Ugueth Urbina ruins an outstanding game from starter Brett Myers, as the Mets steal the first game of the series 6-5.
With the loss, the Phils fall 1.5 games back of the idle Astros in the National League Wild Card race.
I haven’t had coffee yet, I sat in traffic on the bypass and I’m dog tired from staying up for most of this game. So forget about a nice, clean recap. You get bulleted points. Bullets somehow seem appropriate.
- How crazy has this season been? A month ago, the Phils had the inside track to the postseason because their bullpen was better than the rest of the Wild Card contenders. Instead, they've completely cracked.
- The Urbina deal probably tipped into bust territory with last night’s meltdown. That’s his sixth blown save since joining the Phillies. Charlie Manuel made the right call by lifting Brett Myers and going with the veteran setup man. Urbina just couldn’t get it done. However, there's no excuse why Billy Wagner was not ready to make his most important save as a Phillie when things got dicey. He's paid $9 million to pitch in spots when the game is in jeopardy. Unbelievable.
- Chase Utley has held his own defensively this season, but next year, I’d like to see the Phils add a top-flight infield specialist to sub Utley off the bench in the ninth. Teams use defensive subs all the time, and it would be a nice option to insert a very good fielder to protect a lead in your home park in the ninth.
- Danny Graves’ chin music to Jimmy Rollins swung the momentum in Mets favor. It changed everything. Until then, the Phils were cruising.
- Former Phillie Roberto Hernandez worked two innings for his third save. That’s just perfect.
- What happens to the Phillies bullpen next season? Look for Eude Brito and Robinson Tejeda to move back into reliever spots, and for Urbina to exit stage right. We could see Hamburg, Pa. native Nick Evangelista next season if things get desperate. Evangelista is being groomed as a closer and is slated for Double-A Reading next season. Why the team doesn't draft more college closers, who knows? It would make life a little easier, and cheaper. As for Billy Wagner, I wouldn't give him the money he's asking. It's not a smart investment, not when other teams are getting by with pitchers like Derek Turnbow, and the Phils can't even lean on their veteran corp - or use it properly.
- Look for the Mets to win this series and essentially end the Phils' playoff hopes. The momentum has swung drastically in the Mets’ favor.