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Mets 9, Phillies 5: Vance Worley Is a Slump-Buster

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At least the Mets can look good against the Phillies' sixth starter and junior varsity lineup. If they couldn't, things would be really bad. The 9-5 Sunday laugher might have been semi-predictable, but it still felt good.

Especially since the best play in baseball, the Jose Reyes triple, started things off. Seriously, any Reyes triple is like bacon on top of chocolate ice cream cake with sunshine inside. And, topping off this particular sundae feat was the fact that it was aided by Raul-Ibanez-like defense from Raul Ibanez. We don't have actual images from the play, but this gif from mistermet pretty much nails it.

Yeah, that was fun.

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When Reyes added a second triple in the fifth, the exuberance reached the booth. "This is the best he's ever been," said Gary Cohen. Truer words rarely spoken about Reyes, who is one of the most exciting players in the league and may yet not fit into the Mets future payroll plans. Bah. For now, bask in the Caribbean daiquiri-soaked vacation goodness that is Jose Reyes. He finished the game with four hits in five plate appearances.

Like any pitcher with an xFIP two runs better than his ERA, Vance Worley was due for regression. The Jason Bay single that followed Reyes' score was legit, but the following singles by Daniel Murphy, Josh Thole and Ruben Tejada (which sandwiched a boot by Jimmy Rollins) could have been outs if angles and positioning and timing had been just fractionally different. But it's nice to see some other team make mistakes in the field, some other team allow flared RBI singles, some other team wonder when the dang inning would end. Four runs in the first set the tone.

Josh Thole was aching for some regression in the other direction. He received some BABIP love on his first three hits in his first three plate appearances. The hits weren't, in other words, scorching line drives. The third hit was a nice single up the middle, but like any million-hopper it had a chance to be picked. For some reason, Thole over-ran second base after plating Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan in the second inning. He didn't seem to be hoofing it back to an uncovered second second, either, but that was most likely just his top speed and our eyes deceiving us. We can still feel a little better that Thole had a good game, and that, in particular, he didn't strike out. Fewer strikeouts and better BABIP love is all that is separating him from last year's decent work.

There were a few times when the Phillies made things interesting. In the third, Jose Reyes saw a ball go straight through the wickets. After that moment of lost focus from the Mets shortstop of the now, a few singles in a row plated a run, but Niese ended up striking out Ben Francisco to end the threat. In the seventh, Rollins got to second by way of steal (which, seriously, is just fine if he thinks he's going to pull it off, it's not like the game was over yet). Raul Ibanez hit a solo home run in the eighth inning, I guess. Domonic Brown and Dane Sardinha plated some runs in the eighth, too. Oh and in the ninth Francisco plated Ibanez off of Pedro Beato. If the Mets bullpen had been better recently (and on Saturday), you might have said the Phillies never really made the game tight.

Jon Niese was excellent. He threw 25 curves (20.5%) and got three swinging strikes (12%) on them. The curve was a positive pitch by linear weights in the game, and the pitch he used the most other than his four-seamer. He embraced the curve. He was one with the curve. He got his first wild pitch of the season on the curve, but that's just a function of using it more, most likely. The lefty's cutter was working well too. He even dialed the four-seamer up to 93 on the gun to get the Francisco strikeout.

It was a good game. More than half of the lineup (Jose Reyes, Jason Bay, Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner and Josh Thole) collected multiple hits, so it had to be. Never mind the fact that Vance Worley, Wilson Valdez, Michael Martinez, Ben Francisco, John Mayberry and Dane Sardinha started for the Phillies. Enjoy it anyway.

Unintentional sexual quote of the game: "He slipped him the deuce" - Gary Cohen

SB Nation Coverage

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

Win Probability Added

20110529_phillies_mets_0_20110529151516_lbig__medium

Big winners: Angel Pagan (+11.6%), Josh Thole (+10.1%), Jon Niese (+9%)
Big losers: Vance Worley (-40.6%)
Teh aw3s0mest play: Angel Pagan reach on error to shortstop (grounder). Jason Bay scored on error.
Teh sux0rest play: Placido Polanco singled to left (liner). Dane Sardinha scored.
Total pitcher WPA: +9.4%
Total batter WPA: +40.6%
GWRBI!: Daniel Murphy

Game Thread Roll Call

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

Name # of Posts
Brooklyn Dodgers Mets Fan 138
MetsFan4Decades 130
freakystyley 126
KeithsMoustache 122
mistermet 81
TKFJ 78
aparkermarshall 74
blueandorange4life 61
Russ 56
fxcarden 53
itsmetsforme 46
Hoyadestroya85 38
TMS 29
guyfish 21
the caveman 20
graves9 19
Brian. 14
Jsz 14
Crazy Nyce Dave 12
BurleighGrimes 12
James Kannengieser 10
HotChipWillBreakYourLegs 10
Eno Sarris 6
Kepler 6
Moshe52792 4
hnymustprtzl 4
hotspur 4
metsguy234 3
BeltransMole 3
DJ_JT 3
astromets 3
feslenraster 2
blains2000 2
BlueChill 1
Cranky50 1
TheKid08 1
Brooklyn Tar Heels 1