July 22, 2003: Mets Hold Off Phils' Rally

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Date: July 22, 2003
Mets starter: Steve Trachsel
Mets: 7
Phillies: 5
Winning pitcher: Steve Trachsel
Key player(s): Ty Wigginton, Roger Cedeno, Joe McEwing
Key play: Wigginton’s double, Cedeno’s single

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Tuesday afternoon in Philadelphia. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series at Veterans Stadium. A comeback effort by the Phils fell short as the Mets held on for a 7-5 win.

Jeff Duncan singled off Philadelphia starter Kevin Millwood to open the top of the first inning. Following an out, Duncan stole second base and Jason Phillips was hit by a pitch. Cliff Floyd drew a walk to load the bases. A double by Ty Wigginton brought home Duncan and Phillips for a 2-0 Mets lead. Millwood retired the next two batters to end the inning. For New York, Steve Trachsel pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Joe McEwing led off the top of the second with a single to left field. Trachsel’s sacrifice bunt moved McEwing to second base and Duncan drew a walk. Reyes walked to load the bases and Phillips was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game, forcing home McEwing. Millwood fanned Floyd and Wigginton for the final two outs of the inning and Trachsel shut down the Phils in the bottom half. Millwood held the Mets to a double by McEwing in a scoreless top of the third. Trachsel then hurled a perfect bottom of the inning.

Duncan and Jose Reyes started the top of the fourth with back-to-back singles to right field. Phillips hit a fly ball to center fielder Marlon Byrd on which Duncan advanced from second to third base. Floyd was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Wigginton went down on strikes. Roger Cedeno singled to center field, driving home Duncan and Reyes to increase the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Carlos Silva replaced Millwood on the mound for Philadelphia and (after throwing a wild pitch) retired Vance Wilson on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Bobby Abreu. Trachsel then set down the Phillies 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

McEwing doubled for his third hit of the game to begin the top of the fifth inning. Consecutive sacrifice bunts by Trachsel and Duncan brought Joe around to score the Mets’ sixth run. Silva got Reyes to fly out to Byrd and finish off the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Todd Pratt drew a walk and moved to second on catcher Wilson’s passed ball. A single by Nick Punto advanced Pratt to third base. Pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee hit a force play ground ball on which Pratt came home for the Phils’ first run. Byrd lined out to left fielder Floyd to end the inning. Philadelphia reliever Rheal Cormier then set down the Mets in order in the top of the sixth.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Jim Thome singled and advanced to third base on Abreu’s ensuing double. Pat Burrell tripled to score Thome and Abreu, cutting the Mets’ lead to 6-3. Graeme Lloyd relieved Trachsel for New York and struck out pinch-hitter Tomas Perez. Pratt drew his second walk of the game and a single by Punto plated Burrell. Mets’ reliever Edwin Almonte struck out pinch-hitter Jason Michaels to end the inning. For the Phillies, reliever Terry Adams pitched a perfect top of the seventh.

Byrd doubled off Almonte to open the bottom of the seventh inning. Placido Polanco grounded out to third baseman Wigginton. Mets’ reliever Mike Stanton retired Thome on a fly ball to Floyd and issued a walk to Abreu. Burrell flied out to center fielder Duncan to end the inning. Phils’ reliever Mike Williams walked Duncan with one out in the top of the eighth. Reyes got a single on a grounder that hit Jeff between bases and stole second. Phillips singled to score Reyes and extend the Mets’ lead to 7-4. Williams threw a called third strike past Floyd for the third out. Stanton then shut down the Phils in the bottom of the inning.

Phillies’ reliever Jose Mesa hurled a scoreless top of the ninth. Byrd singled off the Mets’ John Franco with one out in the bottom half. Polanco’s ground out to Wigginton moved Byrd to second base. After advancing to third on defensive indifference, Byrd came home with the fifth Philadelphia run on a double by Thome. A single by Abreu sent Thome to third. With the tying runs on base, Dan Wheeler came in to pitch for the Mets. Wheeler struck out Burrell to end the game. The Mets had staved off the Phils’ rally and held on for what would be their last victory at the Vet.