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Aftermath: Mets vs Phillies (05/24/2006)

Game 2: Mets 5, Phillies 4

(Source: - what's this?)

Alay Soler's line from Game 2:

 IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR   PC-ST   GS
6.0   5   3   2   4   5   0  102-61   53
Mr. Met:
  • Hitting: David Wright, 22.3% WPA
  • Pitching: Billy Wagner, 17.4% WPA
Mr. Regret:
  • Hitting: Alay Soler, -6.7% WPA
  • Pitching: Pedro Feliciano, -9.1% WPA
Alay Soler made his major league debut last night, and for a while there it didn't look like he would even get out of the first inning. Soler walked the first three batters of the game, then allowed a run-scoring single to left that David Wright -- who appears to me to have very little range at third base -- couldn't quite get his glove on. Chris Woodward booted a would-be double play ball off the bat of Ryan Howard, plating two more runs and stretching Philly's lead to 3-0. As much as I was violently cursing Woody at the time, I couldn't help but feel bad that he was blowing one of his rare opportunities to actually start a game.

Whatever butterflies Soler had for the first five batters, something must have clicked for him after the Woodward error, because Soler proceeded to strike out Shane Victorino on a questionably-high slider, induced a pop-up from David Bell and struck out Sal Fasano on a ball out of the strike zone to end the inning and contain the damage. The error, which seemed like it would open the floodgates at the time, only wound up costing Soler and the Mets a single run, since a run would have scored on the double-play anyway.

The Mets chipped away at the deficit, plating a run in the bottom of the first on Carlos Beltran's second homerun in as many at-bats and two more in the bottom of the third, including David Wright's third homer in as many games. Jon Lieber had some control problems of his own, walking four Mets on the day after allowing just five walks in the previous 57.1 innings this season. Some of it can be attributed to home plate umpire Jerry Meals, who wasn't calling anything on the corners of the plate.

The Mets carried a 4-3 lead into the seventh inning, where Pedro Feliciano, whom everyone seems to want to call Jose, selfishly allowed his second earned run of the season on a solo shot by Pat Burrell. The Mets bounced right back in the bottom of the inning, as Wright knocked a single into left field to score Carlos Beltran, giving the Mets a 5-4 lead that Aaron Heilman and Billy Wagner would hold.

The Mets have taken the first two games of this series, but they have Jeremi Gonzalez going this afternoon against Phillies' ace Brett Myers. Had the Mets needed Gonzalez yesterday in relief Pedro Martinez would have pitched this afternoon on his normal rest. I can understand the desire to give Pedro an extra day off when possible, but doesn't it make more sense to have him pitch today against the rival Phillies with an oppportunity to sweep and put six games between them in the standings? The Mets have an off day on Monday, so the Mets can use that as an extra day off for Pedro the next time around if need be. Pedro would get his extra day off anyway, and the Mets would get to leverage his start against the Phillies instead of the Marlins, who, let's face it, the Mets don't need any help beating.