video thumbnail

NYM@PHI: Ike belts a three-run home run to right

PHILADELPHIA -- Twice on Wednesday, the Mets trailed by a run only to come back and tie the game. At one late juncture, the Mets trailed by two.

"Who cares?" shortstop Justin Turner recalled thinking on the dugout bench. "We've got nine innings."

Such is the attitude of the comeback Mets, a team that swept the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park by coming from behind for all three of their wins. The final act was a 10-6 victory, which included a seven-batter rally to take the lead for good in the seventh and a four-run outburst to run away with it in the eighth for their fifth straight win.

They were able to do it, the Mets said afterward, because they never for one second doubted that they could.

"That's been the mentality," manager Terry Collins said. "We knew we had to hang tough."

Down two runs heading into the seventh, the Mets loaded the bases with no outs against Kyle Kendrick on a walk, an RBI double from Turner, a double by Ike Davis and yet another walk. Kendrick then plunked pinch-hitter Lucas Duda on the right leg to tie the game at 4, before ceding the winning run on Andres Torres' ground-ball out.

All the while, Turner said, "There's all sorts of dugout chatter going on. Everyone gets fired up. Everyone's pulling for everyone. It's an unbelievable team environment."

The Mets were hardly done. With boos raining down from a sellout crowd in the eighth, the Mets put the game out of reach on Davis' mammoth three-run home run, which nearly reached the second deck in right field. That followed back-to-back doubles from David Wright and Scott Hairston, and a dropped fly ball from Phillies outfielder Hunter Pence.

Torres added a solo homer in the ninth inning.

The Mets now lead the league with 11 come-from-behind victories in 31 games, including all three wins of their first sweep in Philadelphia since 2006. What's more, the Mets moved five games over .500 for the first time since July 19, 2010, tiptoeing within a half game of first place in the process. If the season ended today -- and admittedly, it does not -- the Mets would be in the National League playoffs.

"When you sweep teams in this division, you've really got to play well," Collins said. "Because you're going to see good pitchers every night."

The past three nights, the Mets saw Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton and Lee, sticking each of them with no-decisions. Though this was not exactly the blueprint -- "I don't think that's what we're trying to do," Davis said of the team's inability to inflict much damage on that vaunted rotation -- the Mets were able to wreak consistent havoc on Philadelphia's bullpen. Which in all three cases was enough.

It was enough Wednesday in spite of Mets starter Dillon Gee, who bemoaned his lack of command over 5 2/3 innings of four-run ball. On another night, Gee might have felt worse about allowing the Phillies to generate four runs from the eighth and ninth spots of their lineup, with Freddy Galvis racking up two RBIs and even Lee tacking on an RBI single.

But this was not another night, and this was not another game. This was a game that the Mets expected to win.

To that end, Collins snapped his head up when asked pregame Wednesday about his lineup, which -- against Lee, no less -- included four everyday players and four bench players.

"We're playing to win," Collins said.

And win the Mets did, in what is becoming their trademark style. They have managed to take five consecutive games in part because they lead the league in comeback victories, in part because they also lead the league in two-out runs and in part because they are receiving contributions from all 25 men on their active roster.

To cite some examples, Collins applauded reliever Manny Acosta, who gave the Mets three key relief appearances in Philadelphia after a dreadful trip to Denver and Houston. Turner delivered a key hit in place of injured shortstop Ruben Tejada. Rob Johnson drew a crucial walk in place of injured catcher Josh Thole. And so on and so forth, down the line, down the bench, throughout the clubhouse.

"That's the only way we're going to win," Collins said. "We've got to do it as a team. The way we've gotten to where we are right now is there have been so many different people who have come through."

The clubhouse attitude afterward was more workmanlike than party-like, though a few Mets did sneak glances at a nearby television, where Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was discussing his team meeting in grim tones of voice.

Blame it on the bullpen, Charlie. Or perhaps blame it on the comeback Mets.

"That's not the goal," Wright said. "The goal is you'd like to score early and keep adding on. But it's been fun."

MLB.com Comments