There was rain in the forecast as Jeremy Hefner got the ball tonight for the Amazins’. Joe Blanton would oppose Hefner and try his best to lead his team up the NL East Standings. Before the game began, both teams were making roster moves, The Mets brought up a 30 year old Shortstop by the name of Omar Quintanilla for a disabled Justin Turner: For the Phillies, ace Roy Halladay hit the disabled list and could be out 4-6 weeks.( I played the smallest violin when I heard that news). With the rain clouds closing on Citi Field, Hefner took the mound…..
He was in trouble immediately when Jimmy Rollins hit a one out double. After getting pushed to third, Rollins scored on a wild pitch and put the Phillies on the board.
But the Mets struck back for two in the bottom of the frame when Blaton hit Mike Baxter on the leg putting him on first base. Captain Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a single that Victorino just misplayed in center giving Baxter third base. With runners on the corners, David Wright lined a shot off the glove of Jimmy Rollins putting the Mets on the board. Daniel Murphy hit a single and put the Mets up by one.
Brian Schneider pulled the Phillies even in the top of the second with a solo home run.
The Mets bounced right back in the bottom of the second when new Shortstop Omar Quintanilla hit a double off the base of the center field wall. After his was sacrificed to third from a Hefner bunt, Mike Baxter would hit a hustle double scoring Quintanilla and putting the Mets back on top.
Hefner helped himself out a bit when he went yard in the bottom of the fourth of off Blanton. He drove a high fast ball into the left field seats putting the Mets up by two. And then he really went to work keeping the Phillies off the boards for the next three innings. According to stat put up by SNY, Hefner didn’t throw over 18 pitches for the first 5 innings. He got in trouble in the bottom of the sixth when Hunter Pence tripled in Juan Pierre from first but was able to strand Pence at third.
Quintanilla hit his second double of the game in the bottom of the sixth, Scott Hairston came to bat for Hefner and crushed a ball into the right field seats and extended the Met lead by three and chased Joe Blanton out of Citi Field.
It was up to the Met bullpen to keep the lead and it began with Bobby Parnell who came in to pitch the top of the seventh and put the Phillies down in order. Jon Rauch came in for the top of the eighth and pitched not only around a Jimmy Rollins hit, but a the beginning of the the rain storm which delayed the game an hour and 4 minutes. Frank Francisco, throwing 96 mph, came in and earned his 14 save of the season.
This was Jeremy Hefner’s first major league win…coupled with his first major league hit-a home run. Omar Quintanilla had three hits tonight. With tonight’s win, the Mets are only a game and a half out of first place. Dillon Gee matches up with Cliff Lee for the rubber game of the series.