In one of the best wins of the season thus far, the Mets came from behind Monday night to beat the Phillies in Philadelphia.
Jonathon Niese struggled throughout. He allowed runs in the first and second innings as his curve ball just wasn’t working. But despite walking four, he was able to tough it out and make it through five innings down just 2-0.
Roy Halladay was his usual unhittable self , for five and two-thirds innings anyway. With two outs in the sixth he walked Andres Torres. Kirk Nieuwenhuis singled, and then David Wright hit a clutch double to left to tie (left). Halladay overcame that glitch to go seven innings and left with the game with the score tied at two.
The Phillies almost took the lead in the seventh but didn’t because of a rarely-called play at second. The Phils loaded the bases with one out against Bobby Parnell. Hunter Pence hit a grounder to second. Daniel Murphy momentarily bobbled the ball and flipped to Justin Turner to force Shane Victorino at second. Turner fired to first, but the first base umpire called Pence safe on an extremely close play. Terry Collins ran out to argue but suddenly turned around. It seemed the second base umpire called Victorino for interference and the inning was over. It was the right call — Victorino came barreling into Turner and wasn’t anywhere near second base.
Parnell pitched himself into and out of trouble once again in the eighth. With runners on second and third and one out, Freddy Galvis topped it back to Parnell. He was able to throw Ty Wigginton out at home, but on the play Wigginton’s shoulder slammed into Josh Thole’s face in what was a very clean slide. Thole left the game after lying on the ground for several minutes. Tim Byrdak then came on for get the third out on a big strikeout.
With Halladay safely out of the game the Mets offense could finally get down to work, and it did so against Jonathan Papelbon, the closer equivalent of Halladay. In the ninth he walked Ike Davis, and with two outs Mike Nickeas doubled to left to put runners on second and third. And then Jordany Valdespin, just activated to replace the injured Ruben Tejada, hit a pinch-hit three-run home run. His first major league hit gave the Mets a 5-2 lead.
Frank Francisco came on for his eighth save of the season — a great win against two of the finest pitchers in the game.