With the 2012 All-Star Game a few days away, the New York Mets can be considered contenders in the National League East. And they aren't going away.
That's the feeling you got from this scrappy team after watching it beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-5, on Thursday, July 5 at Citi Field. David Wright's two-out, walk-off blooper against Philly closer Jonathan Papelbon capped a two-run ninth inning, as the Mets (45-38) won for the sixth time in eight games. New York remained 4.5 games behind the N.L. East-leading Washington Nationals.
''It seems like all year we've had that never-say-die attitude, continuing to play the game no matter what the score is," Wright told the Associated Press. You have to love that about the Mets.
Here are a few more observations from last night's game:
Paypack for PhillyAfter being pushed around by the Phillies for the last couple of seasons, the Mets have won eight of 12 meetings this year against the five-time defending N.L. East champions. Philly was 11-7 against the Mets in 2011, but has lost three of four series to New York so far this season.
The struggling Phillies (37-47) have been without many of their key players for most of the first half. Chase Utley returned from the disabled list last week and Ryan Howard, out all season recovering from an Achillies injury, could return to the team this weekend. As far as I'm concerned, the Mets can't put enough distance between themselves and the Phillies, who may have a second-half run in them.
Bullpen Puts in WorkOn a night when the Mets pulled off a dramatic walk-off win, it's easy to overlook the bullpen's two scoreless innings of work against the Phillies. But let's give a tip of the cap to the Mets' relievers.
Jon Rauch, Tim Byrdak and recently-recalled Pedro Beato navigated the eighth and winning pitcher Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect ninth in relief of R.A. Dickey, who surrendered five runs on 11 hits in seven innings. It was in stark contrast to Wednesday night, when the majors' worst pen was ripped for six runs in two innings, as the Phillies pummeled the Mets, 9-2. What a difference a game makes.
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.Sources
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