The good vibes generated by tonight's weird win against the Phillies were tempered by David Wright's late departure due to injury. It's always fun to beat the Phils, even post-Jimmy Rollins, but the sight of Captain Wright walking gingerly off the field after an awkward slide into second base was disconcerting.
Mets fans who jammed Citi Field tonight to watch Matt Harvey may have been slightly disappointed by the young ace's performance, if only because his spring training and regular season debut set unfairly high expectations. He struck out eight and walked none in his six innings of work, but he also allowed three runs and looked shaky at times. Two of those three runs allowed came via solo home run (to Chase Utley and Cody Asche), which I am happy to blame on a jinx placed by the Mets' official Twitter account:
After the Phillies went up 1-0 on Utley's homer, the Mets tied it up in the bottom of the frame on Michael Cuddyer's RBI single. Our heroes extended their lead to 4-1 on a clutch three-run double by Lucas Duda in the second inning. It was a lead the Mets would never relinquish. Travis d'Arnaud's RBI single in the fifth inning and Daniel Murphy's solo home run in the seventh inning accounted for the rest of the Mets' scoring.
Harvey was also in the middle of perhaps the most entertaining moment of the game. After Phillies starter David Buchanan drilled Cuddyer and Wilmer Flores in the second inning, Harvey pegged Chase Utley in the back with 96 mph heat in the fifth inning in what was almost certainly retaliation. Utley jogged to first base without incident as Harvey watched.
Cuddyer left the game after getting hit on the hand by Buchanan, but X-rays came up negative. Wright wasn't so lucky. He pulled his right hamstring stealing second base in the eighth inning and left the game. It sounds like he is preparing to hit the DL. This led to the short-bench Mets sending backup catcher/beefcake Anthony Recker out to play third base in the ninth inning. Recker saw no action in the frame (praise Dickey), but it was one of several weird moments from tonight's game. Here are some others:
- Terry Collins failed to challenge Harvey hitting Freddy Galvis with a pitch in the third inning in a timely manner, leading to a four-minute delay in the game as umpires deliberated (Harvey was already on the mound as Collins attempted to challenge the call). Replays didn't definitively show whether the pitched grazed Galvis's jersey, but had Collins challenged, the call may have been overturned and the at-bat would have continued.
- Home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez made a phantom catcher's interference call against d'Arnaud that almost cost the Mets big-time. Replays showed that d'Arnaud's mitt did not touch Ryan Howard's bat as he fouled off a pitch in the fifth inning, but the big first baseman was nonetheless awarded first base. It was an atrocious, inexplicable call that loaded the bases with two outs. Luckily, Carlos Ruiz popped out to end the frame.
- Terry Collins was ejected after arguing the catcher's interference call.
- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg challenged that Duda was safe at home on d'Arnaud's RBI single in the fifth inning. He was indeed safe, and the umpire review determined as much, but Marquez missed that Duda had initially scraped home plate with his foot while sliding, instead ruling him safe when he dove back to touch the plate with his hand. It was such a weird play that I struggle to describe it clearly.
- Bad player Jeff Francoeur hit a solo home run off good pitcher Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning. Welcome back, Frenchy!
- Jacob "deGnome" was hanging out behind home plate for some of the game:
The Mets will try to sweep the Philth on Wednesday at Citi Field. Game time is 7:10 pm and the pitching matchup is Jon Niese vs Jerome Williams.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Lucas Duda +27.0%, Michael Cuddyer +11.9%
Big losers: Kirk Nieuwenhuis -7.7%, David Wright -2.7%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Lucas Duda three-run double in the second inning +27.0%
Teh sux0rest play: David Buchanan double in the fifth inning -9.7%
Total pitcher WPA: +10.7%
Total batter WPA: +39.3%
GWRBI!: Daniel Murphy solo home run in seventh inning