Monday night's game, capped by a three-run homer by rookie Jordany Valdespin against Jonathan Papelbon, was the stuff dreams are made of. Tuesday was more of a fever dream, but it was a fever dream that ended with a W, so I'll take it.
Hunter Pence put the Phillies on the board in the bottom of the first by parking a Miguel Batista offering in the center field seats for a two-run homer. A pair of throwing errors in the second led to another Phils run in the second, as did a Shane Victorino RBI double. With Joe Blanton stifling the Mets' offense, a 4-0 looked like it would be more than enough.
However, the Mets scraped out a run in the top of the fourth when Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled and came around to score on a Daniel Murphy single. After a few near misses in the fifth and sixth, a pair of two-out singles in the seventh by Andres Torres and Nieuwenhuis cut the Phils' lead to 4-2. Then, all hell broke loose as Wright hit his own RBI single, got himself caught in a rundown, then saw Pete Orr throw away an attempt to nail Nieuwenhuis at third. Captain Kirk scored the tying run, and Lucas Duda plated Wright shortly thereafter with an RBI single to give the Mets a 5-4 lead.
The bullpen did most of the heavy lifting tonight. Manny Acosta inherited runners at second and third with one out in the bottom of the sixth and stranded them there. Ramon Ramirez worked a scoreless seventh, thanks in large part to a great play by Wright on a sharp grounder, and somehow survived an eighth inning where he gave up an infield single and two wild pitches. (Tim Byrdak chipped in with the third out in that frame.)
The Mets hung two more runs on the Phils' bullpen in the ninth to put things out of reach. Jon Rauch took closing duties (Frank Francisco getting the night off after three straight appearances) and did the job with little incident. Just like they wrote it up in spring training, huh?
I'm still not entirely sure how the Mets won this game, but I am sure I enjoyed watching it. More of this, please.
Nice job by MetsFan4Decades; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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