postGame: Phillies 8 Mets 7

The Mets (73–60) lost to the Phillies (73–59) by the score of 8 to 7 in Citizen’s Bank Park.

For a recap, boxscore, stats, etc., go to SNY.tv.

Despite the result, this was, without a doubt, the most entertaining baseball game of the season, and one of the best games I have seen in years.

Actually, it was like watching three separate games.

In the first game, from the first inning through the fourth, the Mets dominated, jumping out to a seven-run lead, thanks to home runs from Damion Easley and Fernando Tatis, and early success from Pedro Martinez, who struck out Pat Burrell to end the third with a runner on second.

In the second game, from the fifth inning through the ninth, the Phillies dominated, thanks to home runs from Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, all while shutting down New York’s offense, which went scoreless through much of the second-half of the game, per usual.  Meanwhile, the Phillies, who were one strike away from losing the game twice, scored in the ninth to send the game to extra innings.

In the final game, from the ninth inning on, during which I officially chewed off all of my finger nails, both teams played outstanding defense, especially David Wright, Carlos Delgado and Ryan Howard, who came up with stellar grabs to end innings, all while Aaron Heilman, who is clearly doing his best to kill me with a heart-attack, pitched three – yes, three – scoreless, long, stressful, laborious innings, during the last of which he struck out Chase Utley and Howard to end the inning.

However, Shane Victorino, who had not reached base in his previous six plate appearances in the game, started the bottom of the 13th inning with a triple against Scott Schoeneweis – helped out by Delgado not playing the line.  The Mets and Schoeneweis then chose to walk the bases loaded with no outs.  Brett Myers took five pitches, three for strikes, for one out, but Chris Coste ripped a fly ball deep to center to bring home the winning run.

With the win, the Phillies move back in to first place in the NL East – with 29 games left to play.

Also, it’s worth noting that Martinez coughed up five runs in two innings, in the fourth and fifth inning, when the Mets had a seven-run lead, which is very, very disappointing, to say the least – and it’s worth repeating, again, the Mets did not score a run in the final nine innings of tonight’s game, continuing a trend that will have to change if they intend on winning this division.

The Mets conclude their two-game series with the Phillies tomorrow night in Philadelphia, with Johan Santana (12-7, 2.64 ERA) taking on Kyle Kendrick (11-7, 4.87 ERA).

Time to earn your money, Johan.  Sleep tight.