The Mets division rivals the Philadelphia Phillies paid a visit to Citi Filed for a three game series starring on Tuesday evening. New York brought out the bats that night, whipping out 15 hits and smacking two home runs in an 11-1 beat-down of the Phillies. In game two of the series there were no fireworks for the Mets on July 4th, as Phillies pitcher cliff lee struck out nine Mets batters in an eight-inning effort to beat NY 9-2 for his first win of the season. The rubber game of the three game series turns out to be a thriller on Thursday night. First time All-Star pitcher R.A. Dickey wasn’t at his best when he took the hill, as both teams kept exchanging leads. Scott Hairston hit his team-leading 12th home run in this game as All-Star David Wright went deep for his eleventh dinger of the season. The Mets trailed Philadelphia 5-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, and that’s when the action began.
Ike Davis (who incidentally, Jewish Voice readers, happens to be a member of the tribe) led off the frame by smacking his 14th double of the season. The next two batters got out, but yet the Mets still managed to squeeze out a run to tie the game with two hits and two walks which loaded the bases. Then came up MVP candidate David Wright who blooped a walk-off RBI single into right field for the win, and then got mobbed while rounding first base by his teammates as Citi Field erupted in celebration. After the game, Mets manager Terry Collins told me in his post-game news conference that he feels his team is finally settling in after several long road trips were taking their toll on the team.
After the celebration for the come from behind win was over, the Mets went back to work hosting the struggling Chicago Cubs. But it was the Mets who struggled in this one, as Johan Santana gave up seven runs as the Cubs banged out 18 hits in an 8-7 Chicago victory. In the middle game of the three game series, Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee pitched a solid eight innings of baseball as reliever Bobby Parnell shut the door on a 3-1 Mets win. The highlights of the day came from Jordany Valdespin who hit a solo home run on the second inning, and Ike Davis who hit a two-run blast in the third.
On Sunday afternoon, the Mets were once again looking to salvage the final game of a three game series at home. With the All-Star break looming, NY wanted to seal the final win of an impressive first half and then look to get some much deserving rest. But it just wasn’t meant to be, Mets starting pitcher John Niese who has been solid all year, gave up nine hits and seven runs. The Mets bats were silent all day managing to accumulate just 8 hits and no walks as Chicago took the finale 7-0.
Nevertheless, the Mets head into the mid-season classic with an impressive 46-40 record. In the first half of the season, Mets fans saw the franchise get its first no-hitter from Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey went 12-1, we saw a monster home run blast from Davis, Hairston, and Wright; and two players got selected to the All-Star game. When the break is over, fans will be very anxious to see if the Mets can clinch their first playoff berth since winning the NL East in 2006. And heads up, readers, the Mets and Citi Field will be hosting Jewish heritage day on Sunday, August 26, versus the Houston Astros.