Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

The Rubber Game

Posted by JD on May 2, 2010

After trading blowout wins (9-1 Mets on Friday, 10-0 Phillies yesterday), the Mets and Phillies face off on national television to determine the winner of their first series this season. The Mets have a half-game lead over the Phillies in the standings and Johan Santana on the mound. The Phillies will counter with the “wily-veteran,” Jamie Moyer.

It’s been an interesting series. The Mets came in hot and kept it rolling on Friday night. Mike Pelfrey started on Saturday but couldn’t withstand a couple of near-outs (Jose Reyes and Alex Cora dropped catchable balls in the fourth inning) and departed early after giving up six runs. The Mets never recovered against the Phillies’ ace, Roy Halladay, setting up today’s rubber match.

Jerry Manuel has decided to make things even more interesting, subbing Gary Matthews, Jr. in for Angel Pagan in center field (and the lead-off spot) and Fernando Tatis for Ike Davis. There may be a bit of a method to this madness, as Tatis is 8-22 (.364) vs. Moyer and Matthews Jr. is 7-23 (.304)*.

*Granted, they haven’t faced off in 2006. So, we have that going for us. I guess.

Ike Davis wasn’t going to start every game and he’s had an issue with left-handed pitchers, so it’s not crazy to sit him against Moyer. I guess. Tatis needs some at-bats, and his past success gives Jerry some cover here. Same for GMJ, I suppose. Call me crazy, but I’d love to see the Mets field their best lineup against their division rivals. Yes, it’s still early. I understand that it’s a long series, and the Mets will have plenty of cracks at the Phillies. But it would be nice if they put their best foot forward tonight, no?

Alas, the lineup is already set: these are the players that we have to root for tonight. Let’s hope the sum is greater than the parts, and Let’s Go Mets!

Sidebar: If you’re like me and you have no idea where the term “rubber game” came from, Wikipedia has your answer: “The use of the word “rubber” to describe a tiebreaker is believed to have originated in the English game of bowls.” So there you go.

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