dove for, didn’t catch and then kicked. Murphy wound up with a double. David Wright followed with a walk, but Myers got Carlos Delgado to hit into a double-play.
Carlos Beltran started the second with a double. Myers struck Ryan Church and Luis Castillo out back-to-back. It brought the lefty Brian Schneider to the plate with a runner in scoring position and Myers walked him intentionally to face the pitch Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey struck out swinging at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
Hate walking Schneider intentionally to pitch to the pitcher. Would much rather see the Phillies get Schneider out and let Pelfrey lead off the third. Worked out great for the Phils, though.
Jose Reyes led off the third and smoked a ball that Howard jumped for and speared for the first out. Fantastic play by Howard. Would have been at least a double and maybe a triple for Reyes. Myers struck out Murphy and Wright to finish the inning.
The play that Howard made on the ball hit by Reyes was enormous. Hard to say a defensive play in the third inning where no run would have scored changed the game, but that play was critical.
Myers struck out Beltran and Church in a 1-2-3 fourth.
He got two ground balls and another strikeout in a 1-2-3 fifth.
Murphy hit a ball off the wall in left for another double with one out in the sixth. Rich Dubee was ejected by the home plate umpire for arguing balls and strikes before Myers got Wright to pop to second and Delgado to fly to center.
Myers threw a 1-2-3 seventh with a 3-0 lead. He had thrown 107 pitches through seven.
In the eighth, he got Schneider on a ground ball to first, pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson on a fly ball to left. He struck Jose Reyes out to end the inning.
Lidge started the ninth with a 3-0 lead. Murphy led off with a ten-pitch at-bat that ended with a fly out to center field. He got ahead of Wright before Wright hit an 0-2 pitch over Victorino’s head. The ball bounced once and cleared the fence for a ground-rule double. Delgado lined a 3-1 pitch into center for a single, bringing Beltran to the plate as the tying run with men on first and third. Beltran got ahead 3-1 and swung at ball four, hitting a lazy fly ball into left field. Sounds pretty routine, but Bruntlett, who came in to play left in the eighth, was playing way deep and had to sprint in before making a basket catch for the second out. Church drove an 0-2 pitch to center, but Victorino tracked it down to end the game.
Nothing about Lidge’s outing that should make you feel at all comfortable. Lidge lowered his ERA since the All-Star break to 4.42. He threw 26 pitches.
The Phillies’ lineup against righty Mike Pelfrey went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Dobbs at third against the righty with Feliz on the bench. Coste catches.
Victorino singled to right with one out in the first. He stole second and went to third when Schneider’s throw to second wasn’t handled. Utley hit a ground ball to first and Victorino scored, putting the Phils up 1-0. Howard flew to left for the third out.
Dobbs singled with two outs in the second. Coste grounded back to the pitcher for the third out.
1-2-3 in the third.
Howard walked with one out in the fourth, but Burrell popped to second and Werth grounded back to the pitcher.
1-2-3 in the fifth.
Rollins led off the sixth with a single, but Pelfrey picked him off of first. Victorino flew to center and Utley grounded to second.
Howard led off the seventh with a single. Burrell flew softly to left for the first out and Werth struck out swinging for the second. Dobbs was next and drove a 2-2 pitch just over the glove of Church in right and out for a two-run homer that put the Phils up 3-0. Church timed the ball perfectly, it may have gone off the tip of his glove. Coste flew to left for the third out.
1-2-3 in the eighth. Up 3-0, Myers hit for himself having thrown 107 pitches and grounded out. I would have hit for him, but it worked out for the Phils.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth. Church made a sliding catch in right to take a hit away from Utley for the first out.
Victorino 1-for-4 with a stolen base.
Utley 0-for-4 with a big RBI groundout in the first. Church took a hit away from him in the ninth.
Howard 0-for-2 with two walks. Big defensive play to retire Reyes to start the third.
Burrell 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 21-for-his-last-117.
Werth 0-for-3 and struck out twice.
Dobbs 2-for-3 with his seventh home run and two RBI.
Jamie Moyer (12-7, 3.80) faces righty Pedro Martinez (5-3, 5.07) this afternoon. Martinez faced the Phils on August 26 and was strong early, but wound up allowing five runs over five innings. Rollins and Howard both homered off of him in that game. He faced Moyer and Moyer left early, surrendering six runs in three innings. Easley and Tatis both hit home runs against Moyer in that game. Those home runs are the only ones that Moyer has allowed over in his last six starts.
Update: Today’s game has been postponed. They will play a day-night double-header on Sunday.