Phillies 4, Mets 2
Battered for nine earned runs in less than two innings in the worst start of his career earlier this week, Wolf seemed like a different pitcher Saturday night. He handcuffed the Mets on six hits over seven innings in Philadelphia’s 4-2 victory.
The win kept the Phillies tied with Florida for the NL wild-card lead. The Marlins held off a ninth-inning Montreal rally and defeated the Expos 4-3.
“After my last couple of outings, I needed a good one for my sanity,” Wolf said. “I was getting behind, trying to trick hitters. That’s not the way I pitch. I have to go after guys.”
So Wolf (13-8) came to the mound determined to be aggressive and it paid off. He struck out six, walked only one and withstood the 5,000th home run in Mets franchise history, a two-run shot by Jason Phillips in the fourth inning.
“That’s how I pitch,” Wolf said. “When you leave a game after giving up nine runs, it really cuts you deep. It’s a real reality check. I have to go after batters with my best stuff and I didn’t. Outings like that play with your mind a little bit.”
Mets manager Art Howe was impressed with Wolf’s turnaround.
“He pitched a good game,” Howe said. “He gave up the two-run homer but he made pitches when he had to. We just didn’t put hits together.”
It was the second straight win for the Phillies after manager Larry Bowa screamed at the team in a closed-door meeting in Montreal following their sixth straight loss and ninth in 10 games.
Bowa still seemed on edge.
“Every series is important,” he said. “We have not been playing real good. Every team goes through it, except maybe Atlanta and Seattle. We just hit this at a bad time. Hopefully, we’ll get turned around here.”
The Phillies bunched four singles against Tom Glavine (9-12) to break a 2-2 tie in the seventh.
Phillips connected after Mike Piazza walked in the fourth inning, his 11th homer of the season.
The lead didn’t last long.
Jimmy Rollins doubled with one out in the fifth and moved to third on an infield out. Then Wolf delivered a two-out RBI single. Byrd followed with a triple that bounded away from Roger Cedeno in right field and tied the score.
The Phillies loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth on a single by Jim Thome, a ground-rule double by Pat Burrell and an intentional walk to Rollins.Glavine then retired Tomas Perez on a fly ball, ending the inning.
Tennis star James Blake, playing across the street in the U.S. Open, had a scheduled batting practice session rained out. … Ty Wigginton’s 31 doubles are a Mets rookie record. … Rollins was credited with a double in the third inning when Phillips and Jay Bell collided and his pop fly fell behind them. It was Philadelphia’s first hit. … The Mets recalled pitcher Jeremy Griffiths and purchased the contract of pitcher Orber Moreno from Triple-A Norfolk. Both will join the team Monday. … Burrell robbed Bell of a home run, making a leaping catch at the left-field wall two batters after Phillips’homer.