It's great to see a Mets-Phillies game in which it's the other team that starts Chan Ho Park and later runs itself out of a potentially big inning. How disrespectful is it for the Phils to schedule Park against the Mets not just tonight, but also next week, while not scheduling Cole Hamels to face the Mets at all.
That would be like Johan Santana missing both this series and the one next week at Citi Field, while Oliver Perez faces the Phillies twice. Oh wait, that actually is happening. But at least Ollie does have a great track record against the Phils, and tonight the Mets were able to win despite a so-so start from Mike Pelfrey.
But it was the Phillies' adventures on the basepaths in the sixth that showed it was the Mets' night.
Despite the new bullpen, the Mets have blown so many big leads this year that 7-3 did not seem safe, especially in Philadelphia. And especially when Jose Reyes threw wildly to third with two on and one out in the bottom of the sixth. The bases were about to be loaded with the heart of the Phillies' order coming up.
But in this game, it was the Phillies who screwed up, as Greg Dobbs started heading for third while Chris Coste was already there, creating a series of rundowns that resulted in Coste being tagged out at home for the second out. So when Shane Victorino flied out, the inning was over, rather than Chase Utley coming up with Ryan Howard on deck.
It really did seem like the sort of game the Mets would have blown last year. Instead, it turned into a good way to start the first series against the defending champs.
Not so good was both Luis Castillo and Carlos Delgado missing the game with injuries. While Alex Cora and Fernando Tatis filled in well, if Delgado has to go on the DL, the Mets will face the consequences of Omar Minaya's aging, injury-prone bench and lack of ready replacements on the farm.
At least Fernando Tatis is showing he deserves more playing time. Tatis had two hits tonight and is hitting .370.
And Jerry Manuel had a good night as well. After Tatis got his two hits, Manuel did not pinch hit for him with Gary Sheffield.