It looks like the Richard Hidalgo trade is working out really well for the Mets. Since joining the Mets, he is hitting .348 with 15 RBI and 8 home runs in his 17 games as a Met. Someone get us a fire extinguisher! Hidalgo's hot streak could be attributed to some changes that he and hitting coach Don Baylor have made. Baylor corrected Hidalgo's shoulder, making sure it he didn't open up his body too soon. Baylor said players usually need 50-100 at bats to adjust, but Hidalgo looks well adjusted after 66 at bats with the Mets.
In last night's game against the Phillies, Hidalgo batted in the clean-up slot for the Mets for the first time. Before the game, Cliff Floyd went to Art Howe to ask for a change in the line-up. The line-up card was already posted, but Floyd reasoned with Howe who agreed to switch Hidalgo and Floyd in the batting order. Floyd was only hitting .207 against lefthanders and Randy Wolf was the lefty pitcher slated to start for Philadelphia. Hidalgo went 2-5 with 2 RBI and a run scored. His home run streak ended, but his nine game hitting streak is still alive. During those nine games .471 with 7 home runs and 11 runs batted in.
The Mets had their own lefty in Al Leiter, who was close to having the lowest ERA in the majors after last week's start, but didn't have enough innings pitched. Last night, he got those innings and his 150th career win. He now leads the majors with a 2.05 ERA. Leiter pitched a strong 7 innings, giving up only 3 hits, 1 run, and 3 walks.
New York won the game 4-1 (box score) and moved back to two games of the Phillies for the lead in the NL East. With two game left in Philadelphia, it's possible for the Mets to leave town tied for first.