Monday, June 2, 2014

Game of the Day (6/1/14)

Mets 4, Phillies 3 (11). And there's still a game left in the series... The Mets at least bothered to find an experienced starter in this one, sending Jon Niese against Philly's Cole Hamels.

Both starters gave up a few hits in the early going, but nothing that stuck on the scoreboard. The singles were by Juan Lagares and Jimmy Rollins in their respective halves of the first, Chris Young and Curtis Granderson in the top of the second, and Ben Revere in the bottom of the third. The fourth inning introduced scoring into the game; David Wright led off the top of the inning with a double, moved to third on a hit by Eric Campbell, and scored on Young's foul sac fly. A Granderson walk and an intentional pass of Travis d'Arnaud loaded the bases before Niese grounded out to end the inning, and the Phillies struck back in the bottom of the inning on a Carlos Ruiz double and a Ryan Howard homer.

Hamels threw a perfect fifth, then singled in the bottom of the inning; Revere then walked, but Rollins hit into a double play. New York tied it in the top of the sixth when Campbell doubled, Young reached on an error, and Granderson added a sac fly.

Niese worked around a Ruiz single in the bottom of the sixth, while Hamels saw Lagares reach on an error to open the seventh before stranding him. Cesar Hernandez opened the bottom of the seventh with a bunt hit, and made it to third before being left on. Cesar Jimenez relieved Hamels in the eighth and allowed a Ruben Tejada single, but nothing else; the Mets gave Niese one more inning, and he rewarded them by retiring the Phillies in order.

Jonathan Papelbon was perfect in the ninth, and Scott Rice and Vic Black combined on an identical bottom of the inning. Justin De Fratus and Josh Edgin also kept the bases clear in the tenth, with Edgin striking out the side. The game finally broke in the top of the eleventh when d'Arnaud walked and Lucas Duda homered against Philippe Aumont; Marlon Byrd went deep against Jenrry Mejia in the bottom of the inning, but the bases were empty for his longball, and Mejia allowed nothing else.

I don't know if I've ever seen two teams combine on three consecutive Games of the Day before this series - and they'll get a shot at a fourth tonight. As you might reasonably expect, playing two of the top 15 games of the year and another that's just outside the top 100 has boosted both teams up the excitement standings; they've moved from fifth and sixth to second and third (with the Phillies slightly ahead), and both are within striking distance of the Pirates for the top spot.

Irrelevant side note: As of yesterday's games, the top two teams in average WPL so far this year are the two based in Pennsylvania. The bottom two are the ones based in Texas.

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