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Phillies-Mets: Power Surge Against New York Pulls Philadelphia Back into First

The Philadelphia Phillies recovered quite nicely from Friday’s 9-1 drubbing by the New York Mets. And how!

The Phillies followed up Saturday’s 10-0 Roy Halladay (5-1, 1.47 ERA) shutout with a power-surged 11-5 drubbing of the Mets on Sunday night to vault the team back into first place over the Mets by a half game.

The second series of the 10-game homestand starts tonight at 7 p.m. as the Cardinals Jamie Garcia (2-1, 1.04) faces Joe Blanton, who is fresh off the disabled list.

Going into Saturday’s game, the pitching matchups favored the Mets. They had Mike Pelfry and Johan Santana pitching Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

The Mets Mike Pelfry, who had a 4-0 and 0.69 ERA prior to the game, got lit up for six runs in four innings on Saturday.

Seems the fourth inning has been a magic potion for the Phils. They have scored 15 runs in their last two games in the fourth inning against the Mets.

But it is no accident for a patient, good-hitting team. In the fourth inning, batters get their second look at the starter, enough time to judge the tendencies of his pitches.

And the fourth inning in last night’s game is worth recounting: the Phillies sent 13 men to the plate and scored nine runs, all with two outs.

Here is the breakdown: Trailing 5-2, Chase Utley leads off with a double. Ryan Howard flies out, Jayson Werth grounds out, Utley to third. Two outs.

Raul Ibanez singles to score Utley, 5-3. Juan Castro singles, Ruiz walks to load the bases for Jamie Moyer. Johan Santana goes 2-0 on Moyer and the opposing pitcher works a seven-pitch bases-loaded walk. 5-4 Mets.

Which bring up Shane Victorino. Gone. Grand slam. 8-5 Phillies. Don’t blink: Placido Polanco singles, then Utley hits a deep home run to left. 10-5. Ryan Howard singles, Jayson Werth doubles, Howard scores. 11-5 Phillies. Ibanez grounds out to end the inning.

Game over.

Santana, who is lifted after Utley’s home run, is charged with 10 runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings of work.

I am the happiest when the Phillies offense is stupid good.

It does not matter who the pitcher is.

I credit Moyer’s walk to spark the big inning. Mets manager Jerry Manuel on the television sports highlights credited Raul Ibanez’s hit. Sure, it continued the inning.

One thing for sure: The Mets are better than last year.

It might not be enough.

** Picture courtesy of  


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Phillies-Mets: Aces Deal For NL East Supremacy as Philadelphia Battles New York

As a Phillies fan, I am hoping that the 2010 Philadelphia Phillies’ season is not becoming that of the New York Mets’ 2009 season, one riddled with injuries and a lost season before the All-Star break

I can hear the laughing all the way from Queens.

Really though, here’s what the Phillies awful 9-1 loss means: The Phillies are in third place, 1.5 games behind the Mets and a half-game behind behind Washington. A win today by the Phillies only assures them to be a half-game behind the Mets.

Not to mention what Washington does.

The wheels have come off the bus for the Phillies. Jimmy Rollins, J.A. Happ, Ryan Madson, and Joe Blanton are currently on the DL, and the players missing time this season already include Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino, and Brad Lidge.

Lidge pitched one-third of an inning and gave up the second home run of the game for Rod Barajas.

Past Roy Halladay, starting pitching has been mediocre at best, and as of today, Halladay (4-1, 0.69) represents the team’s best chance of winning.

The bullpen is inconsistent and there is no defined closer. Right now, J.C. Romero is the best option in that role.

Today’s game sees a superb matchup of aces: Mike Pelfrey (pictured) pitches for the Mets, with a stellar 4-0 record and a .069 ERA.

Wow. And it is a nationally-televised game.

In the late inning of last night’s 9-1 loss, Comcast announcer Chris Wheeler was talking to Tom McCarthy and talking about the “wacky” standings on May 1.

“Wait to see what it looks like in September,” Wheeler said.

Don’t be so smug you baseball chair jockey. It is a long season and the Phillies will come back.

But to infer the Mets are going away? Don’t fool yourself.

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