With their future stadium as the backdrop, the Mets took on the "team to beat in the NL East." Those were the words of Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins in January, words that he would eat in the Mets 11-5 win Monday afternoon. John Maine lacked control in his second start of the season, loading the bases in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings. Maine was removed after 4 2/3 innings of work. The Phillies left 9 runners on base in the game, but in the 6th inning Ryan Howard, the reigning NL MVP, hit his first home run of the season. The two-out, three-run home run came off Ambiorix Burgos, giving the Phillies a 5-3 lead.
That lead wouldn't last very long. After the Mets cut the lead to one in the 7th, the Mets busted out for 7 runs in the 8th inning. The key play in the bottom of the 8th came with one out, bases loaded, and Jose Reyes up. Reyes hit a routine grounder to Rollins, which the Philly shortshop booted for a game-tying error. After the error, the wheels came completely off for the Phillies. A wild pitch by Geoff Geary gave the Mets the lead, and the Mets were able to add 5 more runs in the inning, including 2 on a near grand slam by David Wright. Of the 7 runs scored in the inning, only 2 runs were earned.
Perhaps the most impressive performance of the game came from Carlos Delgado. In the 2nd inning, he laid down a bunt for a hit against the shift and in the 4th inning, he slid around an attempted tag at home.
While the season it's very early in the season, it may not be too early to say that Rollins mis-spoke. His Phillies are now 1-6 on the season. Rollins is not without his fans in New York though. The fans were kind enough to chant his name in the 8th inning after Wright's double.
Photo of Carlos Delgado beating a throw by Aaron Rowand and tag by Carlos Ruiz by AP/Kathy Willens