Terry Collins’ take on the Mets’ season-opening .500 trip to Miami and Philadelphia?
“That’s certainly not the way you want to go home, to start the season at home,” Collins said after the Mets lost 11-0 to Roy Halladay and the Phillies on Thursday afternoon. “As you’re sitting back, trying to look at the best side of it, that’s, ‘Hey, we started on the road. We’re 3-3. We’re going home. We get to play in our park for the first time. The energy will be rekindled.’ They swung the bat great the last two nights. We couldn’t stop them. If you can’t stop them with him on the mound, you’re not going to win many games.”
• With the bases loaded and one out in the third inning, Halladay struck out David Wright on a down-and-away cutter and got Ike Davis on a groundout to preserve a scoreless tie.
“I think what makes him so good is that all his pitches look the same coming out of his hand,” Wright said. “There are some guys that might slow their arm speed up a little bit on the changeup, or you could see a little something different on off-speed pitches. But him, everything comes out the same.”
Said Davis about his encounter: “That was a very bad at-bat.”
Predictably, Collins noted the Mets cannot let good pitchers wriggle free of jams like that.
“You can’t let good pitchers off the hook,” Collins said. “I don’t care who it is -- Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, [Sandy] Koufax, [Don] Drysdale -- you can’t let them off the hook. We had chances to get some runs. Not that it would have changed the outcome hugely, but certainly it changed the way you approached a lot of things.”
Asked if Halladay was getting the benefit of the doubt on some calls after complaining to plate umpire Mike Everitt following an early walk to Angel Pagan, Collins said: “From where I sit, I couldn’t tell. There were a couple of balls that certainly could have been called balls that were called strikes. But we saw enough pitches. We had other opportunities to get some hits.”
Josh Thole clearly felt wronged on a full-count call that was ruled on the inside corner to end the fourth that stranded Pagan a third base.
• Jon Niese was charged with six earned runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out seven in four innings.
“I think I missed my spots on my fastball and cutter,” Niese said. “I thought for the most part my curveball was pretty sharp today. They battled me good. They put some good swings on some mistakes. … I didn’t throw the ball necessarily where I wanted to.”
Niese, by the way, has not allowed a steal in 36 straight starts, the longest streak in franchise history.
• Philly writers believed Wright said something to Wilson Valdez after the ex-Met tagged to third base up 10-0 in the eighth inning, in violation of unwritten baseball etiquette. Wright professed postgame to have no knowledge of an exchange.
Valdez said to reporters that Wright told him he was a good player. If that’s precisely what Wright said, it probably was meant as a backhanded compliment for the tag. Valdez had a career-high four hits.
• Davis committed a fifth-inning throwing error on a grounder by Raul Ibanez, when he tried to catch the lead runner, Ryan Howard, at second base but instead threw the ball past Jose Reyes.
“I probably would have just held it and tagged first, especially with the score,” Davis said. “If I throw it normal, he’s out by 10 feet still. Once I bobbled it, I probably should have just ate it and tagged first. You live and you learn, right? I guess it’s better to make it when you’re down eight than up one in the ninth. Next time I’ll definitely just tag first.”
• Mike Pelfrey is prepared to get jeered Friday during introductions, if that’s what the Citi Field crowd needs to do to express displeasure with his first two outings. With Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez gone, Francisco Rodriguez could be another target -- although K-Rod has repeatedly said he hopes to win back the fans following the August incident at the stadium with his girlfriend’s father.