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Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Phillies 9, Mets 4

By Adam Rubin

WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets matched their season low-water mark by dropping eight games under .500 at 60-68. They also opened the season 5-13. The not-so-Amazin’s have lost five straight and 17 of 22.

With a matinee on Wednesday, Terry Collins pulled David Wright and Jason Bay from the game in the middle of the seventh, after the Mets’ scored their opening run on Justin Turner’s groundout to trim the deficit to eight runs. Lucas Duda added a two-run homer in the eighth.

NOT SO NIESE: Jon Niese, pushed back a day because he tweaked his back striking out during his previous start in San Diego, allowed a career-high eight earned runs. Niese also allowed eight runs against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 31, 2010, but five were unearned that time.

Niese lasted only four innings on this night, matching his shortest outing of the season (also an 11-0 drubbing by Roy Halladay and the Phillies on April 7).

Shane Victorino opened the scoring with a solo homer in the third. John Mayberry Jr. added a three-run shot later that frame.

Niese departed with the bases loaded and none out in the fifth. All three inherited runners scored against Pedro Beato as the Phillies grabbed a 9-0 lead. The final two runs that inning came home when Angel Pagan misread Victorino’s liner and it landed over the center fielder’s head for a two-run triple.

WATCH MEN: The Mets stranded five runners over the first two innings against Vance Worley, but that barely tells the story. With second and third base occupied in the first two frames, the Mets struck out FIVE times looking -- Duda and Nick Evans in the first, then Niese, Pagan and newly installed No. 2 hitter Ruben Tejada in the second.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets try to avoid the sweep as Mike Pelfrey (6-10, 4.61 ERA) opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (7-5, 3.24) in Wednesday’s 1:05 p.m. start.