Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mets Pitching Implodes Late, Falls to Phillies 7/4

Final Score: Philadelphia Phillies: 9 New York Mets: 2

Everything was going swimmingly for the Mets through six innings.  They held a 2-0 lead over the division rival Phillies and had a strong outing being put together by starting pitcher Chris Young. 

But as quickly as you can blink an eye, the Phillies were leading, tacking on three runs in each of the last three innings of the game, leading to a 9-2 Phillies victory.  The win gave Cliff Lee his first victory of the season, moving his record to 1-5 overall.

The need for bullpen help reared its ugly head again this afternoon, as the Mets were unable to keep the Phillies at bay once Chris Young had to leave the game.  Young pitched seven innings, the first six of which were shutout innings.  He finished the game with totals of five hits, no walks and three earned runs while striking out three.

Young was going strong until the 7th inning came around, even with a low pitch count.  One reason for the implosion could be because of how Young pitches.  Throwing his fastball in the mid-to-low 80’s, Young depends on spot on precision as the game goes on.  The first time through lineups, Young holds hitters to a .176 batting average.  That number increases as the game goes on, as Young’s batting average against rises to .281 the second time through and .368 the third time through.

The bullpen made the end result look a lot worse than the game actually was, as they surrendered six runs in the final two innings.  Adding arms to that bullpen has to be at the top of the list for the Mets heading to the non-waiver trade deadline July 31st.

The Mets did have some bright spots this afternoon in Scott Hairston and Ruben Tejada.

Hairston continued his torrid pace against left handed pitching, launching a solo homerun in the 4th inning off Cliff Lee.  Hairston is now batting .306 with eight homeruns this season against left handed pitching. 

Tejada was able to continue his outstanding hitting since coming off the disabled list.  In 10 games, Tejada is hitting .395 after going 2-4 this afternoon and .331 overall on the season.

Next up for the Mets is the series finale against the Phillies on Thursday night.  The pitching match-up is a stellar one, as All-Stars R.A. Dickey (12-1 2.15 ERA) and Cole Hamels (10-4 3.08 ERA) will face-off for the Mets and Phillies respectively.

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