When David Wright tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the 8th inning, at 10:47pm ET, more than three and a half hours after the baseball game began, I stopped caring who won. I just wanted it to be over.
I'm not sure if it is possible for two baseball teams to play a nine-inning game any slower than the Mets and Phillies did on Friday night. Luckily, for those Phils fans who hung in there, devoid of anything better to do with your lives, you at least got to see the Phillies break their four-game losing streak.
First, a milestone - for the first time this year, Ben Revere was replaced in center field for defensive purposes in the bottom of the 8th in favor of Tony Gwynn Jr. who can, you know, throw the ball to every base on less than 15 hops.
Keith Hernandez: "Domonic Brown looks like he's on crutches going after that ball."— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) May 10, 2014
…and perhaps could have prevented the tying run from scoring. Yay Phillies outfield defense.
Mets and Phillies left a combined 32 men on base; the Phillies leaving 17 and the Mets 15. The MLB record for a nine inning game
is was 30, done four times. So you can guess what kind of game this was.
Phils starter Roberto Hernandez lasted just five innings and threw 99 pitches. He gave up just one earned run in those five innings, but gave up six hits and three walks, which led to some long at bats. He did an excellent job protecting the lead in the fifth, however, getting out of a 2nd and 3rd, no out jam without giving up a run.
Mets starter Jenrry Mejia was even less efficient. He lasted just 4 2/3 innings and threw 101 pitches, gave up two earned runs on six hits and three walks. Between the two of them, they combined to allow 18 base runners.
With only one run to work with and the Phillies bullpen in charge, it was impossible to shake the feeling that the lead change was only a matter of time. Fortunately, the Mets only succeeded in neutralizing the Phillies' lead, rather than taking it.
In the bottom of the eighth, Antonio Bastardo replaced Mike Adams, and got Ruben Tejada to line out to left and Juan Lagares to strike out on a foul tip. But then came a walk to Daniel Murphy, which allowed David Wright to get an at-bat.
I'm sure you can see where this is going.
Wright doubled, driving in Murphy, but the interesting part was, this is where the Mets two-out rally stopped. The scored remained tied at 2-2 as Curtis Granderson flew out to end the threat, and Bastardo returned to the dugout without having ruined everything.
The Mets' glorious late inning comeback felt imminent; and yet, Bastardo held them back - the Phillies didn't score in their half of the ninth, in case you were expecting that - and Mario Hollands recorded three scoreless outs in the 10th.
Finally, retribution came as Chase Utley and Marlon Byrd flipped a pair of doubles to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. On a night like tonight, this was a gift not to be squandered; which may have been the Phillies' thoughts, as they left the field with a bullpen full of squanderers about to take command.
Jonathan Papelbon was called in, and the closer K'd David Wright before inducing a pair of fly balls and like that, the four game skid with the Blue Jays was over and the bullpen had proven that not all who squander have lost.