August 23, 2009: Mets Lose on Triple Play in 9th
|Date: August 23, 2009|
|Mets starter: Oliver Perez|
|Winning pitcher: Pedro Martinez|
|Key player(s): Eric Bruntlett, Angel Pagan|
|Key play: Phils' homers in 1st, Pagan's two homers, Bruntlett's triple play|
The Mets faced the Phillies on a Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. After falling way behind, the Mets slowly piled up runs to reduce the deficit. The comeback fell short on a ninth inning triple play, leaving the Mets with a 9-7 loss to the Phils.
Oliver Perez was roughed up early by the defending World Champions. Three-run homers by Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz gave the Phillies a 6-0 lead in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half, the Mets scored twice against Philadelphia starter Pedro Martinez with an inside-the-park home run by leadoff hitter Angel Pagan and a triple by Jeff Francoeur that scored Daniel Murphy.
Mets' reliever Nelson Figueroa walked Raul Ibanez to begin the top of the third inning. Pedro Feliz and Eric Bruntlett followed with singles to load the bases for the Phillies. Following an out, Martinez singled to score Ibanez and a sacrifice fly by Jimmy Rollins brought home Feliz. The Mets responded in the bottom of the inning on Pagan's second homer and Cory Sullivan's run-scoring ground out to make it an 8-4 game.
From the fourth inning to the seventh, Pat Misch shut down the Phillies on only one hit. Bruntlett's single leading off the fifth was all the Phils got off Pat. Meanwhile, Martinez limited the Mets to a single by Luis Castillo while pitching scoreless ball from the fourth to the sixth.
In the bottom of the seventh, Phils' reliever Chad Durbin retired the first two hitters. He then walked Castillo, who stole second base. Murphy then delivered a single to score Luis for the fifth Met run of the game. The Phillies answered in the top of the eighth when Matt Stairs came home on Sean Green's second wild pitch of the inning.
Sullivan singled off Philadelphia's Ryan Madson to start the bottom of the eighth. Cory stole second and later came home on a double by Anderson Hernandez to make the score 9-6. In the top of the ninth, Elmer Dessens retired the Phils in order, with the final out being a Bruntlett line drive on which Francoeur made a diving catch. The play was originally ruled a trap, but the umpires changed their decision. Phillies' manager Charlie Manuel argued about the call reversal and was ejected from the game.
In the bottom of the ninth, Pagan led off against the Phils' Brad Lidge. Angel got to third base on an error by first baseman Ryan Howard. Pagan scored when second baseman Bruntlett misplayed a ball hit by Castillo. Murphy then singled and Francoeur came up to bat with two runners on base and none out for the Mets.
With the runners moving on the pitch, Francoeur hit a line drive over the middle of the diamond. Bruntlett grabbed the ball and stepped on second to double up Castillo. Murphy, who had been running from first, was tagged by Bruntlett to complete an unassisted triple play. The Mets' comeback attempt was stopped as the game ended in historical fashion.
- Bruntlett's unassisted triple play was the 15th in the history of Major League Baseball, including one by Cleveland's Bill Wambsganss in the 1920 World Series. It was only the second one that ended a game, with the first being that of Detroit's Johnny Neun in 1927.