After a decent debut, a horrendous fifth inning, and some offense -- but not enough to keep up -- the Mets dropped the second game of their weekend series with the Phillies by a score of 9-4. Shaun Marcum was serviceable in his first start as a New York Met, but the bullpen was less so, and Philadelphia's Jonathan Pettibone (and others) managed to keep the Met bats mostly quiet.
Marcum started well, striking out Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley to start the game and getting through his first two innings mostly unscathed (helped in part by a failed steal attempt by John Mayberry in the second, falling at John Buck's sword). His fastball was sitting around 85 MPH for the most part, and while his control wasn't pristine it was good enough, considering the fact that he's been hurt off and on for weeks. He ran into a bit of trouble in the third, though, giving up a leadoff single to Pettibone and another following to Rollins. Utley brought the pitcher in to score on a ground-rule double, and Rollins did the same after a wild pitch. A Ryan Howard sacrifice fly brought in the third Philadelphia run and it looked like Marcum was in flames. He recovered to end the third and pitch a clean 4th, and left after 71 pitches with three runs, three strikeouts, and two walks to his name.
It looked like Marcum's opposite number might struggle, early. The first two Met batters to face Pettibone (in his second major league start) both reached after he hit them with pitches. But although they were able to get some runners on base, for the most part Pettibone stopped the bleeding. In the first, a Daniel Murphy double play ended a nascent rally. A double in the 2nd by Jordany Valdespin plated one, but that was all. In the fourth, the Mets loaded the bases with no outs - and scored once. They ended up with four runs (one on a late Buck home run, after the game was mostly decided) but could have had more, and needed every run they could get.
They needed runs in large part because of a catastrophic 5th inning performance by young Robert Carson. The reliever entered after Justin Turner for some reason batted for Marcum in the fourth inning (striking out with runners on the corners to end the inning, nearly causing me to punt my laptop), and opened a can of gas over the Phillies' fire. A leadoff double and a walk to Michael Young put two on for Ryan Howard, who did his best to ground out to shortstop. Ruben Tejada failed to come up with it - called a hit, but I'm not sure - and a run scored. After back-to-back home runs by Domonic Brown and Mayberry, it was 8-2 Phillies, and they never looked back.
Overall it wasn't a horrible performance by the Mets outside of the fifth inning, but it wasn't a very good one either. The Mets will have to look to salvage something tomorrow afternoon, when Jon Niese faces Cole Hamels, or Coal Hammels if that's what you prefer.
- David Wright went 2-for-4, picking up a run scored and a rib-eye steak. He's at .308/.433/.513 right now, which in clinical language is "decent."
- Only two Phillies starters failed to score, and only one (Humberto Quintero) didn't get on base. He will not get to eat with the rest of the team tonight. Laynce Nix (the other not to score) will, but he only gets appetizers.
- Scott Rice, whose middle name had better be Grantland or Condoleeza, was effective for two innings. In the ninth he assisted the first two outs of a clean inning, and recorded the third unassisted. This is the baseball equivalent of hitting two threes in the fourth quarter of a basketball game, when you're a bench player and your team is down twenty with a minute and a half left.
SB Nation Coverage
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* The Good Phight Gamethread
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jimmy Rollins (16.8%), Lucas Duda (8.9%)
Big losers: Jonathan Pettibone (-4.3%), Robert Carson (-31.3%)
Teh aw3s0mest play: Lucas Duda singles to right, David Wright advances to third; bottom 4th inning (+12.4%)
Teh sux0rest play: Chase Utley RBI ground-rule double, top 3rd inning (-17.4%)
Total pitcher WPA: -50.7%
Total batter WPA: +0.7%
GWRBI!: Domonic Brown