NY Sports Dog: July 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mets Fall to Second

Even with the Mets loss last night they had a great July.

The team played well, pitched well, and key players hit well. I am optimistic for several reasons.

The team just completed 9 games in 9 days against three of the top teams in the National League and came out of it 5-4. Sure it could've been better, but it could have been much worse too.

The schedule looks very favorable for the Mets, with 29 home games and 25 away games remaining. Moreover, the winning pct of their remaining opponents is .473.

Pedro comes back on Friday, and it appears Ryan Church is right behind him.

I am very worried about John Maine.

Thanks to the good folks at Coolstandings we can see what the Mets, Phils and Marlins remaining schedules look like, and it's clear that the Mets have a slight advantage over their main rivals.


2008 Remaining Schedule
vs. Team PCT H A Tot
ChiCubs .593 4 0 4
Milwaukee .556 0 3 3
Philadelphia .542 3 2 5
Florida .528 6 3 9
Houston .467 4 3 7
Pittsburgh .463 1 4 5
Atlanta .458 6 3 9
San Diego .385 3 0 3
Washington .355 2 7 9
TOTAL .473 29 25 54

2008 Remaining Schedule
vs. Team PCT H A Tot
ChiCubs .593 0 4 4
Milwaukee .556 4 0 4
St. Louis .555 0 3 3
NYMets .537 2 3 5
Florida .528 6 3 9
LADodgers .505 4 4 8
Pittsburgh .463 3 0 3
Atlanta .458 3 3 6
San Diego .385 0 3 3
Washington .355 6 4 10
TOTAL .483 28 27 55

2008 Remaining Schedule
vs. Team PCT H A Tot
ChiCubs .593 3 0 3
St. Louis .555 4 3 7
Philadelphia .542 3 6 9
NYMets .537 3 6 9
Arizona .514 0 3 3
Cincinnati .468 0 1 1
Houston .467 3 0 3
Atlanta .458 3 3 6
Colorado .450 4 0 4
San Francisco .411 0 3 3
Washington .355 3 3 6
TOTAL .494 26 28 54

Zemanta Pixie

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good Morning Mets Fans!

Nice bounceback win for the Mets last night.

Since "interim" manager Jerry Manuel took the helm, the team seems able to get big wins after losses, and doesn't go into those funks that plagued them earlier in the season.

The Mets are an impressive 18-7 in July and are playing solid baseball against their two main rivals.

Ollie Perez took the hill last night and again flashed the "new stuff" that has allowed him to lower his ERA from a problematic 5.29 on June 24th, to a respectable 4.02 on July 29th.

In his last 6 games Ollie has thrown 39 2/3rds innings, allowed only 6 earned runs, 26 hits, 44 Ks, and only 15 walks for a 1.36 ERA.

In a report for Newsday, David Lennon wrote about Jerry Manuel and Ollie:

When Manuel first took over June 17, and was asked about Perez, the interim manager joked that he would watch his starts from the top step. That way, Manuel could get to the mound in a hurry. "I haven't been on the top step for a while with Ollie," Manuel said. "Ollie told me to sit down and be quiet over there, so that's what I'm doing. He's pitching very well."

Just think, 6 weeks ago many were clamoring for Ollie to go to the bullpen. Now, every time it starts it feels like the Mets have a great chance to win and an ace on the hill.

Carlos Delgado continues to rake, and we are starting to run out of superlatives to describe the big first baseman.

Carlos again struck the big blow of the night--a two run bomb in an at bat in which he tried to bunt--and is locked in for NL Player of the Month honors.

In July the big slugger is hitting .372 with 8 doubles, 9 homeruns, and 24 RBIs. He also has a sterling .461 OBP for the month with a .745 slugging percentage. That equates to an OPS of 1.206.

The Mets had a very nice night overall at the plate against a pretty tough starting pitcher.

Jose Reyes went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles to bring his season average to .302. Jose has 53 extra-base hits on the year.

Nervous Nick Evans chipped in with two hits, and David Wright and Carlos Beltran each had an RBI.

The bullpen was exceptional.

Aaron Heilman struck out 4 in 2 innings of work--his first outing since going deep on Saturday night, and Billy Wagner K'd two in the 9th to notch his 27th Save of the year.

John Maine has a "slight" strain in his rotator cuff, which sounds very worrisome. My thoughts are he will miss 2 starts to see if rest and treatment can heal his strain. With two off days coming up, the Mets could skip Maine at least once in the rotation without having to call anyone up or start Heilman.

Big Pelf on the hill tonight, and Pedro tomorrow--should be fun!

Enjoy your coffee!

N.Y. Mets (58-49) «100001020490
Florida (56-51)100000000160
Chevrolet Players of the Game
New York

C. Delgado
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

New York

O. Perez
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 3
K 5
Vote for the Chevrolet Player of the Week
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5030010 .302
Nick Evans, LF4220001 .250
Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
a- Robinson Cancel, PH1000001 .200
Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000
David Wright, 3B3111111 .294
Carlos Delgado, 1B3112111 .263
Carlos Beltran, CF3011101 .267
Fernando Tatis, RF-LF4010011 .321
Damion Easley, 2B4000003 .275
Ramon Castro, C4000020 .276
Oliver Perez, P2000010 .156
b- Argenis Reyes, PH1000010 .289
Endy Chavez, RF1000000 .270

a-popped out for Heilman in the 9th
b-struck out for Perez in the 7th
2B - Jose Reyes 2 (29, Olsen, Tankersley), Nick Evans (4, Olsen), David Wright (28, Olsen)
HR - Carlos Delgado (23, Pinto)
RBI - David Wright (83), Carlos Delgado 2 (69), Carlos Beltran (72)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Beltran (22)
SB - Jose Reyes (35, 2nd base off Lindstrom/Hoover)
New York Mets
Oliver Perez (W,7-6) 6511350 4.02
Aaron Heilman (H,13) 2100240 4.60
Billy Wagner (S,27) 1000020 1.96
Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 100-63, Aaron Heilman 37-21, Billy Wagner 19-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 5-7, Aaron Heilman 1-1
Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 25, Aaron Heilman 9, Billy Wagner 3

Zemanta Pixie

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mets Rumors Abound

Latest one I heard is Manny Ramirez and Jacoby Ellsbury to the Mets for Carlos Beltran.

My BS alarms is blaring very loudly. Crazy year.

Stay the course Omar, stay the course.

Zemanta Pixie

News and Notes

John Maine will travel to NY today to have an MRI to determine if there's any structural damage on his shoulder. He complained of pain before the game and dropped his shoulder angle during the game, which caused concern for other injuries due to the change in his motion.

Maine is next scheduled to pitch Sunday in Houston.

Pedro Martinez will get the start Friday and will be on an 80 pitch count.

Jerry Manuel named Fernando Tatis his starting leftfielder from here on out.

21-year old John Niese, the Mets best minor league pitcher, has been promoted to AAA.

Zemanta Pixie

Monday, July 28, 2008

Good Morning Mets Fans!

Well that was fun!

Complete game from our ace, lots of timely hitting and the long ball, and absolutely the best homerun robbing catch of 2008.

Yes Mets fans, the team continues to roll, and tonight we face our third top opponent in a row, this time on the road.

Does it get any better than this for a baseball fan?

Johan Santana summoned every bit of his intestinal fortitude to give the Mets exactly what they needed--a dominating complete game performance just a few hours after the Mets and Cards slugged their way through a 14-inning game in which every position player, and the entire bullpen, was used.

Santana was brilliant--118 pitches of brilliant, including holding St Louis hitless into the 5th inning. As we all know, in his previous outing Jerry Manuel pulled him after 8 dominant innings against the Phils, and the Mets lost. This time he finished the deal.

"Today the score was different," Santana said. "Last game I felt good. I had it at 100 pitches. And that's what we do here. But I was told that I was done, because I was supposed to hit in that inning and that they had somebody else hitting for me. And I respect that. . . . And I guarantee you, if I would have gone out there for the ninth and I give up three runs, they were going to say that it was the wrong decision. That's the way it goes."

Johan now sports a sterling 2.93 ERA on the year, and he seems at his best against the Mets rivals. Of his 5 outings in July, he's faced the Phillies twice and the Cards once. In those 3 games he's pitched 25 innings and only allowed 5 earned runs, with 16 Ks and only 1 walk.

That's what an ace does.

There was no shortage of run support for Santana. No substitute players were used, and every Met starter, including Santana, who went 2 for 4, had a hit.

David Wright hit his 20th homerun of the year and now has 82 RBIs. His RBI total ranks 3rd in all of baseball.

Jose Reyes has been on a tear and hit two doubles yesterday. He now has 51 extra-base hits on the season and leads the National League in hits and triples and is second in stolen bases.

Jose Reyes deserves to be in the MVP discussion.

Fernando Tatis continues his surge--3 for 4 and another homerun. With Church apparently due back this weekend, do we really need to add another outfielder?

Tatis is batting .318 on the year and doing everything asked of him. Moreover he has a knack for the clutch hit and superior baseball instincts.

Ramon Castro, aka, the best backup catcher in baseball, hit another homerun yesterday--a lot of Mets fans mistakenly say, "Castro should catch every day." I disagree--he is well suited for his current role and gets enough playing time to stay fresh and contribute. Don't break him down and start him 30-40 percent of the time.

And then there was the Beltran catch....oh my--a jaw-dropping, eye-popping, homerun robbing, Play of the Day making, thing of beauty.

Beltran went back at a sprint, time his leap perfectly just as a bird was flying in front of him, reach way up and over the wall, and then snow-coned it back, while maintaining full body control.

Endy came over for the high five, Santana celebrated the effort of his teammate with an appreciative big wave, the Shea faithful roared in approval, and Keith Hernandez, in the Mets booth, was awe struck.

The catch was that good. It's linked here for your enjoyment.

So tonight we go on the road against the Marlins and the talk and trade rumors go on. Who will the Mets get? Is Raul Ibanez the guy? Will the Mets add a reliever? Are they asking too much for Huston Street?

I still say--stay the course. Get Church back, keep the kids in the system, and let this chemistry continue to work.

Enjoy your coffee!

St. Louis (58-49)000000100160
N.Y. Mets (57-48) «00201510x9170
Players of the Game
New York

F. Tatis
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1

New York

J. Santana
IP 9.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 5

New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5120001 .302
Endy Chavez, RF5120004 .272
David Wright, 3B5132002 .294
Carlos Delgado, 1B4011011 .262
Carlos Beltran, CF5121002 .266
Fernando Tatis, LF4232001 .318
Damion Easley, 2B4110002 .276
Ramon Castro, C2112200 .290
Johan Santana, P4121012 .178
2B - Jose Reyes 2 (27, Lohse, Flores), Fernando Tatis 2 (9, Lohse, Boggs)
HR - David Wright (20, Lohse), Fernando Tatis (7, Lohse), Ramon Castro (6, Lohse)
SF - Carlos Delgado (5)
RBI - David Wright 2 (82), Carlos Delgado (67), Carlos Beltran (71), Fernando Tatis 2 (26), Ramon Castro 2 (20), Johan Santana (1)
2-OUT RBI - David Wright (37), Carlos Beltran (21)
SB - Endy Chavez (6, 2nd base off Lohse/Molina)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Reyes-Easley-Delgado
New York Mets
Johan Santana (W,9-7) 9611151 2.93
Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 118-81
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 5-16
Batters Faced - Johan Santana 33
Game Information
Attendance - 53691
Game Time - 2:30
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Mark Wegner

Zemanta Pixie

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Late Bloomers

My good friend Andy the Lawyer penned an excellent article about "Late Bloomers" and makes a great point about our current outfield.


I started this piece on Tatis a week ago, but it seems even downright prescient now, after he's hit homeruns in consecutive games.

When Tatis was 24, he hit 34 HR and drove in 107 RBI, with a 139 OPS+, for the Cardinals. Despite that, he was never given 500 at-bats in a season ever again, and by 2008 he was a minor leaguer who hadn't played in the majors in two years, a guy generally not expected to do anything and who many complained about getting a call up when he came up to fill in due to injuries.

Suddenly, he has become a key part of the Mets offense, slugging away at a .306/.361/.479 clip with 6 HR and 24 RBI going into today's game, when he went 3 for 4 with a HR, 2 doubles, and 2 more RBI.

The question for Mets fans is, "what do we really have in Tatis?" Is he simply a guy on a hot streak, or has he "got it" at the youthful age of 33?

The tendency in baseball circles is to assume that anyone who is ever going to be a good player will do so by 25 years old or so (maybe longer in the case of pitchers, especially lefties). I think that comes from the way scouts assess prospects, based on how old they are at which levels. And the truth is, if you are going to have a hall-of-fame career, you better get started by 24 years old, since its basically required if you are going to hit the accumulation milestones required for the Hall. But so-called "late bloomers" are seen ALL THE TIME in baseball, baseball "experts" just pretend that it doesn't happen.

Remember Rick Reed? To call Reed a "journeyman" when he came to the Mets would have been charitable. In 1997 he was 32 years old, blackballed as a scab for playing during the strike, a guy with a total of 266.4 innings pitched in a 8 season career. His prior two years, he had only 8 appearances with a 5.90 ERA.

He then proceeded to be a dependable #2 starter, generally one of the best pitchers in baseball over the next two years, and had 2 all-star game appearances in 4.5 seasons as a Met. His career numbers at Shea, when all was said and done, were 467.2 innings pitched to a sterling 3.14 ERA, with only 426 hits and 70 walks allowed, versus 346 strikeouts. He was a great Met.

And I'm sure we all remember Carl Everett, who only showed flashes of power (and temper) as a Met but whose offensive game didn't really come around until his 7th MLB season, in Houston (the temper stayed, sadly).

And I don't think you can't chalk up those examples to the steroids era, as it still happens today. How about Ryan Ludwick? After hitting .220 in both 2004 and 2005 (and not getting a MLB at bat in 2006) he winds up in St. Louis, and in 2008, at 29 years old, he's got 23 HR and 70 RBI at just beyond the halfway point.

Expecting Tatis to play 3 more years at this pace is foolhardy - I'm not advocating signing him to a long-term contract based on 150 at-bats. But is it unreasonable to think that, for this year, he's our best bet to get power out of an outfield position? Its not crazy to imagine that this burst isn't an "illusion" as much as a veteran guy finally figuring out how to hit a bit better.

His .840 OPS+ this year is better than Raul Ibanez, Ken Griffey Jr., and most of the other options folks discuss as potential trade targets (Jason Bay is better, though).

If Church is done for the year, the comparisons are moot, since there will be plenty of at-bats for Tatis. But if he comes back, its not clear that giving Tatis' at-bats to Raul Ibanez isn't a downgrade for this team.

-- Andy

Zemanta Pixie

Carlos Beltran Robs Ryan Ludwick of a Home Run!

Click here to see Carlos Beltran's amazing catch!

The Mets are on Fire!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

NL Pitcher of the Month Race

July Stats

Mike Pelfrey 1.7540

55 0 36.028 773 325.220
CC Sabathia1.9840

55 3 41.02711931036.189

Good Morning Mike Pelfrey (Mets) Fans!

Oh the kid is hot, sizzling, en fuego, absolutely smoking!

Big Pelf won his 7th consecutive decision in 8 starts and led the Mets to their 10th win in his last 11 starts. In those 11 starts his ERA is a sparkling 2.57.

Mike Pelfrey is a star.

"He's a completely different pitcher than he was Opening Day," catcher Brian Schneider said.

"I think my command is a lot better than in the past," Pelfrey said. "I think I had some success and a lot of confidence came with that."

"The biggest thing is confidence. I'm out on the mound and I don't feel like I have to be perfect," Pelfrey said. "I believe in myself that I'm going to win."

His command is outstanding, in fact Pelf has only issued one free pass in his last 4 starts.

In July he is 4-0 with a 1.75 ERA, 25 Ks and only 3 walks.

Deuces are wild today.

  • 2: Mets lead over the Phillies and Marlins
  • 2: Runs allowed by Mets pitchers, 1 by Pelf, and 1 by the bullpen
  • 2: RBIs for Jose Reyes last night on his major league leading 12th triple
  • 20: Home runs Carlos Delgado has on the year
  • 22: Games won under Jerry Manuel (against 12 losses)
  • 202: Total Bases by David Wright, who is having an outstanding July

Speaking of David Wright, Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes, let's look at their July's:


Wright7120227 1 4 1317
11 50.310.438.6061.044
7316298 0 5 1613
14 00.397.489.7121.201
J. Reyes

The guys are hot, and coupled with the great efforts we're getting from the starters, it's easy to see why the Mets are suddenly the hottest team in baseball.

The Mets are only 4 games off the Cubs pace for the best record in the NL and, as we've spoken about before, our favorable schedule has Met Nation feeling pretty good about our chances from here on out.

I don't know if you've been to coolstandings, but the site is great, and I highly recommend it.

Right now they show the Mets with a 60% chance to make the playoffs:

2008 NL Standings
New York 56 47 .544 - 503 460 89.5 72.5 53.1 6.9 60.0
Philadelphia 54 49 .524 2 506 440 87.0 75.0 30.0 9.6 39.6
Florida 54 49 .524 2 490 522 81.9 80.1 9.4 2.9 12.3
Atlanta 49 53 .480 6.5 457 422 81.3 80.7 7.5 2.8 10.3
Washington 38 65 .369 18 388 498 60.9 101.1 <0.1 0.0 <0.1

And here is our remaining schedule:

2008 Remaining Schedule
vs. Team PCT H A Tot
ChiCubs .583 4 0 4
Milwaukee .573 0 3 3
St. Louis .543 2 0 2
Philadelphia .524 3 2 5
Florida .524 6 6 12
Atlanta .480 6 3 9
Pittsburgh .466 1 4 5
Houston .461 4 3 7
San Diego .375 3 0 3
Washington .369 2 7 9
TOTAL .481 31 28 59

So there you have it--hot stars, great starting pitching, a favorable schedule, and a renewed energy both on the field and in the clubhouse.

Gotta love being a Mets fan right now--BTW, anyone notice I've given Argenis Reyes the silent treatment in this piece?

Way to go Kid!!! Great smack!

Enjoy your coffee my friends!
Zemanta Pixie

Friday, July 25, 2008

Breaking: Nady and Marte To Yankees.

Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte have been traded to the New York Yankees, per John Perrotto.

The final package from the Yankees is Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Tabata, Phil Coke, and George Kontos, according to multiple sources.

Good Morning Mets Fans!

21-12, a palindrome, the title of a Rush album, and Jerry Manuel's managerial record with the Mets in 2008, a fine .636 winning percentage.

Resurgent, resplendent, charged up, on a mission--these are the words that properly describe the state of the team. Oh yeah, "First Place" describes them as well.

Yesterday Ollie Perez took the ball and did what Ollie Perez has done to the Phils all year--he pitched a gem. He didn't get the win, but he was a one man show, fanning a season high 12 Phils and only allowing 1 run over 7.2 scintillating innings.

Ollie has 5 consecutive quality starts, and has lowered his era from 5.29 to 4.15 in that span. In his last 5 starts Ollie has only allowed 5 earned runs in 33.2 innings. The only irony is that he is 0-1 in those 5 starts. I guess Johan Santana isn't the only one not getting run support.

Ollie's confidence is soaring. "When I face some teams, I just try to think that they're the best team in baseball," Perez said. "And when I take the ball, I'm thinking that I'm the best pitcher in the league. I'm just trying to make pitches."

Our other resurgent star is, of course, Carlos Delgado.

All Carlos is doing is turning back the clock to 2003. In July he is hitting .397 with a .489 OBP, 5 HRs and 16 RBIs. His OPS is 1.201. Not too shabby!

Yesterday Carlos hit the dagger--a double to the opposite field that scored two and sent the players, fans, announcers and all of Met Nation into a frenzy. It had to be extra sweet for Delgado as they walked David Wright to "get to him"...I guess he gave them something other than what they wanted.

What I also love about Delgado is that you can just see the confidence in his eyes, the way he is communicating with his teammates, the extra pep in his step, and the big smile on his face---the guy is enjoying himself out there, and he should be.

"It feels great," Delgado said. "It shows that we have a lot of character, that we have everyone's back. This is a tough division. We turned things around, and we've been consistently playing better, having better at-bats, great pitching - today was a great example with Oliver out there. If we pitch and we continue to focus and grind out - obviously we have the talent here - I think we're going to be alright."

Of course there was the whole bat flinging incident, which didn't seem like a big deal from my vantage point. For the uninitiated--Jamie Moyer was at the plate and let go of his bat on a feeble swing against an Ollie Slider. The bat traveled in the vicinity of Delgado, who walked over and flipped it playfully back to Moyer.

Moyer took offense, let the bat drop in front of him, and stared at Delgado for a second or two.

The guys in the booth took about 5 minutes dissecting the play and discussing it ad nauseum---all three said it was disrespectful of Delgado to do what he did.

I disagree, and so does Carlos. "Who gives a --?" he said when he was asked about flinging the bat back to Moyer. Delgado was smiling again when he said this---a very cagey smile.

The relief pitching yesterday was again top notch. Aaron Heilman came in after Ollie had loaded the bases and got Jayson Werth to fly out to center field. Heilman, as we've been saying here at NY Sports Dog for the past 6 weeks, is still our best bridge to Wagner.

Speaking of Wagner, he is back and back with a vengeance. For the second consecutive game he closed out the game for a save, saying afterward that he has relaxed his arm motion just a tad to help with the issues he had over the weekend.

All in all a great series and a great rivalry. This is what baseball is all about.

Enjoy your coffee my friends! First place baby!

Philadelphia (54-48)000000100170
N.Y. Mets (55-47) «00100002x340

Player of the Game
New York

O. Perez
IP 7.2
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 12

New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS2100110 .296
Nick Evans, LF2000100 .231
Endy Chavez, RF1000001 .258
David Wright, 3B3111110 .288
Carlos Delgado, 1B4012002 .261
Carlos Beltran, CF3000010 .266
Fernando Tatis, RF-LF2010110 .294
Damion Easley, 2B3000002 .278
Ramon Castro, C3000001 .289
Oliver Perez, P2000020 .167
Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
a- Robinson Cancel, PH1110000 .333
Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000

a-singled for Heilman in the 8th
2B - Carlos Delgado (21, Romero)
SH - Jose Reyes (3)
RBI - David Wright (78), Carlos Delgado 2 (61)
2-OUT RBI - David Wright (36), Carlos Delgado 2 (24)
SB - Jose Reyes (34, 2nd base off Moyer/Coste)
Team LOB - 4
New York Mets
Oliver Perez 7.26111121 4.15
Aaron Heilman (W,1-3) 0.1000000 4.75
Billy Wagner (S,26) 1100000 2.09
IBB - Burrell by Oliver Perez
HBP - Howard (by Oliver Perez)
Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 108-65, Aaron Heilman 3-3, Billy Wagner 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 3-8, Billy Wagner 1-2
Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 31, Aaron Heilman 1, Billy Wagner 4
Game Information
Attendance - 50962
Game Time - 2:18
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Angel Hernandez
Zemanta Pixie

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Good Morning Mets Fans!

Down at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, every time an Air Force jet flies overhead, turbines screaming, the formations of young troops are all asked the same question, bellowed out by a grizzled old Drill Sergeant, "What's that sound?" they'll ask. The troops, in unison, will answer back at the top of their lungs, "The Sound of Freedom!"

In the 9th inning of last night's win over the Phillies, Mets fans heard that sound in the form of Enter Sandman.

Just 24 hours removed from Aguayo/Bullpen Meltdown-Gate, the Mets answered back in the chess game that is the NL East to re-take a share of first-place.

In beating the Phillies 6-3, the Mets got a lot of what they needed--a strong start from John Maine, a big homerun from Jose Reyes, strong relief pitching from Scott Schoeneweis, Joe Smith and Billy Wagner, and no mistakes.

That's not to say it was easy. After scoring twice in the bottom of the 1st on four walks and no hits, John Maine came out in the 2nd and let the lead go on back to back homeruns by Shane Victorino and Geoff Jenkins.

After the Mets tacked on a run in the bottom of the third, the Phils came back in the 5th on a Jimmie Rollins double to tie it at three. Tension was mounting, Shea was strangely quiet as fans sat on the edge of their seat, and it all came down to the final 12 outs.

Damion Easley and Brian Schneider started off the 6th with hits---rally time, again, for the Mets, who had a veritable plethora of baserunners all game long thanks to a 10 hit attack and 7 walks issued by Philly pitchers.

The Mets needed a big hit and they got one--Jose Reyes nailed the first pitch he saw from Ryan Madson over the rightfield wall to give the Mets a 3-run lead.

Reyes, the emotional sparkplug that drives the team, clearly enjoyed the moment and said, "That situation, tie game, you hit a three-run home run there, you've got to enjoy it because it's never easy when you play against the Phillies."

And the lead held up thanks to John Maine, a couple of pitching specialists, and the Sound of Freedom.

Enjoy your coffee my friends!

Philadelphia (54-47)020010000361
N.Y. Mets (54-47) «20100300x6100

Players of the Game
New York

J. Reyes
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

New York

J. Maine
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 3
BB 2
K 5

New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4113101 .297
Endy Chavez, RF4100114 .259
David Wright, 3B3210201 .288
Carlos Delgado, 1B2010200 .262
Carlos Beltran, CF3011102 .268
Marlon Anderson, LF4001023 .203
Scott Schoeneweis, P0000000 .000
Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
a- Robinson Cancel, PH1000002 .250
Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000
Damion Easley, 2B5131004 .282
Brian Schneider, C4120003 .248
John Maine, P3010012 .122
b- Fernando Tatis, PH-LF1000002 .291

a-grounded out for Smith in the 8th
b-grounded out for Maine in the 7th
2B - Brian Schneider (6, Condrey)
HR - Jose Reyes (11, Madson)
SH - Carlos Beltran (1)
RBI - Jose Reyes 3 (46), Carlos Beltran (70), Marlon Anderson (10), Damion Easley (25)
2-OUT RBI - Damion Easley (11)
SB - David Wright (13, 2nd base off Madson/Ruiz)
Team LOB - 13
DP - Easley-Delgado
New York Mets
John Maine (W,9-7) 7633252 4.20
Scott Schoeneweis (H,11) 0.2000110 2.50
Joe Smith (H,8) 0.1000000 3.10
Billy Wagner (S,25) 1000000 2.14
Pitches-Strikes - John Maine 104-66, Scott Schoeneweis 12-7, Joe Smith 4-3, Billy Wagner 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Maine 5-10, Joe Smith 1-0, Billy Wagner 2-1
Batters Faced - John Maine 28, Scott Schoeneweis 3, Joe Smith 1, Billy Wagner 3
Game Information
Attendance - 53444
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Derryl Cousins

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