Carlos Delgado's two-run double broke an eighth-inning tie, and Oliver Perez struck out a season-high 12, as the Mets dumped the Phillies 3-1 to take over sole possession of first in the National League East.
On a day that ended with the Mets making it their division to lose, Jimmy Rollins was scratched for showing up late to the game, according to multiple reports. That’s twice this season that the reigning MVP has been benched for disciplinary reasons. Are you kidding me? Not even the purveyor of bold, 100-win predictions could have projected that one. His fortune-telling ability must be slipping, along with his interest, apparently.
So much for leadership. It's not what the Phillies wanted from their off-the-field and on-the-field leaders in a crucial series, the on-the-field leader being Chase Utley, the man who would’ve been MVP two months ago. Utley went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, completing the 0-for-11 series no-show.
This team has problems, brother. Do they ever. Chief among them: the New York Mets, who were better than the Phillies in approximately 26 out of 27 innings this series. Perez becomes the latest pitcher to set a season high against the vaunted Phillies offense. A close second: the vaunted Phillies offense, past the point where dysfunction can be blamed on "pressing." Third, the Marlins. Or the pitching. Take your pick.
So is it inappropriate to use the word "collapse" in July? Because this one is starting to mix in all the wonderful ingredients (comfortable lead followed by controversy, dysfunction, underachieving) that sunk the Mets in '07.
Or do we skip all that and say the Phillies just aren't good enough?