The Mets (25-21) beat the Phillies (19-28) by a score of 6-3 on Monday afternoon at Citi Field.
Bartolo Colon pitched well for the Mets after a horrendous performance his last time out. The newly-minted 42 year-old allowed three runs on six hits and two walks in six innings, striking out six.
The Mets got going early against Severino Gonzalez. Curtis Granderson led off the bottom of the first with a single, and after moving up a base when Lucas Duda was drilled by a pitch, Grandy scored on a base-hit from Daniel Murphy.
Colon coughed up the lead in the top of the third. After the Phillies made two quick outs, Ben Revere grounded one to the left side and beat the throw from Wilmer Flores, who had made a nice diving stop to keep it in the infield. Freddy Galvis then doubled to put a pair of runners in scoring position, and Chase Utley brought both of them home with a single that gave the Phils a 2-1 lead.
The Mets got one of those runs back in the home half of the inning, when Lucas Duda crushed a solo shot over the wall in right-center to even the score. New York regained the lead in the next inning, when Michael Cuddyer led off with a home run that landed in the second deck out in left field.
Given the lead for the second time, Bartolo once again failed to hold on. After Colon issued an uncharacteristic leadoff walk to the opposing pitcher, Galvis laid down a perfect drag bunt with one out to put runners on first and second. At least, it worked perfectly. Galvis appeared to have stepped on the plate while putting the bunt down, but the umpires missed the call, and told Terry Collins that the play was not reviewable.
The visitors loaded the bases when Utley hit a soft liner into left, before Ryan Howard tied the game at 3 with a long sacrifice fly to dead-center. Colon escaped further trouble with some help from Lucas Duda, who made a nice grab in foul territory for the third out.
Bartolo led off the bottom of the fifth with a single (to the delight of the crowd) and Granderson followed with a base-hit of his own to give the Mets two baserunners to start the frame. But after Colon moved to third on a deep sacrifice fly from Juan Lagares, reliever Elvis Araujo got Duda to hit into a double-play and end the threat.
The Mets took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth. After Daniel Murphy singled, reliever Justin De Fratus came in and walked Cuddyer on four pitches, bringing Flores to the plate. Flores cashed in on the opportunity, hitting a shot that cleared the wall in left and put the Mets up 6-3.
Alex Torres took the ball from Colon and worked a scoreless top of the seventh. The heavily-armored lefty stayed in to face Philadelphia’s two big lefties in the top of the eighth, and walked Chase Utley before fanning Ryan Howard to finish his work. Hansel Robles came in to finish the inning, and worked around a wild pitch to get the job done.
Cuddyer walked again in the bottom of the eighth and nearly stole second, but was called out when the umpires ruled that Wilmer Flores had interfered with the catcher after striking out on the pitch.
Jeurys Familia came in to close out the game and got a groundout and a strikeout before things got a bit strange with two down in the ninth. Familia fanned Jeff Francoueur with a slider in the dirt, but the ball scooted away from Anthony Recker, and Francoueur sprinted down to first. The throw from Anthony Recker was on time, but the first-base umpire said that Lucas Duda had failed to keep his foot on the bag. Frenchy was called safe, and while the call appeared to be wrong, it was not reviewed (it appeared that the umpires believed Terry had waited too long to throw the proverbial flag).
But the play would be of no consequence. Familia got Revere to line out to Duda to end the ballgame, putting the brakes on New York’s three-game skid.
The Mets needed to get off to a good start in their home series against the Phillies after a horrible series in Pittsburgh, and that’s just what they did.
Colon wasn’t great, but he was good, and certainly far better than he was against the Cardinals. The Mets have let their opponents light up the scoreboard too often in recent games, so it was important for Colon to turn in a good start and at least give the beleaguered bats a chance.
And the bats didn’t look too beleaguered in this one. They certainly held up their end of the bargain with three home runs. Duda is really starting to find his power stroke, and Cuddyer has looked a bit more lively of late. Flores now leads all MLB shortstops in homers, Grandy has had a good month, and Murphy has turned his season around as well. This is not a hopeless offense, just one that has played poorly of late. Today, the hitters came through.
The idea of a non-reviewable call is absurd. Is the MLB serious about replay or not? Terry should have been able to challenge the bunt from Galvis, and, if he wanted to challenge that play in the ninth, the umpires certainly should have let him, even if he did hesitate a bit.
This team has been fantastic at home. If they keep that up, it can only help their attendance figures.
Let’s see if the Mets can secure a series win tomorrow, so we can forget all about that dud in Pittsburgh.