May 21, 2003: Mets Come Back to Beat Phillies

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Date: May 21, 2003
Mets starter: Al Leiter
Mets: 5
Phillies: 4
Winning pitcher: Armando Benitez
Key player(s): Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Cliff Floyd, Tony Clark
Key play: Shinjo’s and Floyd’s home runs, Clark’s single

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a series. The Mets scored in each of the last three innings for a 5-4 comeback win over Philadelphia.

Jimmie Rollins singled against Mets’ starter Al Leiter to lead off the top of the first. Placido Polanco hit a double play ground ball back to Leiter and a walk to Jim Thome ensued. Consecutive walks to Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu loaded the bases and David Bell grounded out to shortstop Jay Bell to end the inning. Roberto Alomar doubled against the Phils’ Randy Wolf to open the bottom half. Alomar advanced to third on catcher Todd Pratt’s passed ball and Jay Bell drew a walk. Jason Phillips hit a double play grounder to second baseman Polanco on which Alomar scored the first run of the game. Wolf then threw a called third strike past Cliff Floyd to finish off the inning.

After a scoreless second, Leiter shut down the Phillies in the top of the third. Tsuyoshi Shinjo led off the bottom half with a home run for a 2-0 Mets lead. Wolf fanned both Leiter and Alomar before retiring Jay Bell on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Marlon Byrd. Leiter set down the side in order in the top of the fourth and Floyd hit a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Ty Wigginton singled and Vance Wilson followed with a double play grounder to shortstop Rollins that ended the inning. Leiter gave up only a double to Rollins in the top of the fifth. Wolf then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Thome singled to begin the top of the sixth. Burrell and Abreu drew walks to load the bases and David Bell hit a single to score Thome. Pratt grounded out to first baseman Phillips to drive home Burrell with the tying run. Byrd followed with a sacrifice fly that plated Abreu and gave the Phils a 3-2 lead. Leiter retired pinch-hitter Tomas Perez on a fly ball to center fielder Shinjo for the inning’s final out. Philadelphia reliever Rheal Cormier then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Polanco hit a one-out single against Mets’ reliever Mike Stanton in the top of the seventh. A wild pitch moved Polanco to second base and Thome went down on strikes. Burrell was walked intentionally and Abreu singled to bring home Polanco with the Phillies’ fourth run of the game. David Bell then grounded back to Stanton to close out the inning.

Wilson singled against Cormier to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Raul Gonzalez was struck out and Shinjo followed with a single. Phils’ reliever Turk Wendell retired pinch-hitter Timo Perez on a fly ball to right fielder Abreu. Alomar singled to load the bases and pinch-hitter Tony Clark drew a walk to force home Wilson. Phillips then grounded back to Wendell for the third out of the inning.

Mets’ reliever Graeme Lloyd yielded only a single to pinch-hitter Jason Michaels in the top of the eighth. Leading off the bottom half, Floyd homered against Philadelphia’s Dan Plesac to tie the game at 4-4. Wigginton was retired on a fly ball to Byrd. Phillies’ reliever Terry Adams got Wilson to ground out to Rollins. Gonzalez hit a single and pinch-hitter Roger Cedeno grounded back to Adams to end the inning. For New York, reliever Armando Benitez pitched a perfect top of the ninth.

Marco Scutaro got a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth inning. Scutaro advanced to second base on Alomar’s ground out to first baseman Thome. Clark followed with a single to drive home Scutaro with the winning run. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory.