Chris Young on Wednesday fell to 2-2
Coming into July 4, Philadelphia Phillies starter Cliff Lee had zero, zilch, nada, nothing, no wins in 13 starts on the 2012 season, but that changed in the seventh inning when the Phillies took a 3-2 lead on a pair of home runs by Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz.
Both Mets starter Chris Young and Lee exchanged 1-2-3 innings in the first and second innings, with the exception being an Ike Davis single in the bottom of the second which Lee got out of with ease. In the bottom of the third Ruben Tejada got a two out double with Lee retiring the next batter once again.
After Young had gotten through the first 10 Phillies batters perfectly a Juan Pierre single ended that in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the inning the Mets took the first lead of the game as Scott Hairston hit a solo home run over the original “Great Wall of Flushing” to put New York up 1-0.
An inning later the Mets added another run after three straight two out singles off the bats of Tejada, Daniel Murphy and David Wright to score Tejada and put the Mets up by a pair.
-Read about the second half of the game after the jump-
Young retired the Phillies again 1-2-3 in the sixth inning but faced early trouble in the top of the seventh frame. During his third time through the lineup, Young allowed a single to Pierre and the next batter was Utley who send a line drive home run into the right field stands which is slowly becoming “Utley’s Corner” with the number of home runs he’s hit there. Two pitches later, Ruiz sent a home run over the Great Wall once again and gave Philadelphia their first lead at 3-2.
In the top of the eighth inning the Mets went to the bullpen with Miguel Batista first in line, he threw one pitches and was pulled after allowing one hit to John Mayberry Jr. Tim Byrdak was on next and after having not pitched in five days it showed as he allowed Lee to bunt Mayberry over followed by a Jimmy Rollins ground rule double.
Byrdak then intentionally walked Ty Wigginton who pinch hit for Pierre, and got Utley to fly out to center. The next in line was Jeremy Hefner who came on to pitch for the first time with inherited runners and struggled after Ruiz and Hunter Pence singled to put the Phillies up 6-2.
Philadelphia tacked on three more runs in the top of the ninth as Mayberry came in to score on a Rollins groundout, then Rollins scored on Wigginton’s two run home run to cap off the Philadelphia scoring at nine. With Jonathan Papelbon in to close out the game the Mets went down 1-2-3 and fell by the score of 9-2.
Earning his first win of the season was Lee (1-5) while pitching eight innings allowing a pair of runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts. Young (2-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs on the pair of homers in the seventh inning, he allowed five hits and struck out three batters.
Game Ball: Despite taking the loss Chris Young pitched well enough to win, as ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin said, Young is this year’s version of Chris Capuano in that he gets through the lineup well the first two times but struggles the third time through the order. If that holds true and you can get nine wins out of Young by the All Star Break in 2013 then sign me up.
Up Next: The Mets return to night time games when they play the rubber game of their three game set with the Philadelphia Phillies. R.A. Dickey returns to the mound as he squares off for what could be the last time the Mets see Cole Hamels in a Phillies uniform as they may look to trade him before his contract expires at season’s end.
Post-Game Notes: The Mets optioned right-hander Jeremy Hefner to AAA-Buffalo after the game and recalled Pedro Beato, a moved that I suggested during Sunday’s post-game with Batista being designated for assignment as opposed to the Hefner option.
Beato has pitched well his last six outings in Buffalo allowing one earned run (two runs total) over 9 2/3 innings. His last outing was also a three inning outing on July 1 so they have been building him up to be a 2-3 inning pitcher of late.