PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The way the New York Mets are hitting, they
need shutouts to win.
Pinch-hitter Mark Johnson's RBI double in the ninth inning broke
a scoreless tie, lifting New York to a 1-0 victory over the
Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. The Mets had lost three straight and the Phillies had won three
in a row. "We needed a shutout because we hadn't been hitting well,''
Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. Joe McEwing hit a one-out single off Jose Mesa (1-4), moved to
second when Jeromy Burnitz was hit by a pitch and scored on
Johnson's double to right. Johnson, who had been 6-for-43 before the at-bat, snapped an
0-for-15 slump with the drive over right fielder Bobby Abreu.
Roberto Alomar followed with a line out to left and Burnitz was
thrown out at the plate by Pat Burrell. "When you're struggling, you don't feel like you are helping
the team,'' Johnson said. "It's nice to get a big hit and feel you
are helping.'' Scott Strickland (3-2) pitched two scoreless innings. Armando
Benitez worked the ninth to complete the five-hitter and earn his
ninth save in as many chances. "We aren't scoring 14 runs a game so we have to get good
starting pitching and the bullpen has to do what it's been doing,''
Strickland said. Phillies starter Brandon Duckworth allowed five hits in eight
shutout innings. It was his longest outing in 21 career starts.
"Duckworth threw great,'' Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.
"We just couldn't get him any runs.'' Mets starter Steve Trachsel allowed just three hits -- none after
the third -- and walked one in six innings. He retired 10 of the
last 11 batters he faced. Strickland retired the first five batters he faced, before Jimmy
Rollins hit a two-out triple off the right-field wall. But
Strickland retired Marlon Anderson on a flyout to right to end the
inning. The Mets had runners on first and third with two outs in the
eighth after an infield single by Alfonzo, but Duckworth got Timo
Perez on a foul out to catcher Todd Pratt, who made a nice play in
front of the Phillies dugout. Despite giving up two earned runs or less in six of his 10
starts, Trachsel is just 3-4. "My control was good, I spotted my fastball and established
that,'' Trachsel said. "I threw four pitches, worked ahead and was
aggressive.'' Philadelphia's best chance to score off Trachsel came in the
first when Abreu hit a liner down the right-field line, but a fan
wearing a Mets jersey grabbed the ball, preventing Anderson from
scoring from first. Replays showed the ball appeared to be heading
into the stands, but fans cheered when the Mets fan was escorted
from the stands. Burrell flied out to right to end the inning, and the Phillies
didn't get another runner to second until Rollins tripled in the
"Both pitchers were on the tops of their games and Mark Johnson
got the big hit,'' Rollins said.
Bowa was suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed
amount for last week's run-in with umpire Tony Randazzo. He will
miss a three-game series in Montreal. ... The Phillies hadn't been
shutout since last August against St. Louis. ... Former Phillies
slugger Greg Luzinski, a member of the only championship team in
franchise history in 1980, threw out the first pitch. ... Mets SS
Rey Ordonez didn't start after going 2-for-4 Wednesday. He has five
hits in his last 35 at-bats. ... Rollins struck out leading off
each game this series. He homered leading off consecutive games in
Arizona last week. ... Burrell singled off Benitez in the ninth. He
is 4-for-5 with three homers off him.