Mets Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Sunday, September 28th, 2008 at 11:44 am and is filed under Baseball, Mets Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

And then there were two…

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies, who with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals, clinched their second consecutive National League East title. That leaves the Mets and the Brewers, both with identical records, fighting for the NL Wildcard.

Recap of Saturday’s Action:

The excitement was in the air at Citizens Bank Park, as the Phillies entered play one win away from winning the NL East. The scoring started in the fourth when Chase Utley and Ryan Howard started the inning off with back-to-back singles. Utley came around to score on a Pat Burrell sacrifice fly, and Howard followed on a Carlos Ruiz sac fly, giving the Phillies and early 2-0 lead. In the top of the fifth, the Nationals cut the lead in half when Anderson Hernandez’s two-out double scored Roger Bernadina. It didn’t take long for the Phillies to respond as Jayson Werth hit his 24th home run of the season (a shot barely clearing the right field wall), giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead.

The score remained 3-1 until the eighth inning. Ryan Madson entered the game and gave up a single to Cristian Guzman and a double to Ryan Zimmerman, giving the Nats runners at second and third with no outs. The next batter, Lastings Milledge, his a shallow fly ball to center field. Both Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins were running for it. As Victorino slid for the ball, Rollins made an over-the-shoulder catch (ala Willie Mays), but then collided with Victorino. Rollins got up and fired the ball home, but Guzman wisely tagged on the fly out. While Rollins got up and made the play, Victorino stayed on the ground in pain. After the trainers came out to check on Victorino, he walked it off and remained in the game. Now with the tying run on second and one out, Madson beared down and got out of the jam, getting Elijah Dukes to ground out to third, and struck out Aaron Boone. In the Phillies half of the eighth, with two outs, Victorino hit a ground ball into the hole that Guzman fielded but never made a throw. The next batter, Pedro Feliz hit a log fly ball to the gap in left center field, scoring Victorino.

Heading into the ninth inning with the Phillies up 4-2, they summoned Brad Lidge. Lidge entering the game had been 40 for 40 in save opportunities. Aside from clinching the division crown, Lidge was also shooting to be the first Phillie in history to have more than 25 saves in a season, and not blow any opportunities. Lidge immediately struck out Emilio Bonifacio, and it looked as if the Nats didn’t have a prayer. That was until Bernadina singled, and Ryan Langerhans walked, putting the tying run on second base. The next batter, Hernandez, singled to right field, scoring Bonifacio, and cutting the Phillies lead to only one. Then Guzman singled up the middle, loading the bases. Wih bases loaded and only one out, Zimmerman stepped to the plate. Zimmerman laced a Lidge fastball up the middle. A diving Rollins speared it, who flipped it to Utley, who fired it to Ryan Howard. 6-4-3 double play, game over, Phillies win the NL East.

In Flushing, the Mets knew it was all or nothing, which is why they moved Johan Santana up in the rotation to start on short rest. A loss on Saturday, could have meant the Mets missing the postseason for the second consecutive season. Santana wasn’t having that.

Santana was nothing short of amazing. Pitching on three days rest, Santana threw a three-hit shutout, giving the Mets a 2-0 victory over the Marlins. Santana didn’t allow a baserunner from the fifth inning, until Josh Willingham’s double in the ninth, and recorded nine strikeouts, picking up his 16th win of the season.

The Mets got on the board early. After Jose Reyes led the game off with a single, he stole second. Reyes advanced to third on a Carlos Beltran single, and finally scored on Carlos Delgado’s sacrifice fly. The Mets added their second run, when Danny Murphy (who was hit by a pitch), scored when Ramon Hernandez doubled into the right field alley.

Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco, pitched a gem of his own, allowing only two runs in seven innings, while striking out ten, but he was unable to match the masterful work of Santana.

In Milwaukee it was a different story. If you looked at the Cubs lineup card it was very similar to the lineup he used against the Mets on Thursday. Missing were Alfonso Soriano, Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto, and Mark DeRosa. The Brewers had every opportunity to have a commanding lead on the Mets heading into today’s action, but failed to do so, as the Iowa Cubs got the best of the Brewers 7-3.

Coming into the game Ben Sheets was no guarantee. He had been suffering from elbow woes, and it showed as he couldn’t make it out of the third inning. Daryle Ward put the Cubs on top 2-0 in the first with a mammoth home run to right field, and in the second, the Cubs added two more when Mike Fontenot’s bases loaded single plated Ronnie Cedeno and Micah Hoffpauir.

The Brewers battled back in the seventh and eighth. J.J. Hardy’s sacrifice fly scored Ryan Braun in the seventh and Craig Counsell and Prince Fielder both had RBI singles in the eighth to make it a 4-3 ball game. In the ninth, the Cubs put the game away. A two-run home run by Kosuke Fukudome and an RBI single gave the Cubs a 7-3 lead. Kerry Wood pitched a scoreless ninth to close things out for the Cubs.

Ted Lilly pitched brilliantly for the Cubs and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. This was the second time this season Lilly lost a no-hitter in the seventh inning.

After yesterday’s action, the Mets and Brewers find them selves tied for the Wild Card.

Magic Numbers:

Mets – 2 Wild Card
Brewers – 2 Wild Card

Sunday’s Preview:

Cubs @ Brewers – The Brewers need to regroup. Yesterday’s loss really killed the momentum they had heading into the final weekend, especially against a marginal Cubs lineup. They will have another assist from the Cubs this afternoon as Carlos Zambrano has been scratched in favor of Angel Guzman.

CC Sabathia will look to pitched the Brewers into October. Sabathia is again starting on three days rest (for the third consecutive time). Sabathia is coming off a dominant outing against the Pirates on Wednesday when he allowed one run in seven innings. Sabathia has made five starts this September and is 1-2 with a 2.67 ERA. One of those losses came to the Cubs when he allowed four runs in seven innings.

Angel Guzman will be making the start for the Cubs. Guzman is a one time top prospect who struggled with injuries since joining the Cubs. Guzman is coming off Tommy John surgery, a procedure he has last August. He’s only pitched in five games this season (no starts), where he is 0-0 with a 7.03 ERA.

Marlins @ Mets – Johan Santana really gave the Mets the lift they were looking for. Heading into this afternoon’s game tied for the Wild Card was probably the best scenario the Mets could hope for. They’ll look to beat a Marlins team who ended their postseason hopes on the last day of the season, just one year ago.

Tom Glavine started that fateful game, but today, the Mets will look to a different left-hander, Oliver Perez. Perez has battled through inconsistency this season, but overall has had a good year. At 10-7 he’s third on the Mets in wins, and has had success against the Marlins this season (3-0, 2.08). The thing to watch for with Perez is his control. Should he start walking batters, the Mets are in trouble. One thing that favors him, is the Marlins lineup isn’t known for patience, and chases a lot of pitches.

Scott Olsen will pitch the final game for the Marlins as they continue their quest to be spoilers. Olsen is 8-11 on the year. Olsen hasn’t been terrible in the month of September posting a 2-2 record, but got hammered his last outing against the Mets (August 31st), where he gave up six runs in six-and-a-third innings.

Comments are closed.

  • Press Harbor