Leave it to the Phillies to temper our expectations. Admittedly, I’m an avid fan of the Mets and Giants, so my hatred of the Phillies and Eagles and Philadelphia fans in general is bordering on unhealthy. But one thing is for sure….the Phillies are damn good, and they kind of woke up the Mets and us fans in a big way this past weekend.
Riding an eight game winning streak, including a series opening thumping of the Phillies on Friday night, the Mets had to feel pretty good about climbing from last to first in two week’s time. But the Phils and their new, shiny ace, Roy Halladay, flustered the Mets’ hitters and their bats made short work of Mike Pelfrey’s scoreless innning streak, roughing him up for six runs in just four innings, on the way to a 10-0 rout. If that wasn’t enough, the Mets sent their ace Johan Santana to the hill against lefty slow-baller Jamie Moyer on Sunday night, and staked him to a 5-2 lead. But guys like Victorino and Utley hit home runs against Johan, turning a 5-2 advantage into an 11-5 loss.
My blood starts boiling when I think of guys like Victorino and Utley and how they torture us, but you have to admit they sure can play baseball. And they went deep on one of the best pitchers in the game, even if he has lost some of his velocity. What this all does, if nothing else, is it reminds us just how far the Mets have to go to be real contenders. We can let the 10-0 game go, because everything was going right for 8 games. But that game Sunday is a game we should have won and didn’t. And it might come back to bite us in September.
Granted, many of us thought the Mets would wallow near the bottom of the division all season, and they sparked an amazing turnaround against the suddenly mediocre Braves, Cubs and Dodgers. So the fact we’re even talking about September and the fact that the Mets sit just 0.5 games back of the Phillies on May 5 after a horrendous start is still pretty remarkable. However, Omar Minaya needs to realize that he’s still a few steps behind the Phillies, and should bolster the starting rotation now to help keep his team in contention. He sure owes us that much, and owes it to himself.