It was a game that saw an unassisted triple play, the Mets starter leaving in the middle of bat of a 3-0 count to the opposing pitcher in the first inning and an inside-the-park home run. What better way to showcase the return of Pedro Martinez to New York?
Pedro wasn’t great but he did enough to get the win, even though he allowed four runs in six innings. Had it not been a dreadful performance by Oliver Perez, the Mets probably could have won this game. Perez didn’t even make it out of the first inning, allowing six runs on two three-run bombs. To be fair, it looked like the umpire was squeezing him a bit. When Perez went on a 3-0 count to Martinez, Jerry Manuel yanked him, having seen enough. It was embarassing for the Mets, Perez and the fans. You just had to feel sorry for the guy, who looked like he might cry as he ran off the field. The $12 million man was pitching more like a $12 man.
Although the Mets were down by six runs, they started to chip away at the lead. Angel Pagan had a great day at the plate. In his first at-bat, he hit what should’ve been a double, but the ball got stuck under the padding in left center field. Shane Victorino threw his hands up as if to say it was a ground-rule double, but the umpire wasn’t buying it. So, Pagan kept running and earned himself an inside-the-park home run. Jeff Francoeur then tripled to scored Daniel Murphy to make it 6-2.
The Phillies came back in the third off of a Pedro RBI and a sacrifice fly by Jimmy Rollins against reliever Nelson Figueroa. In the bottom of the inning, the Mets got two back after Pagan hit his second home run of the game, and Cory Sullivan grounded out, scoring a run. No one would score again until the seventh inning when Murphy hit an RBI single to make the game 8-5.
Pat Misch pitched four scoreless innings, rebounding after a rough inning the night before. Sean Green then came into the game and struggled, allowing a run on a wild pitch. Sometimes, he’s lights out and other times he’s so wild, he hits batters and throws balls into the dirt. It’s very frustrating to watch. In the eighth inning, Anderson Hernandez doubled in another run, making the game 9-6.
The Mets weren’t done. With Brad Lidge closing, Pagan reached third base on a throwing error by Ryan Howard. Luis Castillo reached safely at first and Pagan scored, thanks to an Eric Bruntlett error. Because of the back-to-back errors, the Mets had closed the gap to two runs with no outs. Murphy reached on an infield single, advancing Castillo to second. With men on first and second and the big bat of Francoeur up, the Mets faithful were in a frenzy.
However, a win was not meant to be as Francoeur hit into just the 15th unassisted triple play of all time. Castillo had darted for third in a stolen base attempt. Francoeur lined the ball into the glove of Bruntlett, who stepped on second to get Castillo out and then tagged out Murphy to end the game. It was a surprising ending to a riotous game. Pedro got his second win as a Philly and his first at Citi Field.
The two teams finish their four-game wraparound series Monday afternoon. Bobby Parnell tries to forget about his last dreadful outing and beat Cliff Lee. Good luck.