Mets 11, Phillies 5
John Maine's pitching line:
IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST GS 4.2 5 2 2 6 4 1 104-60 44All's well that ends well, I suppose. Despite a pretty dreadful performance by John Maine and at least one extremely questionable managerial decision, the Mets found out what the Braves and Marlins already know: the Phillies truly are the team to beat. Their bullpen, especially, are the pitchers to beat. Cole Hamels kept the Mets' hitters befuddled for the most part, but once he gave way to the Phils' leaky relief corps the Mets' bats woke up and administered a severe offensive beatdown.
Those looking for the silver lining in Maine's performance point to the fact that, despite less-than-stellar stuff, the second-year righty kept the Phllies to just two runs over 4.2 innings. Sure, there's that. But he also allowed eleven baserunners -- including SIX walks -- in those four-plus innings, and there's little chance that he will be as fortunate in the future as he was today with so many runners on base. For one day we can forgive him; it was a cold day at Shea, and the excitement of the home opener certainly adds some pressure to the equation. I definitely give him credit for getting the job done on a day when he didn't really have most of his repertoire working for him, but he was fortunate to get out of this one in the shape that he did.
Ambiorix Burgos relieved Maine in the fifth inning and retired Abraham Nunez on a groundout to first to get out of a bases-loaded jam. He ultimately surrendered a three-run homerun in the following inning to Ryan Howard, but he wound up in the position to do so by a convergence of unfortunate events. After getting Hamels to ground out to Valentin at second, Burgos unleashed a horribly wild pitch that actually hit Jimmy Rollins on a bounce. More often than not, a pitch like that will skid harmlessly to the backstop, provided there are no runners on base. After the Rollins HBP, Shane Victorino blooped a single to right, sending Rollins to third. With runners on the corners and two very good left-handed hitters due up, the time seemed right to bring in Pedro Feliciano. Well, that didn't happen. Burgos would strike out Chase Utley but worked a deep count on Howard before surrendering the bomb. The Mets have a bullpen full of southpaws, and that seemed as good a time as any to bring one in. The Mets would eventually win the game, but that doesn't negate the fact that it was a questionable move to say the least.
After Burgos, Joe Smith, Pedro Feliciano and Billy Wagner hurled three perfect innings, striking out four batters in the process.
At the plate the Mets hammered out twelve hits and drew seven walks, plating eleven runs in total and seven in the eighth inning alone. Carlos Beltran and Moises Alou both reached base three times, and Carlos Delgado had his best game of the season, collecting three singles (one via bunt) and a walk to go along with a sacrifice fly. Every regular had at least one base knock and six different hitters drew at least one walk.
The Mets have a wretched off-day tomorrow before picking up again on Wednesday.
- Hitting: Carlos Delgado, 32.3% WPA
- Pitching: Pedro Feliciano, 5.5% WPA
- Hitting: David Wright, -23.9% WPA
- Pitching: Ambiorix Burgos, -29.6% WPA