The Mets open a three-game series in a crucial stretch if they have any plans of making a playoff push. The Mets are 54-54 and eight games behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East. The Phillies are 60-48 and two games out of first.

Jonathon Niese is coming off one of his worst starts of the season. He is 7-5 with a 3.78 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and an 86/37 K/BB ratio in 112 innings. Joe Blanton will take the mound for the Phillies. He is 4-6 with a 5.86 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and a 72/26 K/BB ratio in 106 innings.

Mets lineup

Reyes ss

Pagan lf 

Beltran cf 

Wright 3b 

Davis 1b 

Thole c 

Francoeur rf 

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Castillo 2b 

Niese p 

Phillies lineup

Rollins SS

Ibanez LF

Mets videos

Polanco 3B

Sweeney 1B

Werth CF

Francisco RF

Ruiz C

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Valdez 2B

Blanton P

Mets lose, 7-5 and fall one game under .500.

Top 9: Baez now pitching for the Phillies. Wright strikes out looking. Davis singles to right. Tholes pops up to Rollins. Francoeur reaches on an infield single. J.C. Romero comes in to face Mike Hessman, who is pinch hitting for Castillo. Hessman hits a three-run homer to rightfield and the Mets are still alive. The Phillies lead has dwindled to 7-5. Brad Lidge will come on to pitch. Jesus Feliciano pinch hits and strikes out looking.

Bottom 8: Bobby Parnell relieves Niese, who went seven innings, allowing four hits, one run, five walks, and struck out seven. He threw 112 pitches; 68 for strikes. Sweeney lines a single to right. Werth singles to center on a full count and Sweeney goes to third. Francisco singles to center scoring Sweeney to tie the score at 2.  Ruiz, hitting .439 his last 10 games, singles up the middle on a 3-and-1 count to score Werth. That's four consecutive hits allowed by Parnell, who departs. Pedro Feliciano now pitching.  Valdez lays down a sacrifice bunt that goes for a single. Wright went to cover third base and Feliciano couldn't get the ball. That play and this innings sums up the Mets over the last few weeks. Pinch hitter Ross Gload walks to force in a run. Even with a depleted team, the difference between the Mets and Phillies is apparent in this inning. Rollins singles to drive in another run. The bases remain loaded and the Phils lead 5-2. Ibanez strikes out swinging. Manny Acosta relieves Feliciano. Polanco hits a sacrifice fly to center to make it 6-2. Sweeney, who started the inning with a single, lines a RBI single to center. Werth grounds out to third and the nightmare inning finall comes to an end.

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Phillies 7, Mets 2

Top 8: Chad Durbin relieves Blanton. Reyes strikes out swinging. Pagan just gets thrown out by Polanco. Beltran gets robbed of a hit as Sweeney made a diving stop and flipped to Durbin for the final out.

Mets 2, Phillies 1

Bottom 7: John Mayberry pinch hits for Blanton and strikes out. Niese has really bounced back well after throwing 64 pitches in the first three innings. Rollins pops up to center for the second out. Ibanez walked with two outs. Polanco grounds into a fielder's choice.

Mets 2, Phillies 1

Top 7: Thole strikes out swinging. Francoeur reaches on an infield single as Blanton tried to barehand it and it deflected to Rollins who couldn't field it cleanly. Castillo fouls out to third. Niese strikes out looking to end it. 

Mets 2, Phillies 1

Bottom 6:  Werth strikes out looking. Francisco flies to center. Niese had retired nine straight before Ruiz singled. Valdez lines out to second.

Mets 2, Phillies 1

Top 6: Beltran pops up to third. Wright just gets thrown out by Polanco for out No. 2. Davis strikes out for another 1-2-3 inning.

Mets 2, Phillies 1

Bottom 5: Ibanez grounds out to Reyes. Polanco pops up to Reyes, who is getting a lot of action tonight. Sweeney flies to center for a 1-2-3 inning.

Mets 2, Phillies 1

Top 5: Niese struck out, Reyes lined to center and Pagan flied to left. An easy inning for Blanton. 

Mets 2, Phillies 1

Bottom 4: Valdez strikes out swining. Blanton strikes out swining. Rollins strikes out and a much-needed 1-2-3 inning for Niese.

Mets 2, Phillies 1

Top 4: Beltran grounds out to Blanton. Wright breaks an 0-for-16 skid with a single to left. Davis bloops a single to shallow left. Thole singles up the middle to score Wright and five the Mets the lead. Francoeur flies to deep center as the wind is taking the ball pretty good. Davis advances to third. Will Castillo bunt with two outs? Nope. He grounds to second. Maybe a bunt would have been better.

Mets 2, Phillies 1

Bottom 3: Reyes makes a tremendous stop deep in the hole just inside the outfield grass and makes a good throw to Davis to get Polanco. Really nice play. Sweeney grounds out to Reyes. That one was more routine. Werth singles past a diving Reyes for a two-out hit. Francisco follows with a walk. Niese doesn't have good control. Ruiz lines out to right. Niese has thrown 64 pitches.

Phillies 1, Mets 1

Top 3: Francoeur lines a base hit to right to start it off. Castillo tries to bunt and gets thrown out by Polanco. A terrible play with the pitcher on deck and the official scorer gives him a sacrifice? Bad call there. Francouer goes to second. Niese grounds out to first for the second out. Reyes singles up the middle to tie the score at 1. Pagan flies to right for out No. 3.

Phillies 1, Mets 1

Bottom 2: Valdez grounds out to Reyes. Blanton strikes out. Rollins draws a two-out walk. Ibanez flies out to left and Pagan almost made an awful play. He went back to the track and then had to race in a few steps to make a diving catch to end the inning.

Phillies 1, Mets 0

Top 2: Wright, in a 0-for-15 streak, fouls out to Ruiz to extend the drought. Davis pops up to Polanco. Thole grounds out to Blanton and the Mets go very quietly. Looking like another lackluster performance is on the way.

Phillies 1, Mets 0

Bottom 1: The Phillies lineup has a different look with all the injuries. Rollins is still hitting leadoff and he grounds out to third base. Ibanez is starting to hit and is in the second spot and he drops one just over the head of Reyes for a single. He advances to second on a passed ball and it costs the Mets a run. Polanco doubles down the leftfield line to score Ibanez. Sweeney, who was just acquired from the Mariners, lines to short. Werth, who likes like the wrestler Edge (right?), draws a walk. Francisco walks to load the bases. Niese is up to 22 pitches. Ruiz strikes out on a changeup to end it.

Phillies 1, Mets 0

Top 1: Reyes grounds back to Blanton to start the game. Pagan, one of the best Mets this season, lines a 3-and-2 pitch into right for a single. Beltran grounds into a 6-6-3 double play to end it. Another great start for the Mets.

Mets 0, Phillies 0