By Mike Steffanos
Game 27: Mets 7 - Phillies 5
I was somewhat amused reading around some of the Phillies sites that somehow the Phillies have left Citi Field with a moral victory. Hey, no problem, I'm happy with two wins that count in the standings.
Some things do concern me, though. The Mets might be 3-1 vs. their division rivals in the early going, but they're doing most of the damage against the Phillies starters. If my quick math is correct, in 15 1/3 innings against the Phillies bullpen the Mets have managed only a single unearned run. They've seen enough of these same guys in recent seasons that they should be able to get a few off of them.
Because they don't, however, it seems like almost every Phillies game follows the same script -- the Mets get out to a lead and hold on. I'm not going to argue against success, but I'd love to see them vary the script sometimes. Still, I'm happy to trade moral victories for real ones every time.
Finally, on the whole Victorino thing in the eighth, I have to side with my friend Joe from Mets Today. I don't think what Victorino did was cheating, and Reyes clearly made a mistake in not getting out of the way.
They always teach you in a rundown to clear completely out of the way once you get rid of the ball. Reyes got a couple of steps out of the way and became a spectator, and he was wrong there.
It was clearly Victorino who initiated the contact, and he may well have gone too far there, but I didn't see it as dirty. Reyes was wrong, and he needs to keep this in mind for future rundowns. Thankfully it didn't cost the game.
To be fair, I think a really good umpire would have not made a call like that late in a big game, especially since Victorino clearly did initiate the contact and had no real chance of making it to second without a gift from the umps. My perception of the Welkes has always been that they are mediocre at best, and I'm not surprised Bill Welke made that call. Again, I'm just happy that it cost the game.
By the way, just because I don't think Victorino's play was dirty doesn't mean someone shouldn't plunk him somewhere below his neck next time they play. I think that's long overdue.