Some Have Been Known to Say That Home Runs Are Part of the Game

June 10, 2009

If you happen to be one of the unlucky Mets fans who were unable to catch the game last night but were able to listen in and hear Mets starting pitcher, Johan Santana, pinpoint each one of his mistakes during the post-game press conference, you might have thought that the Mets had lost. If for some unfortunate incident last night Santana was not awarded the victory for his sub-par performance then the storyline may have read, Mets’ ace tagged for four home runs compliments of the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies. There was no doubt that last night’s 6-5 win by the Mets was one of those games that when it was all said and done, Mets fans would find a pile of pulled out hair atop their coffee tables.

Each Philadelphia extra-base hit that cleared a section of the Citi Field wall sent a strong message to all who were in attendance last night and to the rest of the league for that matter that no ball park could hold Philadelphia’s free-swinging, homer-heavy lineup in check. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins smacked a two-run dinger in the top half of the sixth inning that put the Phillies ahead, 4-3, and without hesitation forced every one of the 37,000 screaming Mets fans to doubt their ace’s staying power for the evening. At that point in the game, I’ll be honest. I was heard in the next room accusing Santana of being a chucker. Eventually, the Mets would regain the lead but would receive a scare when Phillies second baseman Chase Utley’s solo home run soared just over the shortest part of the right field wall in the top of the seventh inning quietly bringing his team to within a run.

The Mets did however prevail with a power stroke of their own. Third baseman David Wright and centerfielder Carlos Beltran went plenty deep to give the Mets an early 3-0 lead, which is to say that Santana received more than enough run support for the evening. Nonetheless, it was right fielder Ryan Church’s solo blast that landed inside Citi Field’s version of the Homerun Apple in the bottom of the seventh that proved to be the difference in the ballgame.

“Yeah, it’s a big win for us,” Church said after the game. “We win tomorrow and we win the series.”

Tonight, the Mets will be looking towards right-hander Mike Pelfrey to bounce back after a tough outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he lasted just three and two-thirds innings and gave up a total of eight earned runs. Philadelphia will be sending their top left-hander, Cole Hamels, to the mound with the hope of having Church’s prophecy go unfulfilled.

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