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The Blurred Crusade: Mets at Phillies, Sept. 26-28

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Sept. 28: Mets 6, Phillies 16

This was a satisfying, if likely meaningless win against the team that has arguably done more damage to the Phils than any non-Houston based ballclub in 2005. Utley and Abreu both went over 100 RBI for the season, Rollins extended the hit streak to 33, David Bell made a case that his hands should be taped every night with a four-hit performance, and the Phils poured it on late with gratuitous homers by Shane Victorino and Pat Burrell. In what might have been his last start as a Phillie, Vicente Padilla (9-12) showed his usual pattern of brilliance and bewilderment, allowing 8 hits and 5 runs in 6 1/3 innings but also striking out 7. On Fan Appreciation Night, even the ex-Phillies got into the act--Marlon Anderson homered twice, probably earning himself a job somewhere next year. Thanks, guys; at the least, I feel more appreciated than I did last night.

(see below the flip for the less pleasant details of the first two games in this series)

Sept. 27: Mets 3, Phillies 2
Well, that just about does 'er. Knowing that lack of timely hits in a given game is more or less random doesn't make their absence much less painful, and tonight there were none for the Phils. They scored their two runs on a throwing error and a groundout. The one hit I remember with a man on base led to David Bell getting thrown out at third base, ending the inning. (Aren't you never supposed to make the last out at third?) He probably should have been pinch-run for after drawing a walk in a really good at-bat against Aaron Heilman.

After a rough start to the game, Jon Lieber came up big again, pitching around a leadoff double in the 5th and a leadoff triple in the 7th, both by Jose "Juan Pierre ain't nuthin'" Reyes. Ugueth Urbina was as good tonight as he was awful Monday. But the Phils just couldn't Juan Padilla or Heilman, each of whom pitched two scoreless innings. After the stirring wins of last week, you never want to say "it's over," but it increasingly looks like a fun season will come to its close this Sunday.

Sept. 26: Mets 6, Phillies 5
I was actually in Philadelphia tonight, but didn't learn the ghastly particulars of this game until I got home--to New York--a bit after 1am. (I'd hoped there had been a rainout.) Probably just as well, considering the parade of failed relief, missed opportunities and defensive buffoonery that wasted another great game from Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell doing what he do against the Mets, and Brett Myers' best start in a month.

With backs firmly pressed against walls, the Phils try again on Tuesday behind Jon Lieber. Meanwhile, the Mets have won five straight, and are headed toward their first winning season since 2001. There will be no walkover.