Mike Pelfrey turned in a second craptacular performance in a row, as if his goal for the evening was to out-suck Cole Hamels' outing on Tuesday. The Phillies scored early and often on the Mets' #1 pitcher, who played much more like #2. Right from Shane Victorino's triple to lead off the game, it was clear Pelfrey had nothing to work with in this game. He exited the game with no outs in the third and trailing 4-0. Reliever Taylor Buchholz allowed all three inherited runners to score, which seems only fair. I think what I'm trying to say is, he wasn't very good.
Unlike Mets of recent vintage, the team fought back with a two-run homer from Angel Pagan in the top of the fourth, then knocked Phillies starter Joe Blanton out of the game in the fifth with a string of hits, scoring 5 runs and tying the game. They showed all the grission and guts and blandro (a word I just made up which means "gritty") they were purportedly lacking lo these many years. All seemed right with the world. People seemed to laugh more back then...
But just like the Mets of recent vintage, luck turned against them. The Phils staged a two-out "rally" in the bottom of the fifth on a Victorino check swing double, a dunk single from Placido Polanco that barely eluded Carlos Beltran's glove, a walk, and a ball that glanced off of reliever 's glove. It all conspired to plate 2 runs and hand the lead right back to the Phillies. Ben Francisco finally beat the elements and padded the Phils' lead with a solo shot off of Boyer in the sixth.
The only unblemished pitching performance for the Mets came from Pedro Beato, who breezed through a scoreless seventh inning. In need of some work, Francisco Rodriguez worked a scoreless eighth, which served as a makeup "game finished" for the save he blew last Saturday. Hope he buys Terry Collins a nice watch for his trouble.
After Blanton's early exit, the Phillies bullpen held the Mets scoreless. The arms of Antonio Bastardo, J.C. Romero, and Ryan Madson made sure the Mets had nothing resembling a scoring threat to speak of. Jose Contreras, filling in for the ailing Brad Lidge, closed out the game in the ninth. At press time, no tasings reported at Citizen's Bank Park.
You could call this one a moral victory, although that probably says more about where the Mets have been than where they are or where they're going. The turd in the punchbowl here is Pelfrey, who, in this admittedly young season, has looked just plain awful. Not missing bats, not challenging hitters, not displaying the kind of pitching smarts you'd expect from someone who is now in his sixth major league season. It's probably not fair to say he's no longer the Mets' #1 pitcher just yet (if such a designation means anything), but that discussion will start before long.
At the end of the day, when you rebound from 7-0 down and lose anyway on the kind of ridiculous "rally" the Phillies staged in the fifth inning, there's not much else to do but shrug your shoulders and move on. If the Mets want to feel sorry for themselves, I'm sure Mr. Halladay would love to take advantage of that negative energy around 3pm tomorrow.
Big winners: Ryan Howard, +19.7% WPA, Placido Polanco, +15.2% WPA, Antonio Bastardo, +1.29% WPA
Big losers: Mike Pelfrey, -31.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Daniel Murphy's RBI single in the fifth, +13.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Placido Polanco's RBI single in the fifth, -14.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -58.0% WPA
Total batter WPA: +8.0% WPA
GWRBI!: Placido Polanco (assist: Carlos Beltran's glove)
Nice job by JoeBighead; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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