Saturday, July 16, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Mets 11, Phillies 2
By Adam Rubin
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: Cole Hamels may be an All-Star, but not against the Mets. The southpaw fell to 3-10 in his career against the Amazin's after matching a career high by surrendering seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Hamels' previous season high had been six runs allowed on April 5, also against the Mets, when he lasted only 2 2/3 innings.
Scott Hairston went 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs, including a three-run homer in the seventh off reliever Danys Baez.
The Mets (47-46) moved a game over .500 and closed to within 11 games of the first-place Phillies.
NO BELT BUCKLE: Terry Collins was going to find a place for Hairston in the lineup because of his success against left-handed pitchers, and in particular against Hamels, regardless of Carlos Beltran's availability. Hairston ended up in right field because Beltran was suffering from the flu and a high fever. Hairston improved his career totals to .400 (8-for-20) with three homers and six RBIs against Hamels.
Hairston, placed in Beltran's customary No. 3 hole, doubled and scored with two outs in the first inning. Two innings later he doubled down the third-base line to score Jonathon Niese and Justin Turner to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Hairston struck out against Hamels in their third encounter.
DEFENSE RESTS: The Mets' opening run -- and arguably their first three -- were preventable. After Hairston's two-out double in the first, Daniel Murphy sent a harmless pop fly to the right side of the infield. Second baseman Chase Utley deferred to first baseman Ryan Howard, who must have thought Utley would catch it because he shied away late, too. The ball dropped and Hairston scored.
Hairston's two-run double in the third was a rocket groundball. But third baseman Wilson Valdez, a sound fielder filling in for strong defensive third baseman Placido Polanco (back), had the ball go by him on the backhand.
For the Mets, Ruben Tejada committed two errors. The latter came with the bases loaded and none out in the seventh on a grounder by pinch-hitter Michael Martinez, which allowed Philadelphia's first run to score after the Mets had built a 7-0 lead.
TRIPLE DOUBLE: Nick Evans chased Hamels with a fifth-inning triple that scored Jason Bay. It was Evans' second career triple. The other came on Oct. 2, 2009 against Houston -- off current teammate Tim Byrdak.
O-NO: Bay snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a fifth-inning single off Hamels. Angel Pagan's drought ended at 0-for-17 later that same inning. Pagan had a sacrifice fly earlier in the game.
DEEP THOUGHTS: Murphy's solo homer off Hamels was the infielder's sixth of the season, and first since June 30 at Detroit off Justin Verlander.
NIESELY DONE: Niese allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out six and walking one in seven innings.
WHAT’S NEXT: Mike Pelfrey (5-8, 4.55 ERA) opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (4-4, 3.58) in the rubber game at 1:10 p.m. on Sunday. The Mets will not see Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee in the series after each pitched two innings in the All-Star Game.