Take a moment to consider with sympathy the plight of the Mets fan. His team boasts a core of future Hall of Famers, makes at least one huge acquisition every winter, and habitually "wins" the NL East, if not the league and/or the World Series, every March. Then the games they count in the standings begin, and things seem to go well for awhile. And then the Phillies show up on the schedule, dredging up two Septembers' worth of nightmares as well as only slightly less scarring memories of did-that-just-happen comeback wins earlier in the last two seasons, and one of two things happen: the Mets win and immediately start bleating about how the Phils aren't in their heads anymore and they're ready to start playing up to their talent and dominate like everyone expects, or they lose and prove, to themselves and the world, that the Phils are deeper in their heads than ever, and that this is a team that probably won't ever do more than shuffle its executives and managers toward the unemployment line.
The last two nights in Citi Field fell squarely into the second category, as twice the Phillies rallied from late-game multi-run deficits to win in extras. It was Chase Utley with the solo shot in the 11th Wednesday night; about 24 hours later, Raul Ibanez did in the Mets with a three-run bomb in the 10th, the eighth home run hit by the Phils in this three-game set. But while the MVP front-runner earned another share of glory--and notched his eighth homer of the year against a lefty, in this case hapless Mets reliever Ken Takahashi--the Phils' bullpen carried the club for the second straight night. Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre and Ryan Madson fired four shutout innings in relief of Jamie Moyer, who turned in another game performance (6 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 0 BB, 3 K) as he continued his journey back from the brink of obsolescence; Condrey was particularly dominant, with two clean innings, and in all the quartet allowed just one hit combined. Pedro Feliz was the offensive star earlier on, with two hits and two runs against noted Phillie-killer Tim Redding; he added a third later on to raise his average to .312 on the season.
The Phillies improved to an astounding 23-9 on the road for the season--the 7-3 trip through San Diego, Los Angeles and New York just concluded actually lowered their road winning percentage--and stretched their division lead over the Mets to four games. They now go home to face the Red Sox in the always-delightful interleague play, while the Mets stay local to take on the Yankees.