The Rubber Game: Phillies 6 Mets 5
Roy Halladay vs R.A. Dickey
The Mets have now played 41 straight games without getting back to back wins.
My Vitamin Water strike continues...I will not drink another Vitamin Water until the Mets finally win back to back games!
The Phillie Phanatic was dressed up as Lady Gaga in that scary as hell red outfit for this game! It was awesome. Take a look:
I am the kind of person who gets very excited for things. When I look forward to something I'm just on a high like no other. And usually in life when a person gets excited for something to happen like I do there is a good chance you will be disappointed. This doesn't always happen though. This past Wednesday I saw the bands "Arcade Fire" and "Spoon" at MSG and that was a concert that well I was stoked for, I had been dying to see these two bands for a while now and well it lived up to every expectation I had and more. Then there was the time everyone and their grandmother hyped up the Bill Murray movie "Lost In Translation" and when I saw it on DVD I was so not impressed. I think my exact words were something like "Ehh that's it?! That was kind of boring." So yeah all that positive buzz about that film and my enthusiasm to see it ultimately led me to be disappointed.
And well today's game sadly was another "Lost In Translation" experience for me! In this Mets rotation I look forward to Dickey's starts even more than I look forward to Santana's starts. So yeah that's saying a lot because I love watching Santana pitch. And honestly I thought today was going to be Dickey's day to shine just like Santana did yesterday. I even thought he would shine so bright that he would defeat Halladay and the Phillies. Yes I'm a silly optimist. Yes I'm naive. Yes I have to stop living on some fantasy planet. Everyone knows this by now. I know this. The Phillie Phanatic even knows this.
This morning after I was done with my run at the park I ended up talking to my Dad and some other Mets fans. At the park where I run you get a lot of Yankees fans and well you get some Mets fans who try to hold their heads up high even after the worst Metsies losses. I enjoy these people. Basically I will talk to pretty much anyone about the Mets. So I chatted with this group of men and well I had said "If the Mets can score early in this game, get at Halladay right away, even take a 2-0 lead, the way Dickey has been pitching this game can be a victorino for the Metsies." And well my Dad wasn't having that optimism and he instead said "Dickey is due to have a bad start." And why does it have to be that father knows best!? There could have been a show called "Daughter Knows Best?!"
I wanted to be so right today and well I was right that the Mets would attack Halladay early on. And they did this. In the top of the first Reyes led off with a double. His 22nd double of the season! Then Pagan bloop singled, Reyes scored and the Metsies took a 1-0 lead over the Phillies. I was thinking that I was like Nostradamus or something at this point. Boy was I in for a reality check. Then during Beltran's at bat Pagan stole 2nd but sadly Beltran popped up and there was now 1 out. Then during Wright's at bat Crazy Horse stole 3rd but sadly Wright struck out. BUT Isaac Benjamin Davis who had a 5 game hitting streak on the line going into this game was up. And well Ike wanted to make me think I was even cooler than Nostradamus. Ike got an infield hit! This ball he hit knocked Halladay's glove off of Roy's hand and well the glove traveled all the way to the outfield. It was ridiculous and well I was loving this first inning! Pagan scored, Ike extended his hitting streak to 6 games and the Mets were up 2-0 in the first just like I had predicted. Fernando Martinez then lined out to end this inning, ugh.
I'm happy Martinez is with the squad and all but really I am not happy he will be sharing so much playing time with Frenchy in right. I know Frenchy sucks a lot of the time but his arm and the way he has been hitting the ball over the last couple of games is reason enough for me to have allowed him to be in the lineup today. I would have sat Beltran but my name is not Jerry Manuel although Danielle does rhyme with Manuel. Now I will be super sarcastic just in case you can't tell. I mean of course it makes sense to NOT play the one guy who might be on a hot streak now. The one man who has been the Mets offense in their last two wins against the Phils and the Braves. The only person who could score a run for the Mets against the Phils yesterday. Of course BENCH him. It makes so much sense! NOT!
So as of now I felt like a genius because the Mets had this early lead and well I was in for a rude awakening. Although Dickey pitched a 1,2,3 1st inning he definitely was off. There was something up with that knuckleball. He was relying on his fast ball way too much and well the Phillies looked like they were onto the secret of cracking THE DICKEY CODE and oh they figured him out all right in the bottom of the 2nd and then the bottom of the 3rd, ugh ugh ugh! After Dickey had retired the first 4 Phillies (these 4 outs were all ground ball outs) he faced Jayson Werth with one out in the bottom of the 2nd and that bearded Werth solo homered. The Phils now cut the Mets lead to 2-1. I wasn't feeling like such a smarty pants Nostradamus anymore. Then the youngin Domonic Brown (who is another super impressive NL rookie) lined out to right. I was thinking the Mets would get out of this inning now. But nope Dickey walked Brian Schneider. Oh I hate these Metsies two out walks. It's so rampant lately! But Valdez thankfully grounded out and well I didn't feel so stupid about my prediction for this game just yet. Only a bit stupid.
But in the bottom of the 3rd I became the biggest schmuck on the planet. I was so off about this game! Paul Rudd as a result is scheduled to take me to another dinner for idiots tonight! After Dickey retired Halladay the shit hit the fan. Oh it did. Rollins doubled. Then Polanco grounded a ball to Reyes, Reyes bobbled that sucker and there was no play for him to make. And lately when Jose Jose Jose makes an error it ends up leading to a horrible no good very bad inning with tons and tons of scoring. And yep this inning lived up to that reputation! With men on 1st and 2nd and 1 out Gload who is Keith Hernandez's #1 fan (well I'll fight him for that title) rbi singled. Rollins beat Martinez's throw to the plate and the game was now tied 2-2. Now the hot hot hot Ibanez was up with men on 1st and 3rd and still 1 out. Ibanez had a 15 game hitting streak on the line going into this game. A league leading 15 game hitting streak and well he extended that streak to 16 games. He hit a 3 run homer and this game was getting out of hand. Maybe if it wasn't Halladay on the mound a 5-2 Phils lead over the Mets wouldn't immediately send Mets fans to shut off their tvs or well to break them. I actually did neither and I continued to watch this nightmare. Then Werth was up and he doubled. Thankfully Brown lined out to Wright for the 2nd time this game and all Dickey had to do to get out of this inning was get Schneider out. This should have been easy but nope Brian got a 2 out single and the Phils took a 6-2 lead over the Mets. Then Valdez singled. And then Halladay even got on base. Roy hit a ground ball right at Dickey, R.A. threw to Ike but Davis couldn't scoop the ball and Roy had an infield hit and the bases were loaded for Rollins. But by some amazing miracle Rollins flew out and this inning was over. Sadly this also meant Dickey was out of the game. But because he pitched so few innings there is a chance he might start Tuesday against Ubaldo Jimenez and the Colorado Rockies. We will find out in due time if it's R.A. or Big Pelf on the mound this Tuesday night! But back to this game, sheesh I'm jumping ahead of myself here.
The Mets added another run in the top of the 6th. After Reyes led off with his 23rd double of the season Pagan rbi doubled and the Mets were chipping away at the Phils lead. This was now only a 3 run ball game, 6-3. But Beltran and Wright both struck out and Davis grounded out and Pagan remained stranded at 2nd.
After this inning where the Metsies left Pagan to well melt in the sun they didn't give up just yet! Thanks to the new young blood in the lineup the Mets rallied in the top of the 7th. Martinez led off with a single then Thole doubled and Tejada grounded out but Fernando scored and Thole advanced to 3rd. The Mets were now down just 6-4 to the Phils and men were on 1st and 3rd with one out for the pinch hitting THE ANIMAL Carter! And Chris delivered big time. Carter who Ron said has lost 15 lbs since being called up by the Metsies rbi doubled! Thole scored and now this was a one run game, 6-5! And Halladay then even walked Reyes to put men on 1st and 2nd with still just one out for Pagan. But ugh Angel flew out. And then Beltran struck out yet again, Carlos' 3rd straight K, and the rally was over. Beltran and Wright in this game accounted for 6 of Halladay's 10 K's on the afternoon.
Thanks to a bullpen combination of Valdes, Takahashi, Feliciano and Acosta who did not give up any runs the Mets were still in this game in the top of the 9th. They were still down 6-5 and well Brad Lidge was struggling right from the start. He gave up a lead off single to Thole. Then Tejada hit a double play ball but since the hit and run play was on the only play to make was at 1st and Thole was safe at 2nd with 1 out and Carter was now up. Ron was pretty sure he was going to hit a rocket out of Citizens Bank Park. But Ron like myself is no Nostradamus. Carter grounded out and it was up to Reyes to score Thole who was now at 3rd. And Reyes sadly flew out to Werth and the game was over and the Mets yet again could not win back to back games.
The Mets haven't won back to back games since June 23rd! They also haven't won a road series against an NL team all season long. And the next opportunity they'll get to do that will be against Houston and Pittsburgh. But first the Metsies face the Colorado Rockies and the Phillies at Citi Field before they get to go on the road again. Oh the road, you are so evil.
And before I end this one let's just look at some booth shenanigans:
After the camera man got the 1500th shot of a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich during this series Keith said "Oh goodness...ROLAIDS!" He also just kept going "Ohhhh, grunt grunt, ohhhh." I imagine he's not allowed to eat one of these delicious sandwiches on that diet of his. Poor dude! I would totally be on board for him to cheat on his diet after this game!
As I mentioned before Gload is a huge fan of Keith's. I believe it was Gary who told Keith Gload idolized him growing up in Long Island. And Keith just acted like of course he did, who didn't! Who doesn't still!
Keith also showed off his use of clever puns. He created this saying. "Dickey is a competitor. He doesn't knuckle under." Haha he said knuckle about the knuckleballer! And yeah right after he said this the horrible 3rd inning occurred so yeah maybe Keith is the scapegoat for this game! He put the kibosh on!
After Gary and Ron mentioned that Dan Warthen is pretty sure he figured out what Pelf's problems on the mound have been due to, Keith said something about "Western Union" and then he remarked "OH send me a limo." Yeah this confused me.
Then Kevin Burkhardt shared a story with the booth and us fans about Valdes. It turns out Raul tried to escape Cuba 5 times before he was successful. And 4 of those times he was arrested. Obviously these Metsies current struggles are nothing too hard for him to deal with. Keith remarked "He was living under tyranny!"
When Luis Castillo pinch hit in this game in the top of the 5th, he of course struck out. This led the booth to muse about what the Metsies will do with Castillo. Will they try to get rid of him now or this off season since they are pretty much set on letting Tejada play pretty much every day from this point on. And Keith said, "Last season no one wanted him. It will be no different this time around, right?" Yep Castillo (and his two different sized legs) is that last kid to be picked in a game of dodgeball!
And Keith lastly shared his father's mantra with us fans. It goes "Trust your hands."
Well the Mets have off tomorrow and "Tuesday is a new day," yeah this mantra of mine is so not working anymore. Maybe I should learn some more of Papa Hernandez's mantras to spice up these recaps!
I'm just going to stay positive because it's my nature and well I'm going to pretend the Mets are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. That there is even a good chance they can win the next two series against the Rockies and the Phils at Citi Field. That Pelf if he does get the start against Jimenez on Tuesday will pitch a gem. Yes I will pretend this all might happen. I'm gonna believe for just a little longer the Mets still have one long winning streak in them. Oh I am.