Welcome to the Mets blog fans. Tonight Johan Santana (8-6, 3.20 ERA) takes on Philadelphia's Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.56) at Citizens Bank Park.
The Mets (54-55), who fell to the Phillies (61-48), 8-6, last night, are under .500 for the first time in a while and need a victory to even think about staying in the wild card race. The team will look a little different tonight.
Ruben Tejada is in the lineup playing second base and Alex Cora was released. Fernando Martinez was called up and Mike Hessman is playing first base tonight.
Hamels has only one decision in his last five starts, a 1-0 win against the Reds on July 11. But the Phillies came away winners in each of those five starts.
Santana, on the other hand, has had a rough go of it his last two starts. He got tagged for four runs in a 4-1 loss to the Braves last Monday and got hit for seven runs in 5 2/3 innings in an 8-7 loss to the Cardinals.
Check back in a little bit for the first inning.
TOP FIRST:Jose Reyes, after fouling off a few pitches, popped out to first baseman Mike Sweeney for the first out. Angel Pagan grounded out to short for out number 2. Carlos Beltran struck out swinging. No score heading into the bottom of the first.
BOTTOM FIRST: Jimmy Rollins lined out to centerfield for the first out. Raul Ibanez struck out swinging. Placido Palanco flied out to rightfield. Three up and three down for Santana. No score after the first inning.
TOP SECOND: David Wright lined a single to center. Mike Hessman struck out swinging for the first out on a nice changeup by Hamels. Jeff Francoeur flied out to right for the second out. David Wright stole second, his 16th of the season, during an at bat by Henry Blanco. Blanco grounded out to short for the final out. Still no score after an inning and a half.
BOTTOM SECOND: Mike Sweeney flied out to right. Jayson Werth walked. Ben Francisco walked. Carlos Ruiz bounced into a 5-5-3 double play to get Santana out of trouble. We're off to the third inning with no score.
TOP THIRD: Ruben Tejada flied out to right. Johan Santana struck out swinging. Jose Reyes grounded out to third to end the inning. Hamels has faced just one batter over the minimum so far. No score after two and a half innings.
BOTTOM THIRD: Wilson Valdez was thrown out trying to bunt on a great play by Tejada, who played the ball with his glove instead of his bare hand. Cole Hamels flied out to centerfield for the second out. Jimmy Rollins walked. Ibanez flied out to deep center to end the inning. No score after three innings.
TOP FOURTH: Pagan doubled off the wall in left centerfield to lead off the inning. Beltran struck out looking and didn't like the call. Wright struck out swinging. Hessman flied out to left center to end the inning. No score heading into the bottom of the fourth.
BOTTOM FOURTH: Palanco flied out to short right centerfield on a nice falling catch by Ruben Tejada. Sweeney struck out looking on a great changeup by Santana. Werth lined out to center to end the inning. No score after four innings.
TOP FIFTH: Francoeur struck out swinging. Blanco ripped a single to left. Tejada struck out swinging. Santana singled to center, first and second, two out. Reyes bounced into a force play, four-unassisted, to end the inning. No score through four and a half innings.
BOTTOM FIFTH: Francisco popped out to second base. Ruiz struck out swinging on a nasty changeup in the dirt by Santana. Valdez struck out looking. No score after five innings. Santana has held the Phillies hitless through five innings.
TOP SIXTH: Pagan struck out swinging. Beltran doubled down the left field line. Wright struck out swinging on a nasty changeup by Hamels, who has nine strikeouts. Hessman flied out to right to end the inning. We're scoreless through five and a half.
BOTTOM SIXTH: Hamels struck out on a pitch way out of the zone. That's three straight strikeouts for Santana. Rollins grounded out to shortstop. Ibanez struck out on a pitch in the dirt, but it got by Blanco and Ibanez advanced to first. Palanco singled up the middle to break up the no-hitter. Sweeney grounded out to shortstop to end the threat. No score through six innings.
TOP SEVENTH: Francoeur homered to rightfield to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Blanco struck out swinging, Hamels' 10th strikeout. Tejada grounded out to second for the second out. Santana struck out swinging. Hamels has 11 Ks, but the Mets lead 1-0.
BOTTOM SEVENTH: Werth led off the inning with a double. Francisco grounded into a fielder's choice, Werth was thrown out attempting to advance to third for the first out. Ruiz popped out to second. Valdez bunted and reached on an error by Santana. First and second, two out. Pinch-hitter John Mayberry flied out to centerfield to end the threat. Mets lead 1-0 after seven.
TOP EIGHTH:Chad Durbin is pitching for the Phillies. Reyes singled up the middle. Pagan moved Reyes to second with a sacrifice bunt. Beltran popped out to shortstop for the second out. Wright walked. Ike Davis, pinch-hitting for Hessman, walked to load the bases. Francoeur struck out swinging to end the threat. Mets lead 1-0 after seven and a half.
BOTTOM EIGHTH: Santana is still pitching for the Mets. Rollins singled to left. (Francisco Rodriguez is warming up) Ibanez singled to left. Mets pitchign coach Tom Warthen visits with Santana. Palanco bunted for a sacrifice, but Santana fielded it cleanly to get Rollins at third. First and second, one out. Rodriguez is coming in for a five-out save. Sweeney lined to first for the second out. Werth walked to load the bases. Ross Gload is pinch-hitting for Francisco. The Mets bullpen ERA since the all-star break is 4.87.Gload grounded out to second on a 3-2 pitch. Tejada scared the Mets bench with a low throw, but Davis scooped it out fo the dirt. Mets lead 1-0 after eight.
TOP NINTH: Ryan Madson is pitching for the Phillies. Blanco lined out to third for the first out. Tejada struck out swinging for the second out. Fernando Martinez is pinch-hitting for Santana. Martinez grounded out to end the inning. Mets lead 1-0 after eight and a half innings.
BOTTOM NINTH: Ruiz struck out looking. Greg Dobbs, pinch-hitting for the Phillies, lined out to second for the second out. Domonic Brown, another pinch-hitter for Philly, struck out swinging to end the game.
Rodriguez picked up his 24th save of the season. Santana improved to 9-6 and the Mets get back to .500 (55-55).
Santana and the Mets got a much-needed win tonight. It was only the second 1-0 win of the season for the Mets. And their first nine-inning 1-0 game. The other 1-0 win was a rain-shortened win. The offense was a disappointment again, but there were a couple of new and young faces getting a chance to hit, including Tejada, Martinez and Hessman. But a win is a win. The Mets face Philly tomorrow at 1:35 the final game of this three-game set. The Braves won, 3-0, over the Giants, so the Mets won't gain any ground in the division. But they gain a game on the Phillies.
Good night everyone.