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Five in a Row

Mike SteffanosSaturday, April 19, 2008
By Mike Steffanos


Game 16: Mets 4 - Phillies 2

The toughest part of this one was surviving the eighth inning and listening to Tim McCarver for almost 3-1/2 hours. Ollie Perez walked the shutout tightrope for 5-2/3 innings, and the bullpen did what they had to do. Slowly but surely, the Mets are working to exorcise the ghosts of 2007.

Once again the Mets struggled to score runs against Jamie Moyer. Moyer has limited the Mets to 4 ER in 12 IP this season. In his other two starts he has allowed 10 runs (7 earned) in 8-2/3 innings of work. Frustrating, but Perez was better this afternoon, despite issuing 5 free passes.

Jose Reyes, Ryan Church and David Wright provided the lion's share of the offense. Each went 2-4, and Reyes and Wright drove in a pair of runs each. Reyes' seventh inning homer against Ryan Madson gave the Mets some breathing room and a 4-0 lead.

Scott Schoeneweis gave one back when he allowed a home run to Chase Utley. In fairness, it was the one bad pitch Schoeneweis made in his inning of work. It will still probably earn him some boos next time he pitches at Shea.

Joe Smith came in to start the eighth and face Pat Burrell, who worked a 7-pitch walk from him. He retired Pedro Feliz on a soft grounder to Wright, and then gave way to Pedro Feliciano. A bloop single and a walk loaded the bases, and we Mets fans started flashing back to some of those tough losses to the Phillies last year.

Heilman came in to pitch, and a when Pagan got a bad read on Carlos Ruiz' soft fly to left and allowed it to drop for a run-scoring single, the Philly faithful were smelling blood. When Heilman came back to strike out Geoff Jenkins and Jayson Werth, however, it was their hopes that lay bleeding on the turf.

Mercifully, Wagner allowed no drama in the ninth in nailing down his fourth save of the year. The Mets had ensured a series win in Philadelphia and, at least for now, quieted all of the talk about the Phillies being in their head.

View Oliver Perez's Full Season Stats

Box Score

Comments (12)

Don't know what they've done to Wagner, but the guy is lights the eff out lately. The NYM bullpen has been really impressive, the occasional Heilman brain fart notwithstanding. If they get to the 9th with a lead, "put it in the books". I also like the way Willie brought Dirty Sanchez into the game in that crucial spot. It was an example of Willie's manageing by "feel" as he says. It should also help with Dirty's confidence as he works back to full strength. I think this team may be better than we all thought, and they are not even hitting on all cylinders yet. Wait till Alou gets in there and starts his usual raking.

MJ - I do think Randolph is doing a much better job with the pitchers this year, particularly in putting them into situations where they have the best chance to succeed.

Guys, We are seeing the pen doing a lot better since Duaner has come back. What a great win for them. Getting the first two in Philly is just what the doctor ordered. I'm not afraid to admit, Willie has been doing a good job lately with the pen. But it's Sanchez that has made the difference. What is going through my mind now is how are we going to handle Heilman? Is he going back to the seventh? Or is this the way to go with Sanchez there?

Guys, Another thought. What about Carlos Muniz? This guy has been lights out. Where did he come from? He really looks ready to make the jump. Did we catch lightning in a bottle or is he the real thing? This guy needs to be brought up if we start to struggle in the pen. era 0.00 since opening day. After doing a little ground work, he had 24 saves in AA last year. Was a 13th round draft pick. Funny, how guys prosper even when picked that far down. I do know it's early with him but I like his stuff and his confidence on the mound.

Sad that there was no room for Tatis as he's been ripping apart the AAA pitchers he's faced. Maybe a call up if someone goes down, but he was a favorite of mine and I'd rather see him elsewhere where he can get a shot with a big league ball club. Looks like he's finally healthy.

Definitely a nerve-wrecker of a win. I really hope they do eventually put Heilman back to the 7th inning, that is if Duaner is ready to go in the 8th and back in form. Aaron did come through for us yesterday but man he scares the heck out of me every time he comes in.

Aaron Heilman was huge, Beaumont! Way to come right back from a bad outing and show them, Aaron.

I like the fact that the Mets have both Heilman and Sanchez for the eighth. In this era, you need more than one guy capable of that role.

Nice win,but if we went into extra innings we were very thin in pitching to go on. 1b/dh Frank Thomas was cut! Could we use him to back up Delgado? He is a right hand bat. Last year he had a .277 26/95 rbi season. This year so far .167 3/11?

I don't know, Al. Thomas looks like he might be all done, too.

Mike, Have to agree with you on this one about Thomas. I only wonder if we do pick him up how much it would cost us to really see if he is done? He was supposed to be done a few years ago, but did come through. Mike, I know it's early but what are your thoughts around Delgado? The other bolgs are calling for the Mets to release him and to bring up Carp who is off to a good start in AA. I, personally, would like to see him play down there a little longer and see how he progresses. Jumping from AA is pretty big. My feelings are if they release Delgado, platoon Church there which will open up some playing time for Pagan since Alou will be back any day. We do need to address this soon because it's also demoralizing to Delgado. Hey, we released Foster in the middle of our 86 season. Somtimes these things happen.

I'd like to see them give Delgado more of a shot, too. I'm worried about him, but I'm not convinced he's done.

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