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.