A rubbermatch between Cole Hamels and R.A. Dickey sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Hamels and Dickey went head to head tonight in the first game of the season started by double-digit winners. Dickey has an excellent 2012 season so far up his sleeves with two one-hitters, and a miniscule ERA to match his 12-1 record.
He would prove to be no match for the Phillies.
With Juan Pierre and Carlos Ruiz on base in the top of the first, Shane Victorino pulled through with an RBI single, putting the Phils up on the board early on.
In the second, Placido Polanco scored on a double to deep, deep right field from Jimmy Rollins, giving them a 2-0 lead.
Scott Hairston single-handedly brought the Mets within one with a solo homer in the bottom of the second.
The bottom of the third brought about some trouble for Hamels. With two men on, David Wright battled for a single up the middle to score Dickey, tying the ballgame. Cole retired the side with his pitch count a little higher than he would have liked.
In Hunter Pence's first two at-bats of the game, he swung on the first pitches he saw for weak pop-ups. In the fourth, he took a few pitches before plating Mike Fontenot with a single to center. 3-2 Phillies.
David Wright struck again with a big two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, putting his team up 4-3.
However, the Phillies would come back in the next inning. Already a two-hit night for Rollins became a three-hit night when he tripled to deep right, scoring Cole Hamels all the way from first. Rollins would score on a safety squeeze from Juan Pierre, which put the Phillies in the lead, 5-4.
Cole Hamels' pitch count got a little too high at 119, so after his seventh inning, he was done. Cole allowed four earned runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out seven. He out-dueled his fellow National League All-Star, R.A. Dickey.
Antonio Bastardo pitched a spectacular 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, striking out Scott Hairston, surprisingly.
Jonathan Papelbon allowed a lead off double to Ike Davis, and Davis reached third on a bunt with one gone in the ninth. After a strikeout to Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Paps faced Jordany Valdespin who tends to crowd the plate. Due to this, Paps hit Valdespin on a full count. Ruben Tejada battled for a walk with two outs to load the bases, making this a very ugly situation for the closer.
Daniel Murphy has provided the Mets with an outstanding average with runners on and two outs, in fact, he ranks fourth in all of baseball. With two outs and the bases loaded, Dan Murphy slapped one down the first base line, and Papelbon blew it with a misplay on a slip. Tied ball game.
True story: David Wright won this ballgame for the Mets with a bloop single to right. Hunter Pence slid and totally misplayed it. Mets win. It was so bad, it was highly laughable.
The Phils will head home tonight and start a three-game series against the Braves this weekend before the All-Star break. Kyle Kendrick will start tomorrow's game.