New York, which hasn't won a season series from Philadelphia since 2008, was 32-22 against the Phillies from 2009-11. But earlier this month, the Mets flipped the script on the five-time defending NL East champs with a three-game sweep at Citizens Bank Park. On Tuesday, the Mets (28-22) put another win in the books against Philly, as rookie Jeremy Hefner recorded his first Major League hit -- a home run, no less! -- and win to defeated the Phillies, 6-3. The Mets, who won their first two series in Philadelphia this season, now are 6-2 against their National League East rivals in 2012.
You can argue that the Phillies (26-25) are banged up and missing key players, such as Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay, who on Monday was placed on the disabled list and could miss two months. But the short-handed Mets haven't made any excuses, so I don't want to read or hear any from the other side. Bench players and minor league call-ups, such as Kirk Nieuwenhuis, have stepped up. Stars David Wright and Johan Santana have turned it up. There's a new baseball hero every night.
Last night against the Phillies, replacement shortstop Omar Quintanilla went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored and pinch-hitter Scott Hairston crushed his team-leading sixth home run of the season. And, of course, there was Hefner, who tossed six solid inning for the win. It has been contributions like these, from unexpected sources, which have buoyed the team.
"That's exactly what this team's about," Mets manager Terry Collins told MLB.com. "That's exactly what this team's been about the two years I've been here."
Under Collins, the Mets have adopted a never-say-die attitude, as well. When the Mets swept the Phillies earlier this month, they came from behind in each game -- Philly got owned, for change. And it was clear the Mets had no fear of the Phillies, or any team for that matter.
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets. You can follow him on Twitter @PegCitySports.
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