New York Mets: Ron Kulpa
May, 7, 2012
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: Omir Santos … again?
Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, who had not allowed a hit in the last 18 at-bats against him entering the series, surrendered a one-out walk to Ike Davis, two-out double to Mike Nickeas, then a three-run homer to pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Mets to a 5-2 win Monday at Citizens Bank Park.
It was Valdespin’s first major league hit. He is due to start at shortstop Tuesday in place of injured Ruben Tejada.
Papelbon, of course, served up the infamous two-run homer on May 23, 2009 to Santos at Fenway Park in a blown save.
GAMER: Ex-Met Ty Wigginton knocked Josh Thole from the game in the bottom of the eighth on a play at the plate. Thole took a jolt to the head from Wigginton’s left shoulder. He walked off under his own power, but seemingly will need to be monitored for a concussion. Thole held onto the ball, preserving the 2-2 score. Tim Byrdak recorded the final out of the eighth to strand the go-ahead run at third base with a strikeout.
Wigginton has a history of hard-nosed plate collisions. As a Met in 2003 in San Juan, he locked his arms and struck Montreal Expos catcher Michael Barrett, jarring a ball loose.
In the six weeks after he was traded from the Mets to the Pirates in the Kris Benson deal at the July 2004 deadline, Wigginton broke Koyie Hill's ankle and bruised St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina in jarring home-plate collisions while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
DRIVEN: David Wright pulled the Mets even at 2 with a two-out, two-run double in the sixth against Roy Halladay. It was the 740th and 741st RBIs of Wright’s Mets career, extending his franchise record.
HALLADAY SPREE: Halladay’s streak of winning eight straight starts against the Mets ended with a no-decision. Barely.
In the bottom of the seventh, in an inning in which Halladay departed for a pinch hitter with the score tied at 2, the Phillies loaded the bases with one out against Bobby Parnell. Parnell then induced a groundball to Daniel Murphy, who initiated a 4-6-3 inning-ending double-play attempt.
First base ump Alan Porter ruled Hunter Pence had beaten the relay throw from Justin Turner, seemingly allowing Juan Pierre -- who walked as the pinch hitter for Halladay -- to score the go-ahead run. Terry Collins got halfway to first base to argue the call when Pence then was ruled out.
The out call came from second base ump Ron Kulpa, who ruled Shane Victorino had left the base line to interfere with Turner.
It’s not the first time at Citizens Bank Park an interference call affected a game late.
Back on Aug. 29, 2007, during a four-game sweep of the Mets by the Phillies, the third game ended with Marlon Anderson called by umpire C.B. Bucknor for an illegal takeout slide against second baseman Tadahito Iguchi.
Halladay, who received a no-decision, fell short of matching Juan Marichal and Sandy Koufax for the fourth-longest streak all time of consecutive starts with a win against the Mets. They both had wins in nine straight starts. Only Larry Jackson (13 straight), Don Drysdale (12) and Bob Friend (10) have longer streaks.
Coming off an outing against Atlanta in which he surrendered eight runs, Halladay had limited the Mets to one hit entering the sixth. Then, in that inning, he issued a two-out walk to Andres Torres and single to Kirk Nieuwenhuis preceding Wright’s game-tying double.
FIVE AND DIVE: Jon Niese limited the Phillies to two runs, but the southpaw walked four and departed Monday’s game having logged 101 pitches in five innings. He received a no-decision. It was the most pitches in a five-inning-or-less outing by a Mets starter since Chris Capuano went 4 2/3 innings in a 103-pitch outing at St. Louis last Sept. 22.
WHAT’S NEXT: Miguel Batista steps into the rotation slot that Chris Schwinden occupied for two unsuccessful turns. And this is not a make-or-break start for the 41-year-old Batista, according to Collins. “He’s going to get a few chances to show us what he can do,” Collins said. The manager added that Batista is not a placeholder for Chris Young, although it certainly seems that’s the case. Young, working back from May 16, 2011 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder, is scheduled to throw 75 pitches Thursday for Class A St. Lucie in his first official minor league game.
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