I suppose the small bit of solace Mets fans can take from this weekend's series in Philadelphia is that we figured we'd probably lose two of three to what is, for all intents and purposes, the best team in the National League.
What's rather frustrating is how these two losses came about on the heels of a dominant victory on Friday night.
See, Friday's game felt like a continuation of the several games the Mets had played before that. Niese did his job getting out of an early jam, settled in and was great. The bats continued to do their job, and after the 8-1 win, the 8th victory in a row, everyone felt on top of the world. The Mets were unstoppable. We were going to beat up the Phillies, and then storm the rest of the league. World Series, here we come!
The weekend was the reality check. We may not be as bad as we thought we were going to be, but we're also not as good as we might look at times either.
I was out most of the afternoon on Saturday, partaking in my usual acts of Civil Disobedience or whatever you choose to call it, and I figured I was in line to miss a good pitcher's duel between Pelfrey and Halladay. Fortunately, I was being sent updates via BlackBerry IM, so I was able to keep up with the happenings. Unfortunately, once the game got to 6-0, the updates stopped because the game wasn't really worth following anymore. It wasn't so much that Pelfrey was bad, but he wasn't helped by some shoddy defense in the process. The Pelfrey skeptics would have a field day with it, oh, here he comes, back to Earth, same lousy Pelfrey, so a good start his next time out against the Giants when the Mets return home would be imperative for him. Just saying. On the other side, Halladay, pitching against the Mets for the first time in as long as I can remember, just settled in and very neatly shoved the bats up the Mets asses. So long, streak, so long, good vibes.
But with Santana going on Sunday night, you figured things would be OK, right? Well, on a steamy, humid night, and what must have been as steamy and humid a night in Philadelphia, Santana just completely melted down, and it was all the fault of Tasti-D-Lite. Here's why: The Mets started off pretty strong, and in the bottom of the 4th, they held a 5-2 lead. I was home and had a jonesing for some Tasti-D, and I was waiting for an opportune moment to go. Utley led off the inning with a double and I figured I'd wait to see how Howard's at-bat turned out before I left. When he flew out, I went out, got my Tasti-D, and came back. I was gone probably about 7 minutes. I got back to my apartment just in time to hear Chase Utley hitting a Home Run to give the Phillies a 10-5 lead. You can only imagine the epithets I was muttering at this point. Goodbye game, goodbye good feelings. The Tasti-D didn't taste quite as good after that.
So, the Mets depart Philadelphia having lost one game in the standings and no longer in 1st place. Santana leaves with an ERA now double what it had been at the outset. Mets fans leave knowing that we're still not quite as good as the Phillies. Time to regroup, as we head to Cincinnati, clear our heads from these beatings and try to get back to winning some games.