By Mike Steffanos
Game 134: Mets 6 - Phillies 3
The Mets record in the first game against of all series against the Phillies this season: 1-4
The Mets record in all other games against the Phillies this season: 9-1.
God bless you, Carlos Delgado and Daniel Murphy.
So could someone please explain to me why every time the Mets lose a heartbreaker to the Phillies in the first game of a series I'm bombarded with "the Phillies are in the Mets heads" stories? The Mets have won 10 of 15 head-to-head games versus Philadelphia this season. It seems to me that if a team is in your head they win more than 33% of the games.
The stories in the Philadelphia papers today used the tired Phillies bullpen as somewhat of an alibi. I could only point out the obvious that the Mets bullpen was tired, too. However, one huge factor in this game that you haven't really heard discussed much was Pelfrey's complete game on Monday. That day off for the Mets bullpen the night before a 13-inning game that required 8 innings from the bullpen allowed Jerry Manuel a little more leeway in using his bullpen guys yesterday.
I don't know how this season will play out. The questions surrounding this bullpen, John Maine's injury and the ongoing (except for last night) drought of late-game offense for the Mets are all potential landmines for their playoff hopes. But last season the Phillies seemed to catch every break in those games down the stretch last season, and that seems to have evened out a great deal this year.
In 2007, it would have been the Phillies getting breaks like Beltran's swinging bunt in the eighth and Brian Schneider's well-placed bloop single that plated the 2 insurance runs.
Maybe that's why the Phillies spend so much time being offended by things the Mets do this season. Our inside sources tell us that Jimmy Rollins didn't like the way the Mets players were smiling after the game and vows terrible revenge for the temerity. Might I suggest strapping them down and forcing Wright, Delgado et al to listen to an endless loop of Rollins' interviews? Now that's punishment.
As for the Mets, I watch every game now with my fingers splayed in front of my eyes as they dodge bullets or take one full in the heart. It's hard for me to make an intelligent argument for this team to survive the final 28 games with all of their deficiencies. But then again, this just doesn't seem to be a year where logic rules. It may be maddening, but it's also fun. I don't really need what's left of my hair, anyway.