More thoughts from last night's 9-8 16-inning marathon.
---- Five of the Phillies runs were driven home off the bat of David Bell. Bell is hitting .308 in May with an .853 OPS. Considering Alex Gonzalez’s retirement, and Abraham Nunez’s inability to hit much of anything, Bell has not only staved off challenges for his position, but is proving he has a little more left in his tank.
---- Speaking of Nunez, the seldom-seen utilityman was one of several bench players exposed offensively. After Nunez replaced Bell, and Chris Roberson pinch ran for Pat Burrell, Mets pitching had no trouble handling the Phillies lineup. Darren Oliver was able to neutralize the left-handed dominant Phillies, and it was only a matter of time before the thumpers for New York put it away.
---- The Phillies made it very easy for Oliver by wasting at bats, specifically some bad turns from Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. Rollins was able to poke a single to left to avoid going 0-for-7.
---- As reader Tony pointed out earlier -- written in a dignified manner that upholds the standards of Beerleaguer -- the Phils are hitting .129 (4 for 31) with the bases loaded with a .290 slugging percentage, and they're hitting .190 (35 for 184) with a .288 SLG with 2 outs and runners in scoring position.
"The hitters have to start bearing down in those situations," Tony wrote in a mature fashion that wasn’t self-serving. "They look too anxious at times. Like last night when Howard swung at 3 balls and Victorino swung at the first or second pitch when the bases were loaded."
---- Why don’t we just call the Jose Reyes home run off Ryan Franklin what it really is: a lucky, lucky stab at a pitch near the dirt. After that, the odds were in the Mets favor to capitalize on playing at home and sitting on the better bullpen.
---- Defense continues to cost the Phillies games, including two bad plays by Bobby Abreu and Howard.
---- Here’s hoping last night’s outstanding, seven-inning appearance has rebuilt Ryan Madson’s confidence to pitch the later innings. The Phillies have no, true setup man the way the Mets do in Duaner Sanchez.
---- Speaking of Sanchez, he’s been very impressive for the Mets, but to me, Billy Wagner looks very hittable.