After losing two of three to the Nationals and enduring three rain delays in four games, seeing the Mets come to town had to be a relief for the Phillies. And they wasted no time taking out their frustrations on this fourth place team.
Pitcher Cliff Lee continued his incredible month of August by tossing seven innings of shut-out ball. The Mets managed only three hits off the lefty and struck out seven times. Those K’s put Lee well above his career high 185 strike-outs in a season; he now has 191 with 36 games to go, which is about seven more starts.
Lee also had some fun at the plate. He singled in the second inning and hit two other balls very hard that missed going out of the park by only a few feet. Lee was having so much fun with the bat, that manager Charlie Manuel actually let him hit in the bottom of the seventh instead of a pinch hitter, knowing he was not going back out to pitch the next inning. There is something you do not see every day.
Of course, having a 10-0 lead made giving Lee another at-bat an easy decision. Because prior to the seventh inning, the Phillies offense smacked around Mets pitching like they were a minor league team.
Both John Mayberry Jr. and Hunter Pence hit two-run homers in the game. Mayberry led the team with three RBI. Carlos Ruiz and Shane Victorino had two RBI apiece as well. And in his first game back off the DL without making a single rehab start, Placido Polanco had two hits and a walk. The only starter without a hit was Chase Utley, who was taken out of the game before the seventh along with Ryan Howard to give them some extra rest.
The Phillies held onto the 10-0 lead with David Herndon pitching the final two innings. And the Mets tread wearily back to the clubhouse, knowing there were still two games to go in this series.
Rollins and Polanco swapped spots on the DL Monday night. Also, Mayberry played left field on Monday because Raul Ibanez had a sore groin. This prompts the question, what exactly is going on with all the groin injuries?
Rollins is out with a right groin strain. Polanco had a sports hernia, also related to the groin area. Now Ibanez has a sore groin too? And let us not forget poor Carlos Ruiz who sat out several games after getting hit with a foul ball in the groin.
This is a disturbing trend. Perhaps an investment in some iron underwear would help? Or maybe the Phillies need to call a witch doctor to exorcise the demon that has seemingly cursed the Phillies’ groins.
Ok, so it is likely just a weird coincidence and groin strains are a common sports injury. It is just odd to see them all happen in the span of only two weeks. With any luck, Rollins and Ibanez will be feeling better very soon.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography