Thursday's contest at Citi Field followed the course of so many Mets-Phillies games over the last two years: New York surges out to big early lead, Philly gradually comes back to set up a tense conclusion. But unlike some of those games of yore, the Phils couldn't quite dig themselves out of the hole tonight, and fell by a 7-5 score. Mets fans, ecstatic to defeat the rival they truly hate and fear, chanted "sweep" as Jimmy Rollins' popup settled into a fielder's glove to conclude it.
Jamie Moyer dug that hole in one of his worst starts in almost three years as a Phillie after being staked to a 1-0 first inning lead. I knew it was going to be a long night when the second batter he faced, Luis Castillo, got a couple close pitches called balls and drew a walk; Carlos Beltran followed with a two-run home run. After Carlos Delgado, continuing his career-long ownership of Moyer, followed with a double, David Wright brought the crowd back to its feet with a home run to dead center field. Jose Reyes followed with a solo shot in the second inning, and the Mets made it 7-1 and drove Moyer from the game when catcher Ramon Castro belted a bases-loaded double.
J.A. Happ came on to restore order, throwing 3 2/3 scoreless innings, and the Phils tried to rally against Mets starter Mike Pelfrey. Raul Ibanez drove in Jayson Werth with a single to right to cut the lead to 7-2 in the fourth; Ryan Howard followed with a laser beam homer to right two innings later that made it 7-3. The Phils were the beneficiaries of two controversial calls in the eighth inning: first, Shane Victorino seemed to strike out against Pedro Feliciano, but home plate umpire Angel Hernandez called a foul tip and Victorino followed with an infield single. Then Chase Utley seemed to hit into a double play as Victorino got caught in a rundown, but fielder's interference was called against Jose Reyes and Victorino was awarded second base. Mets manager Jerry Manuel came out to argue, and was ejected; two batters later, Werth--who went 4 for 4 on the night--homered down the line to left, cutting the lead to 7-5. But the bottom of the order could not finish the comeback against Francisco Rodriguez--who indeed is as much of a douche live as he is on TV--with Pedro Feliz, Miguel Cairo and Rollins flying out around a walk to Matt Stairs.
On the way out, I and everyone else wearing Phils garb got the earful you'd expect from Mets fans. I pointed to my shirt--the one that reads "World Series Champions"--and acknowledged that, yes, the Mets are pretty good. In May, at least.