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Phillies 2, Mets 1: Halladay Gives 'em Hell

Compare Roy Halladay's performance against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park last season on May 1st with what he did today:

IP H R BB K Pitches
May 1st, 2010 9 3 0 1 6 118
April 30th, 2011 9 7 1 1 8 107

Near-identical, dominating starts about a year apart. The difference is that Mets pitchers allowed 10 runs in last year's game while Jon Niese and a trio of relievers combined to hold the Phillies' bats in check today. The Mets were actually leading 1-0 this afternoon thanks to a Carlos Beltran RBI single in the fourth inning, before Niese gave up a solo home run to John Mayberry leading off the seventh. Niese then allowed a single to Wilson Valdez, inexplicably walked recent call-up Dane Sardinha and struck out Halladay before giving way to Taylor Buchholz. Shane Victorino singled off Buchholz to load the bases and the red hot Placido Polanco drove in Valdez with a sacrifice fly. Halladay shut the Mets down in the eighth and ninth innings and that's your ballgame.

Niese wasn't exactly dominant -- he tallied just 3 swinging strikes and 3 strikeouts in 6.1 innings. He threw a first pitch strike to only 9 of the 27 batters he faced, or 33.3%. Compare to his 2011 rate of 60.9% and career rate of 60.4%. Regardless, he held the Phils scoreless through six innings and notched ten groundball outs. That seventh inning walk to Sardinha was the killer. Sardinha's career OPS is .596 -- in the minor leagues. Issuing him a free pass is kangaroo court fine-worthy.

The Mets' 1-through-4 batters went 5-for-14 with a walk against Halladay. That's not bad at all. Unfortunately, Jason Bay and Ike Davis, batting fifth and sixth, respectively, were a combined 0-for-8 with 4 strikeouts. Bay didn't stand a chance, swinging-and-missing at 6 of 15 pitches and K'ing 3 times. Ike took the HACK approach, swinging at five of the seven(!) pitches he saw. He is allowed a bad game. The results of Ike's four plate appearances: double play, foul out, strikeout, ground out. Bill Petti of Beyond The Boxscore notes that Ike has swung at 32% of first pitches this season as compared to just 7% last season. Whether it's indicative of a new approach or just small sample size noise remains to be seen.

This was a tough one, especially after last night's debacle. Beating Halladay would have been a nice morale boost for the fans, and presumably for the team as well. At least it was a quick game, clocking in at just 2 hours, 25 minutes. Speed is king if the Mets are to lose.

The third and final game of the series is tomorrow night at 8:00 on ESPN. Chris Young vs. Cliff Lee is the pitching matchup.

K Counter by sparbz

SB Nation Coverage

* Traditional Recap
* Boxscore
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* The Good Phight Gamethread

Win Probability Added


Big winners: David Wright +14.7%, Jon Niese +8.7% (as pitcher)
Big losers: Ike Davis -22.2%, Jason Bay -15.8%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wilson Valdez doube play +15.6%
Teh sux0rest play: John Mayberry home run -23.3%
Total pitcher WPA: +0.7%
Total batter WPA: -50.7%
GWRBI!: Placido Polanco

Game Thread Roll Call

Nice job by Brooklyn Dodgers Mets Fan; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.

Num Name # of Posts
1 Brooklyn Dodgers Mets Fan 172
2 sparbz 92
3 mistermet 74
4 TKFJ 67
5 I'mGivingYouARaise 58
6 MetsFan4Decades 53
7 Mets-Suns-Texans 53
8 the caveman 47
9 aparkermarshall 43
10 MilnerTime 34