New York Mets: Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- First Juan Lagares in D.C., and now Matt den Dekker in Philly, jumped at the wall to take away would-be homers by opponents against Bartolo Colon. So which catch did Colon like better?

“I liked den Dekker’s because it was tonight. Lagares’ was, like, ages ago,” Colon joked through an interpreter after the Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 11-2 on Monday to win four of five in the series.

In his first start in the majors this season, den Dekker took a home run away from Ryan Howard to lead off the bottom of the second inning. An inning later, den Dekker threw out Reid Brignac attempting to score from second base on Ben Revere’s single. He also went 1-for-5 with a run scored in an audition for the leadoff spot on the day Lagares landed on the disabled list with a rib-cage strain.

“The last maybe two weeks in Vegas I was leading off,” den Dekker said. “So I felt fine there. I felt like I was seeing the ball well in Vegas, and I just tried to keep that going here.”

Said Terry Collins: “Before Juan burst on the scene here, Matt den Dekker was the talk of the organization, especially defensively. Everybody knows he’s got power in his bat. Everybody talked about, 'If this guy hits, he’s going to be a real, real good defensive center fielder.' He made a great play tonight.”

Den Dekker said he was surprised Phillies third-base coach Pete Mackanin aggressively sent Brignac in the third inning, when the Mets held only a modest 1-0 lead.

“Off the bat I saw him," den Dekker said. "He maybe froze for a second because it was a line drive off the bat. I didn’t think they would send him. I just came up ready to throw and hit the cut and made a good throw.”

Den Dekker had been informed Sunday morning that he had been demoted so the Mets could carry an extra bullpen arm. He couldn’t find the game on TV at the hotel and his flight to Las Vegas was not until 8:30 that night, so he roamed the City of Brotherly Love for a while and even caught a glimpse of the Liberty Bell.

Den Dekker never had to pack for the minors, though, because Lagares landed on the DL and den Dekker was re-promoted.

“Nobody knew that Juan was going to go down [with an injury],” den Dekker said. “Things happen like that. You just try to stay ready and get in there and have a good game and help the team out.”

W2W4: Mets at Phillies (April 13)

April, 13, 2012
Cliff Lee Matchups to Watch
Lee has made three starts against the Mets and allowed just one run in 21 innings. The primary reason for his success is that in those three games, the Mets are 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position against him.

The Mets haven’t hit with runners in scoring position all season. They are 9-for-54 with 19 strikeouts in those situations.

It would make sense to play Scott Hairston today, since Hairston is a right-handed hitter, but he’s just 1-for-11 in his career against Lee.

R.A. Dickey Matchups To Watch
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins is 0-for-his-last 12 against Dickey and 1-for-14 against him overall.

The switch-hitting Rollins has even tried batting right-handed against Dickey, but that hasn’t helped. He’s 0-for-4 when he does.

Dickey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his last start against the Phillies on September 24. He also pitched a one-hitter against them in 2010.

Beware Hunter Pence
Phillies rightfielder Hunter Pence turns 29 today and will look to continue a developing trend this season of players performing well on their birthdays.

Over the last three days, four major leaguers—Andre Ethier (Dodgers), Mark Teixeira (Yankees), Alejandro De Aza (White Sox) and Brennan Boesch (Tigers) have increased their age by one year.

The four are a combined 8-for-18 with two home runs and seven RBI.

Pence has played twice on his birthday and is a combined 0-for-7 in those games. He’s a career .242 hitter against the Mets, but was 8-for-22 with two home runs against them, after being traded mid-year from the Astros to the Phillies.

Citizens Bank Park Issues
The Mets are 9-18 over the last three seasons at Citizens Bank Park and have been outscored, 143-101.

Baserunning Matchup
The Mets have allowed only two steals in four attempts to opponents this season, but they’ll be tested by the Phillies who are a perfect 8-for-8 on steal attempts. Their 83 percent success rate on steal attempts since 2010 is by far the best in the majors.

Duda in a Funk
Lucas Duda was 0-for-11 in the series against the Nationals and is 1-for-9 this season against left-handed pitching. He’s still looking for his first career home run against a lefty, having gone 90 at-bats without one.

Pregame: Beltran in, Duda out

September, 12, 2010
NEW YORK -- Center fielder Carlos Beltran returns to the Mets lineup this afternoon against the Phillies, while struggling left fielder Lucas Duda will get a day off.

Beltran returns to the No. 3 spot in the lineup after sitting out yesterday’s 4-3 Mets win over Philadelphia with tendonitis in his left knee. Beltran and Mets manager Jerry Manuel talked after yesterday’s contest, with Manuel asking Beltran if he was ready to play and his centerfielder telling him he could take the field today.

“I’m OK,” Beltran said. “Like I said, this is something that is not new for me, I dealt with this before so I know how to handle it.”

Beltran said he played through tendonitis during the 2006 and 2007 seasons, but it gets to the point where it gets painful and he wants to get it fixed. Doctors told him he was going to go through this pain because he would be compensating by not putting pressure on his right knee, which he had surgery on in January.

“When I start playing in the rehab games I felt it,” Beltran said. “Not a big deal, I’ve been there before, but it got to the point, where it was a little bit more. So I let the trainers know about it, and they decided to give me a day off, and today I’m there.”

Beltran said the only rehab he can do is icing the knee and staying away from running the bikes before the games and activities like that. He maintains that the tendinitis is not a big deal, and all parties involved are focusing on taking the proper steps to manage it.

“I think it’s just kind of something that flared up and he calmed it down and he can go back and play,” Manuel said. “I think we’ll try to do what we’ve been doing (which) is when we get a chance to give him a break, we give him that break, but he should be OK.”

While Beltran returns, Duda will get a much-needed break from action. The rookie is 1-for-28 to start his major league career, and has not recorded a hit since Sept. 3. He went 0-for-2 yesterday before being replaced by a pinch hitter.

Manuel said yesterday he would try to find good matchups for Duda, and decided to pass on the rookie getting at-bats against Phillies’ starter Roy Oswalt.

“Yesterday I thought he was a little anxious. I thought he saw probably two pitches and two outs,” Manuel said. “I think when you get that way you press a little bit, so I think it’s best to give him a day off today.”



Daniel Murphy
.289 9 57 79
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187