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Revitalized Offense Helps Mets Take Series

Mike SteffanosSunday, July 1, 2007
By Mike Steffanos


Mets 8 - Phillies 3
Played Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Phillies seemed to have Jorge Sosa on the ropes a couple of times yesterday, but he managed to dodge the worst of the bullets. What he couldn't evade was a hamstring injury while preventing himself from being doubled up at first in the top of the sixth. The Mets came out with an important series win, but will be without their fifth starter for at least a couple of starts.

After being staked to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, Sosa gave back a couple of runs in the second when a single and two walks loaded the bases with no outs. He had a chance to get out of it with only one run scoring when he induced Greg Dobbs to hit into a double play, but allowed Carlos Ruiz to drive in the second run with a single with the pitcher on deck. After pitching a 1-2-3 third, Sosa gave up a long home run to Howard in the fourth to tie the game 3-3.

I thought the turning point of the game for Sosa and the Mets came in the fifth. After Beltran's 2-run homer in the top of the frame put the Mets back up 5-3, Ruiz led off the bottom of the inning with a single. He was bunted over to second by pitcher Ryan Madson. After retiring Jimmy Rollins for the second out Sosa walked Michael Bourn, bringing up Chase Utley with the tying runs on base. Sosa fell behind 3-1, but after a strike and a foul ball induced a weak grounder to second base to end the threat. That really seemed to take the wind out of the Phillies' sails, whereas a couple of runs there would have had them right back in it.

Sosa was gone after that, thanks to tweaking his hamstring in the top of the sixth. Early reports are that it's not a bad one. Sosa is on the DL, but with the All Star break might only miss a couple of starts if all goes well.

Jorge Sosa (7-3)
DateOpp.IPRERHKBBHRERAWHIPTeam Result
6/8@DET80045200.000.75W
6/13@LAD5.26681119.231.59L
6/19MIN3.175812013.503.00L
6/25STL61165201.501.33W
6/30@PHI53344315.401.40W
Season (11 Games)64.1302855382363.921.218-3

View Jorge Sosa's Full Season Stats

While it was nice to see the Mets jump on rookie starter J.A. Happ, it was also good to see the Mets tack on against the Phillies bullpen. When the Phillies swept them in early June, it was their inability to score runs off the mediocre Philadelphia relievers that cost them every bit as much as the failures of their own bullpen. In game one of this series they did nothing against the Phillies 'pen, but in the last 2 games they have scored 5 runs off the relievers.

The long ball barrage that fueled the first 6 runs was nice, but sometimes when the Mets go through a streak like this I worry that they become a little too dependent on home runs. I was glad to see them tack on a pair in the ninth with hits and heads-up baserunning.

I've given Shawn Green credit earlier this week for his vastly improved outfield play and baserunning. After yesterday's 1-3, however, he finished June with a .182/.229/.318 line in 66 ABs. He's going to have to start hitting pretty soon. It helps that he is no longer a huge liability in RF, but ultimately his bat will be what keeps him in the lineup whenever Alou returns or the Mets trade for an OF.

The Mets have a chance to really put the hammer down on the Phillies, but to do it they will need Mike Pelfrey to do something he didn't do early in the year, throw strikes. Citizens Bank Park is an intimidating place for a young guy to pitch. It will be interesting to see how he responds.

Box Score

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (5)

You have a great blog.

I have added your blog to my blogroll on both my baseball
blogs http://www.sanfranciscogiants1.info and http://www.oaklandathletics1.info
Can you return the favor and add them to your blogroll? Thanks.

-Paul

mike - am i the only one that was upset to see willie use maine as a pinch runner after sosa came up lame? i understand he didn't really want to use a position player and that he is a little short handed on the bench, but to risk a starting pitcher? forget that sosa had just "tweaked" a hammy, does anyone remember brian bannister? and in comes john maine, ice cold, to run of all things...i don't know, maybe i'm just neurotic...thoughts?

Joyce - It's a fairly common practice to use a pitcher as a pinch runner in that situation. You don't want to burn a position player you might need as a PH later on. Even pitchers should be able to come into a game and run the bases without getting hurt. They are athletes. I can't really fault Willie for that one.

3 out of 4 is pretty good, it isn't a Met hat from the pupit yet but its pretty good. Some how I kind of felt we were not going to win the last game,I hope I'm wrong but I felt that old "we did enough" team feeling, we can sit back for awhile. They seemed to me to not have that tiger in them for the last game.With your G/M hat on what would you concider to trade for.

A reliever. I think they really need one.

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