By: Stache Staff

Buffalo imports star as Mets down Phils 6-3


There’s a lot of talk about how depth is important in Major League Baseball, but the notion rarely materializes so obviously as it did for the Mets during Tuesday night’s 6-3 win over the Phillies. With Ronny Cedeño and Ruben Tejada already unavailable even before Justin Turner hit the disabled list today with a sprained ankle, the Mets were forced to call up Omar Quintanilla to make the start at shortstop.

Not only did Quintanilla surprise by sparking the offense with a double and two singles, but fellow triple-A call up Jeremy Hefner pitched a solid six innings to lead the Mets to victory.

Quintanilla doubled in his very first at-bat with the Mets in the second inning and two batters later came around to score on Mike Baxter’s double. That put the Mets on top 3-2, and the lead would be extended in the bottom of the fourth when Jeremy Hefner got a hold of a Joe Blanton fastball and lifted it into the right field seats for his first career major league home run.

Now with a 4-2 advantage thanks to his own slugging prowess, Hefner got in trouble in the sixth when Juan Pierre led off with a single and came around to score when Hunter Pence’s double was misplayed by Mike Baxter. The error allowed Pence to get all the way to third base with nobody out.

However, Hefner was not eager to let Philadelphia tie the game so easily. Monday’s hero Ty Wigginton grounded out to Ike Davis at first base for one out while Pence remained frozen at third. Hefner then came up big by getting the next batter Shane Victorino to swing at an eye-level fastball for a strikeout. With two outs, Placido Polanco could only manage a fly ball to left field that was easily handled by Baxter. The Phillies had blown a great chance to tie the game, and the Mets offense made sure they did not have another.

Quintanilla started the bottom of the sixth with his second double of the game, and he was driven in right away when pinch hitter Scott Hairston homered for the second day in a row. That spelled the end of Joe Blanton’s night, and the Mets cruised to victory on the arms of Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco.

The game was briefly delayed by rain after the top of the eighth, but that did not stop Francisco from striking out a pair in the ninth while earning his 14th save of the season.

Turning Point: In the sixth inning, it looked like the Phillies were poised to come back, but Hefner did well to hold them to one run, and then Hairston grabbed all the momentum for New York with a two-run homer in the bottom of the frame.

Game Ball: Hefner got his first career major league win and his first career major league home run in the same night, so he gets this one for sure. It is worth noting, though, that Hairston’s home run puts the part-time player ahead of all the other Mets with six round trippers for the season.

Next Game: Tomorrow night, Dillon Gee takes the hill for the Mets as they play the rubber game of the series against Cliff Lee and the Phils. These two pitchers last faced off just three weeks ago at Citizens Bank Park in South Philly. Although Lee pitched decidedly better than Gee that night, the Mets came away with a 10-6 win after rallying against the Philadelphia bullpen.

About Daily Stache

Recommended for you