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Phillies 8, Mets 2: The Art of Bad Fielding

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Take a look at your only runs of the day... (Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE)
Take a look at your only runs of the day... (Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE)

Cole Hamels doesn't pitch well against the Mets. Mike Pelfrey doesn't pitch well in Philadelphia. Knowing these factoids, one would have anticipated a typical CBP slugfest. What we got instead was a pitchers' duel of sorts. It was instead the Mets' defense (unsurprisingly) and their bullpen (somewhat surprisingly) that proved the difference.

Hamels allowed a two-out two-run Ike Davis blast in the first inning but he was otherwise stellar, striking out 10, scattering six hits, and walking only one over seven innings of work. The Mets had very few scoring opportunities after the first inning, and all were squandered.

Pelfrey, meanwhile, ceded singles to the first three batters he faced, but limited the damage to one run in that frame and managed to keep the ball on the ground for the most part thereafter. Granted, he did this against a Phillies lineup featuring Pete Orr, Juan Pierre, and Laynce Nix, but hey, baby steps.

The Mets carried a slim 2-1 lead into the seventh when they handed the ball to Ramon Ramirez, who conspired with the defense to give the Phillies a lead. Lucas Duda misplayed a Jimmy Rollins ball into a bloop single, while Mike Nickeas mishandled a ball in the dirt to put two runners in scoring position. A sac fly and a double just beyond Scott Hairston's reach put the Phils on top for the first time in the series.

The home team ran away with it in the bottom of the eighth after a Tejada error prolonged the inning. Manny Acosta walked in a run, then Miguel Batista gave up a bases-clearing double, and added to the idiocy while watching a grounder roll up the first base line while Wigginton raced home behind his back.

The best that can be said of the later frames was the Mets batters forced Jonathan Papelbon to throw 26 pitches to protect a six-run lead. But, as a great poet once said, two outta three ain't bad. And that poet's name was The Guy Who Wrote Songs for Meat Loaf.