Sunday, September 22, 2013

For Pride

Two teams playing out the string doesn't quite have the panache as Mets/Phillies September matchups of recent years, but it's still nice for the Mets to go down there and come away with a sweep. These are a pair of teams that still have a good rivalry, and although they've both suffered through some years loaded with injuries and inconsistent play, they both still want to beat each other.

Fortunately, the Mets, who appeared energized by the return of David Wright, capitalized on an early Wright Homer to win Friday, and Wright homered again on Saturday as the Mets won a rain-shortened affair 5-4 in 6+ innings. Wright's homer was supplemented by another homer from Daniel Murphy and a 2-run triple from Juan Lagares in support of Dillon Gee, who got credit for the rarely-seen 6-inning Complete Game. Gee, who pocketed his 12th win of the season, was solid early and then stopped a 6th inning Philly response rally before it got out of control, while the weather was unpleasant, at best. The rains eventually stopped the game in the top of the 7th, and some time later, when I came back to check, the game had been called.

Sunday, the Mets completed the sweep behind Carlos Torres and newbie Wilfredo Tovar, who came through with 2 hits in his Major League debut. On an afternoon where Citizen's Bank Park was just about sold out for the Phils' final Home Game of the season, the situation seemed to dictate that Cliff Lee would go out and stifle the Mets. And early on, he certainly did that, striking out the side in the 1st and going from there. But in spite of opportunities, his offense couldn't score him many runs. A single run in the 2nd and another in the 6th was all they could manage. Meanwhile, the Mets just sort of hung around. They scored a run of their own in the 3rd with a little small ball, but it wasn't until the 7th when they struck. Lagares' single was followed by a double from Anthony Recker that the Philly outfielders just didn't make much of an effort to catch. This set the stage for the Rookie Tovar, who picked a good moment for his first career hit, a single to left that scored Lagares and when Domonic Brown booted the ball, Recker scored the lead run. Lagares drove in an insurance run in the 8th, which was important because Philly got a run back off Vic Black in the bottom half, but LaTroy Hawkins finished things off in the 9th, closing out the 4-3 victory and the sweep with his milestone 100th career Save.

So, the Mets are now done with divisional games for the season. For the year, they end up winning the season series 10-9 from the Phillies. But you figure the Mets will more or less split the Phillies for the season anyway. It's their performance against some other division foes that they'll rue when they look back at the season. One final road swing to Cincinnati before the Mets return home to close out the campaign.

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