In their 7-1 win on Monday night, the Mets seemed to put their recent offensive woes behind them. Furthermore, what better way to solidify that forward movement for the Mets than by facing Cole Hamels?
Going into Tuesday night, Hamels was 7-14 lifetime against the Mets. David Wright and Daniel Murphy were hitting a career .329 and .386, respectively, against him. Over the last three seasons, Hamels's ERA versus the Amazins was an absolutely delicious 5.06. Simply put: it should have been feast time for the Mets offense.
Sadly, though, Hamels brought only famine and desolation, striking out eight over eight shutout innings and helping the Phillies even the series tonight with a 6-0 win. There was much talk going into the game of Hamels being a likely trade candidate for the struggling Phillies. The Mets, ever generous, clearly upped his value in the contest at Citi Field tonight.
To be fair, the final score does not reflect the true performance of Mets starter Dillon Gee. After an abysmal start in Milwaukee last week in which he gave up six runs, this start represented a partial return to form for the Mets righty. The only hiccups he experienced over the first six innings came in the form of two solo home runs. The first was on a gift-wrapped fastball to Jimmy Rollins that the Phillies shortstop—and perpetual irritant—smacked into the right field seats to put the Phillies up 1-0 in the third. The second came off the bat of Grady Sizemore, who, after fouling off three straight pitches, blasted a slider off the right field foul pole. Nevertheless, though he only struck out two, Gee certainly gave the Mets a chance to win.
Unfortunately for him, the Mets could not get anything going against Hamels. Though they recorded at least one hit in the first four innings, Hamels allowed only two runners to get to second base the whole game. In the first inning, with Eric Campbell at first and Curtis Granderson at second, he struck out Chris Young to end the potential threat. Then in the fourth, after David Wright hustled out a double, Hamels set down Campbell on three pitches to strand the Captain. Though he allowed an infield hit to Wilmer Flores with two outs in the fourth, Hamels retired the next thirteen Mets he saw without breaking a sweat.
And if the Amazins' utter ineptitude at the plate wasn't depressing enough; Mets fans had to endure the top of the seventh inning, which was just a slow crawl towards despair. Dominic Brown singled to right to lead off the inning. After Cody Asche flew out, Hamels laid down a bunt to sacrifice Brown over to second with two outs. Gee then hit Ben Revere with a fastball, and the next pitch he threw (to Jimmy Rollins) went all the way to the backstop to advance the runners to second and third. Gee then walked Rollins to load the bases. Possibly sensing things were starting to fall apart, Terry decided to call in Josh Edgin from the bullpen to record the final out against Chase Utley. The left-hander promptly threw a fastball that Utley smashed to put the Phillies up 6-0 and stick Gee with an extra three earned runs for his stat line. Ryan Howard mercifully followed with a ground out to second, perhaps sensing the Mets had had enough.
In spite of Buddy Carlyle coming in in the eighth and holding the Phillies at six for the final two innings; the Mets went down in order against Hamels in both the seventh and eighth. After Ryne Sandberg brought in Ken Giles to pitch the ninth, Eric Campbell registered a one out single to give the Mets their first hit since the fourth inning. Keeping with the pattern of the night though, pinch hitter Bobby Abreu grounded out to first, and Travis d'Arnaud flew out to Grady Sizemore to end the game.
Tomorrow, the Mets hope Zack Wheeler will lead them back to victory as they attempt take the series from the Phillies. Game time is 12:10 EDT.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Curtis Granderson, 6.5; Buddy Carlyle, 0.1
Big losers: Daniel Murphy, -13.6; Josh Edgin -12.8
Teh aw3s0mest play: Curtis Granderson single, bottom of the third
Teh sux0rest play: Jimmy Rollins home run, top of the third
Total pitcher WPA: -16.5
Total batter WPA: -33.5
GWRBI!: Jimmy Rollins home run, top of the third