Before we get into the play-by-play and analysis, here are some quick "news and notes" items:
- Fans at Citi Field were generally supportive of Francisco Rodriguez, with almost everybody I talked to saying they would cheer the Mets closer if he came out to pitch tonight. There were several K-Rod jerseys being worn, as well. The overall message seemed to be: what’s done off the field, is off the field. Just don’t walk the bases loaded or blow a save to the Phillies and we’ll be happy
- The Mets lead the majors with 18 shutouts (San Diego is second with 14), and have shutout the Phillies in four consecutive games at Citi Field. However, with Pat Misch making his 2010 debut tonight, you would have to think that trend stops.
- The Phillies have now won three 1-0 games in their last six contests. According to the Elias Sports Burea only two other teams in the live-ball era had three 1-0 wins over a six-game span (Orioles in Sept. 1974 and Dodgers in Sept. 2000). The moral of the story is, if this were the dead-ball era, the Mets would be in first place. This team just came along about a century too late.
- The Mets have now won back-to-back games for the first time since June 22-23 against Detroit.
7:12 p.m. - 1-2-3 first inning for Pat Misch, and the Phillies shutout streak continues, now at 37 innings. Misch certainly didn't throw hard there--the Citi Field radar had one "fastball" at 83-mph--but he got a lazy fly ball, low, soft line drive and ground ball to second. Nothing hit crazily hard.
7:17 p.m. - Halladay with a 1-2-3 as well. Reyes grounds out, but really it was a nice play by Sweeney on the grounder and flip to Halladay that got him. Reyes tried to slide into first base for some reason, despite the fact that everyone has had it drilled in their heads by now that that just isn't quicker than running. Pagan flies out and Wright grounds out. Now, onto more with Misch.
7:25 p.m. - Here's what we appear to be in for tonight: quick innings. Perhaps not as quick as last night, but both pitchers work quickly and throw strikes. Misch struck out Sweeney to start the second and then got groundouts from Werth and Victorino to end it. He was 3-0 on Victorino before battling back.
7:33 p.m. - I repeat my previous sentiment: quick innings. Beltran grounds out, Davis K's and Martinez pops out. Halladay and Misch at just 21 pitches each through two innings.
7:35 p.m. - Two days in a row, the pitcher did it. After retiring the first eight batters, Pat Misch allowed his first hit to Roy Halladay. Halladay grounded under Misch's glove and Jose Reyes also failed to corral the ball. Jimmy Rollins followed with a no-doubt single to left to put Misch in his first trouble of the day. Placido Polanco's single to center scored Halladay, so after retiring eight straight, Misch allows three straight hits to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. It's the first time in 38 2/3 innings that the Phillies have scored at Citi Field.
7:39 p.m. - Ibanez flies out to end the frame, but the Phillies have their first lead in the last five games at Citi.
7:54 p.m. - Through three innings here, no hits or walks allowed by Roy Halladay. Thole strikes out and Tejada and Misch ground out to end the third.
Nice bounce-back inning by Misch in the top of the fourth, as he gets Sweeney to fly out and Werth to ground out for the first two outs. Victorino knocks a single to left and Ruiz hits a dribbler just down the third-base line. Misch fields the ball, but throws it past Ike Davis at first, allowing Victorino to go to third and Ruiz to be called safe. But Valdes grounds to short to end the threat.
8:04 p.m. - Halladay threw Strike 1 to the first nine batters he faced. But he started Reyes with a ball, and on a 3-2 count, Reyes tripled deep to center for the first hit of the night against Halladay.
8:10 p.m. - Last night the Mets stranded Angel Pagan at third with one out. They stranded Mike Hessman at third with nobody out later on. Tonight, the Mets gave a repeat performance. With Reyes at third and nobody out, Pagan grounded to third (Reyes wouldn't have been able to score) and Wright and Beltran struck out. Instead of tying the game, the Phillies still hold a 1-0 lead.
8:21 p.m. - After walking Jimmy Rollins and giving up a hit to Polanco with one out in the top of the fifth, Misch looked to be on his way out of trouble when Raul Ibanez hit an almost-sure double play ball to second base. But Tejada threw low past Reyes, who was covering at second, allowing Rollins to score and Ibanez to reach safely. Misch got out of it though with a properly executed double play on Mike Sweeney. 2-0 Phillies.
8:26 p.m. - Josh Thole gets a two-out single--just the Mets second hit of the game off Halladay--but Ruben Tejada grounds out to end the inning. Misch is certainly giving them a good debut here, but he's getting nothing in terms of support, both offensively and defensively.
8:46 p.m. - So close, Pat Misch. So close. After back-to-back singles from Werth and Victorino to start the inning, Misch got Ruiz to ground out for the first out. He intentionally walked Valdez to load the bases before striking out Roy Halladay. With two outs, Jimmy Rollins battled, but looked to hit an easy inning-ending grounder to third. But David Wright let the ball go right through his legs, as two runs scored. Don't think Billy Buckner here, as that ball went under the glove. Wright had his glove to the right of the ball and just missed it completely, as it trickled into shallow left field. Misch got Polanco to fly out to end the frame.
8:48 p.m. - Misch's day is done, as Jeff Francoeur comes in to pinch hit to lead off the Mets half of the sixth. His line: six innings, eight hits, four runs (one earned), two walks (one intentional), two strikeouts.
8:54 p.m. - Angel Pagan reaches second on a single and an error with two outs in the sixth, but David Wright bounces Halladay's first pitch right back to him, and he is hearing the boo birds big time right now. For the record, the Mets have just as many hits as errors.
9:00 p.m. - Bobby Parnell comes in to relieve Misch and six pitches and three groundouts later, the top half of the seventh is over.
9:09 p.m. - 1-2-3 inning for Halladay in the bottom of the seventh, 1-2-3 inning for Elmer Dessens in the top of the eighth. Halladay back on to pitch now, still 4-0 Phillies.
9:14 p.m. - As Chris Carter singles with one out in the bottom of the eighth, K-Rod is warming in the pen.
9:19 p.m. - K-Rod in now. He got a mix of boos and applause as he walked to the mound. Have to wonder how many boos were from Philly fans, or if he would have gotten the same reaction had he been walking into a save situation, not a three-error shutout. The boos were fairly loud and noticeable though.
9:26 p.m. - After a leadoff double, K-Rod gets out of the inning unscathed (though there were quite a few hard hit balls). Only applause as he left the mound, so it's hard to tell if those initial boos were more Philly fans or just Mets fans disgruntled with the score. Every Met fan I talked to before today's game said they would cheer K-Rod if he came in the game.
9:40 p.m. - With one out, David Wright and Carlos Beltran hit back-to-back singles to start a rally in the bottom of the ninth. But Ike Davis struck out on a 3-2 pitch and Fernando Martinez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Josh Thole struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch to end it. Phillies win, 4-0.