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June 7 2007

The Mets aren't at full strength these days, but all you can ask the Phillies to do is beat the team put in front of them.  And last night they did.  For the second game in a row the Phils came out with a 4-2 win.  The game's biggest swing came from Jimmy Rollins.  With two outs in the seventh, Rollins hit a 1-2 pitch out to right for a three-run homer that put the Phils up 3-2.  The suddenly sparkling pen did the rest.

Rollins' home run was his first since April 27.  From April 28 to June 5 he hit 263/285/391 in 156 at-bats (thanks, day-by-day database at Baseball Musings).  He was 5-for-his-last-10 coming into the game, so he's now 8-for-his-last-14.  If Rollins and Howard take off at the same time it's going to be tough for anyone, even the Phillies' pen, to stop the Phils.

Great job for the Phillies over the past two days, but fans should keep in mind that before it's over the Mets might start someone other than David Newhan in left.  Mets' corner outfielders are 2-for-16 without an RBI in the first two games of the set and if you want to chalk that up to stellar pitching by the Phils go right ahead.  But I think the Mets might get some production from those positions before the season's over.  Right fielder Endy Chavez left six men on base in last night's game.   Phils corner outfielders are 2-for-17 in the first two games theirownselves, so maybe it's something in the water.

Adam Eaton's curious success in New York continued.  In five career starts against the Mets he's 5-0 with a 1.89 ERA.

The Phillies beat the Mets last night, winning 4-2 to improve to 30-29 on the year.  The Phils are 5-0 in their last five with the Mets and Braves.

Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks.  Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run.  He struck out four.  His ERA on the year drops to 5.99.

Eaton walked Reyes to start the first but got Endy Chavez to hit into a double-play.  Carlos Beltran flew to center to end the inning.

He struck out the side in the second.

Ruben Gotay walked to start the third, but Eaton struck out David Newhan for the first out.  Orlando Hernandez popped to Howard in foul territory near first for the second out before Reyes moved Gotay to second with a single to right.  Chavez flew to left to end the inning.

Beltran led off the fourth and homered on a ball that looked like it bounced off the top of the wall in left and then over.  1-0 Mets.  Delgado was next and he doubled on a ball hit hard to right.  David Wright was hit by a pitch, putting men on first and second with nobody out.  Paul Lo Duca was next and he hit a ball back to Eaton that went off the pitcher's glove.  Eaton recovered to throw out Lo Duca as the runners moved to second and third with one down.  Gotay was next and he hit a fly ball to right, fairly deep.  Delgado tried to score but Victorino made yet another tremendous throw and nailed him at the plate with the help of a nice tag by Barajas to end the inning.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Chavez led off the sixth with a single and stole second.  Beltran grounded to first, moving Chavez to third.  Delgado followed with another ground ball to first, and this one scored Chavez to put the Mets up 2-0 with two outs.  Wright doubled to right but Lo Duca grounded to third to end the inning.

Geary started the seventh with a 3-2 lead.  Gotay led off with a bunt that Geary fielded and dropped.  Gotay was safe at first on the error.  Newhan was next and he blooped a double into left, sending Gotay to third.  Julio Frano pinch-hit for Heilman and ripped a ball to first, but Howard made a diving stop and tagged the base for the first out of the inning.  The runners held.  Geary walked Reyes intentionally to load the bases for the lefty Chavez.  Geary stayed in to pitch to the lefty and didn't get a call on a close 2-2 pitch.  Chavez fouled off what may have been ball four before hitting a 3-2 pitch back up the middle.  Rollins fielded, tagged second and threw to first, doubling-up Chavez to end the inning.  Chavez came up lame on the play and went to the ground holding his left hamstring.

Ryan Madson came in to pitch the eighth after throwing 25 pitches on Tuesday.  He set the Mets down 1-2-3.

Alfonseca threw a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his third save on the year.  He hasn't been charged with a run in his last seven appearances.  

Over the last two days the bullpen has thrown seven scoreless innings, holding the Mets to three hits.

The Phillies' lineup against righty Orlando Hernandez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Dobbs (6) Rowand (7) Nunez (8) Barajas.  Three lefties in a row three through five.  Nunez at third and Dobbs in left as Burrell sits for the second time in three games.  I bet Dobbs was a little surprised to be batting fifth behind Ryan Howard.  In 2005 and 2006, here's the list of the NL players that got at least 500 plate appearances in each year, on-based at least .380 each year and slugged at least .500 each year:  David Wright, Jason Bay, Lance Berkman, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Pat Burrell.  Maybe the Phils can get Jeff Conine back and hit him fifth since that worked so well down the stretch last year.

Rollins singled to right to start the first and stole second.  Victorino blooped a ball into left that Newhan made a nice diving catch on for the first out.  Utley grounded to second, moving Rollins to third.  Howard walked and Dobbs grounded to first to end the inning.

Rowand walked to start the second and moved to second on a ground out by Nunez.  Barajas struck out and Eaton grounded to short to end the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third.

In the fourth, the Phils got their leadoff man on for the third time in four innings when Howard singled to center.  Dobbs grounded to first and Rowand grounded into a double-play.

Barajas walked with one out in the fifth.  Eaton fouled out to Lo Duca for the second out of the inning.  Rollins singled to right and a bobble by Chavez helped Barajas got to third.  Rollins stole second but Victorino grounded to first to end the inning.

Howard walked with one out in the sixth but Dobbs hit into a double-play behind him.

Rowand walked to start the seventh and Nunez followed with a single that moved him to second.  Barajas bunted the runners to second and third.  Burrell pinch-hit for Eaton and struck out.  Rollins got behind 0-2 and then hit a 1-2 changeup out to left to give the Phils a 3-2 lead.  Bad at-bat for Burrell.  Victorino flew to center for the third out.

Utley singled to start the eighth and moved to second on a ground out by Howard.  Jayson Werth pinch-hit for Dobbs and struck out for the second out of the inning.  Rowand singled to left and Utley scored to put the Phils up 4-2.  Nunez grounded back to the pitcher to end the frame.

Barajas led off the ninth with a single.  Helms pinch-hit for Madson and flew to center, but Rollins followed with a walk that put men on first and second.  Victorino hit a ground ball to second and the Mets got Rollins at second with Victorino safe at first and Barajas safe at third.  Utley struck out to set the Phils down. 

Rollins was 3-for-4 with a three-run homer, which was the Phils' only extra-base hit.

Victorino was 0-for-5 with a great throw from right.  He's 3-for-his-last-19.

Utley was 1-for-5 and struck out twice.

Howard was 1-for-2 with two walks.  Great defensive play in the seventh.

Dobbs was 0-for-3 and left four men on base.

Rowand was 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI.

Nunez was 1-for-4.  He's 2-for-his-last-24 with two singles.

Barajas was 1-for-2 with a walk. 

Cole Hamels (8-2, 3.55) faces John Maine (6-3, 2.81) tonight.  Hamels faced the Mets on April 9 and went six innings, allowing three runs, only two of which were earned, on six hits and three walks over six innings.  He struck out seven and left with the lead but things went ugly when the Mets scored seven times in the bottom of the eighth against the Phillies pen.  All six of the hits he allowed were singles.  Hamels was masterful his last time out, needing only 97 pitches to throw a complete game against the Giants on Saturday.  Maine pitched for the Mets in the April 9 game against the Phils and went 4 2/3, allowing two runs on five hits.  He walked six and Utley homered off of him.  He's tough on righties, who are hitting .203 with an 0.99 ratio against him (lefties .245, 1.71).

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