Cliff Lee is a really great pitcher. Seriously. But a few times a year he'll have one of those games where he is just terrible for an inning or two and it costs him. Tonight was one of those nights, when the Mets scored three runs on three extra base hits in the top of the first and never looked back, topping the Phillies by a score of 5-2.
Lee's command was typically impeccable (no walks in seven innings), but a few big fat meatballs in the first, including back to back doubles by Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy to start the game, followed by a long two out, two run homer from Jason Bay, and the Phillies found themselves in a quick 3-0 hole. The Mets would tack on another home run in the top of the fifth on solo blast from Scott Hairston on a hanging curveball from Lee.
Sometimes Lee's control stays intact, but his command stinks, and he throws strikes. Big, fat juicy strikes right down the middle of the plate. Cutters that ooze their way right into the hitter's happy zone. Middle-in fastballs. Hanging curves. Even if it's just a few times a game, it can be costly, like it was tonight. And credit the Mets hitters for taking advantage. In all, Lee struck out seven in seven innings and allowed just five hits -- four for extra bases.
Mets starter R.A. Dickey allowed plenty of hits (nine in seven innings), but limited the damage by only issuing one walk, collecting plenty of strikeouts (seven) and, limiting extra base hits (two).
There were two highlights on the night for our heroes: First, in the top of the second, was Mets catcher Josh Thole's brainfart on an R.A. Dickey sacrifice bunt. Thole, apparently believing the bunt had gone foul, returned to first base and was tagged out on a heads-up Jimmy Rollins-to-Jim Thome connection.
Second highlight? Freddy Galvis's first big league home run, a towering solo shot in the bottom of the third.
The Mets would tack on their fifth run in the top of the ninth on a Lucas Duda sacrifice fly that probably should not have happened. I know I'm the first person to scold people about the Fallacy of the Pre-Determined Outcome, but Jimmy Rollins botching a double play grounder with nobody out gave the Mets a couple extra chances against Kyle Kendrick. Always a sub-optimal strategy.
And the Phillies scored run number two on a little LOLMets moment in the ninth, with Daniel Murphy letting a two out Juan Pierre grounder run between his legs, allowing Carlos Ruiz to score from second base.