On a star-studded evening when the Mets celebrated the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Miracle Mets bringing home the franchise’s first World Championship, the 2009 Mets could not provide an amazin’ finish of their own as the bullpen spoiled a surprisingly good performance by Tim Redding.
The Phillies were able to overcome being stymied by Redding through the first five innings and punished the Mets’ bullpen for four runs, eventually defeating the 2009 Miracle Whip Mets by the final score of 4-1.
The night began with an on-field ceremony that brought back many members of the 1969 World Champion Mets. After the introduction of the players, including the first appearance of Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan in a Mets uniform since the team traded him after the 1971 season for “legendary” infielder Jim Fregosi (why isn’t Fregosi’s number retired on the wall? He was supposed to be the third baseman of the future when the Mets acquired him.), Ryan, Jerry Koosman and Tom Seaver threw out the ceremonial first pitches to Jerry Grote, Duffy Dyer and Yogi Berra.
It’s too bad neither Ryan, Seaver or Koosman were available to come out of the bullpen. Perhaps the outcome might have been a little different.
Tim Redding was acquired before the season with the hopes that he could continue his mastery of the Phillies. After all, last year he was 3-1 against them for a lowly Washington Nationals team. Redding was excellent against a strong Phillies lineup in his five innings of work. He had a one-hit shutout through his five-inning, 77-pitch effort. Unfortunately, since he hadn’t thrown so many pitches in quite some time (before the game, Jerry Manuel had said that Redding would be on a pitch count of 60-70 pitches), he was removed from the game and was replaced by Pat Misch to start the sixth inning. Misch was called upon to protect a slim 1-0 lead. Was he successful? I’ll let the following picture answer that question.
Expecting the recently recalled reliever to hold the lead was certainly a “Misch-ion Impossible”, as two batters into his performance, Misch had already coughed up the lead. A leadoff walk to Shane “The Beer ShamWow” Victorino followed by a two-run homer to Chase Utley (as seen in the picture above) gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead.
Sean Green was then brought into the game to put out the fire started by Misch. Unfortunately, he forgot to leave his gasoline can in the bullpen. After striking out Jayson Werth, Green gave up back-to-back doubles to Raul Ibañez and Pedro Feliz to produce the third run of the inning.
The Phillies added another run in the eighth inning off Pedro Feliciano. A walk to Ryan Howard was followed by a Jayson Werth double and an intentional walk to Pedro Feliz. Carlos Ruiz took advantage of the bases loaded situation by hitting a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Howard to make the score 4-1. It proved to be the final tally of the game as the Mets could not muster a rally against the Phillies’ bullpen.
J.A. Happ continued his strong season as a leading candidate for the National League Rookie of The Year Award. He improved his record to 10-2 and lowered his ERA to 2.59. He has been exceptionally strong in August, going 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA. Despite allowing ten baserunners (eight hits and two walks) in seven innings of work, Happ limited the Mets to one run, being helped by two double plays hit into by the Mets.
Tomorrow will be game three of the four-game wraparound series. The Phillies will send Pedro Martinez to the mound in his first return to Flushing since not being re-signed by the Mets. He will be opposed by Oliver Perez. Game time is scheduled for 1:10 PM.
The Miracle Mets were reunited for their 40th anniversary at Citi Field on Saturday night. Unfortunately, they could not supply any more magic to help the current squad. I guess their miracles had an expiration date.