Monday, May 28, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Phillies 8, Mets 4
By Adam Rubin
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: David Wright -- forced into shortstop duty for only the second time in his pro career, with Justin Turner departing with an ankle injury and Ronny Cedeño unavailable -- seemed to have a costly misstep. And the Mets ultimately opened a stretch of eight straight series against teams with winning records with an 8-4 loss to the Phillies on Memorial Day.
Wright uneventfully handled his first chance at shortstop, a leadoff grounder in the fifth by Placido Polanco. But with the score tied at 4, Wright was not touching second base when he accepted a seventh-inning throw from Bobby Parnell while trying to force out Jimmy Rollins at second base and initiate a double play. The Mets only were credited with the out at first base, with Rollins ruled safe.
Ex-Met Ty Wigginton eventually plated Rollins with a two-out single to give the Phillies the decisive lead. (Wright postgame said he purposely cut off the throw because Rollins would have been safe on the hit-and-run, and Wright wanted to make sure to get at least one out, at first base.)
Regardless, Wright had a chance to make amends with Andres Torres on third base and two out in the eighth, but he grounded out against Cole Hamels. Wright is now hitless in his last 14 at-bats as his average has dipped to .373.
Manny Acosta -- whose place on the roster is dangling by a thread, especially with Miguel Batista, Pedro Beato, Chris Young and Jenrry Mejia all viable promotions within a couple of weeks -- served up a three-run homer to Wigginton in the ninth. Wigginton finished with a career-high six RBIs. He is fourth player this season with a six-RBI game against the Mets, joining J.P. Arencibia, Chris Johnson and Carlos Gonzalez. Acosta's ERA swelled to 11.86. There have been only 11 six-plus-RBI games against other MLB teams this season.
FATHER'S DAY: Torres, whose wife gave birth at 6:30 this morning, had hustled to leg out a pinch-hit double to open the eighth inning with the Mets trailing 5-4. He advanced to third on Kirk Nieuwenhuis' groundout, but was stranded there when first Daniel Murphy with the infield in and then Wright grounded out.
THUMPS OFF COLE: Vinny Rottino and Scott Hairston delivered two-run homers in consecutive innings against Hamels, both of which evened the score. Rottino's fifth-inning shot, which made it 2-all, struck above the orange line in the left-field corner and would not have been a homer under the former Citi Field dimensions. Hairston's homer off Hamels in the sixth made it 4-4.
FREE PASSES: Jon Niese's wildness proved costly as three of the four Phillies who scored against him reached via walk.
Niese issued two-out walks to Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino in the third inning ahead of Wigginton's two-run double, which snapped the Mets' 28-inning scoreless streak. Then, a half-inning after the Mets had knotted the score at 2 on Rottino's long ball, Niese opened the sixth by walking Wigginton ahead of a two-run homer by John Mayberry Jr.
Niese's final line in a 115-pitch effort: 5-plus IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 7 K.
WELCOME: Jack Egbert, who hails from Rutherford, N.J., and pitched at Rutgers, made his Mets debut, completing the ninth inning in place of Acosta and recorded the final two outs. Egbert had appeared in two games with the Chicago White Sox in 2009. Egbert missed the 2010 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
MORE WRIGHT STUFF: Wright committed an error, but it came at third base, before he shifted to shortstop. Wright's error was one of two in the first inning. Murphy also committed one. Niese stranded the bases loaded that frame by coaxing a flyout from Mayberry.
WHAT’S NEXT: Jeremy Hefner, whose outing fell apart after a 68-minute rain delay in his first major league start, gets another shot Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. Hefner (0-2, 6.17 ERA) opposes Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton (2-2, 4.55).