Phillies beat the Mets again

April 8, 2008 2:07:00 PM PDT
Carlos Delgado and the New York Mets botched the final home opener at Shea Stadium the same way they squandered a big lead in the NL East last year. April or September, doesn't seem to matter. The Mets can't find a way to hold off Philadelphia.

Jamie Moyer pitched six effective innings, Jayson Werth hit a tiebreaking single and the Phillies rallied past New York 5-2 Tuesday with the help of Delgado's key error in the seventh.

It was another late comeback by Philadelphia, which took advantage of the Mets' epic collapse last September to win the division title. New York led by seven games with 17 to play, but went 5-12 down the stretch and missed the playoffs.

The Phillies had a lot to do with that meltdown, beating the Mets in their final eight meetings last year and winning the season series 12-6. Make it nine in a row now.

Chase Utley tied a major league record by getting hit by a pitch three times for the Phillies, who won despite stranding 13 runners.

The Mets wasted Delgado's first homer and a solid outing by Oliver Perez, getting off to a disappointing start in the final season at Shea Stadium, which opened in 1964. The team is set to move into an intimate new park next year - Citi Field is rising in the parking lot.

New York also dropped to 30-17 in home openers and 7-1 in Shea Stadium openers against Philadelphia.

NL MVP Jimmy Rollins was booed loudly, as usual. Mets reliever Scott Schoeneweis (0-1) also heard it from the crowd of 56,350 after he and Delgado let the Phillies come back from a 2-0 deficit in the seventh.

Rollins and Shane Victorino singled with one out before Utley was hit by a pitch for the third time, the first two by Perez. That loaded the bases for Ryan Howard, who hit a grounder to Delgado at first base.

Delgado tried for a double play, but his throw to second deflected off Utley and rolled toward center field for an error that allowed the tying run to score.

Werth put Philadelphia in front with a two-out RBI single off Jorge Sosa.

Aaron Heilman walked the leadoff batter in the eighth, and the Phillies capitalized with Rollins' run-scoring single and Utley's RBI double.

Born 17 months before Shea Stadium opened, the 45-year-old Moyer (1-0) held New York to two runs and four hits.

Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero each worked a scoreless inning before Tom Gordon got three outs for his first save.

Rollins departed in the eighth with a sprained left ankle.

Perez pitched three-hit ball for 5 2-3 innings. He hasn't allowed an extra-base hit in 11 2-3 shutout innings spanning two starts this season.

Delgado led off the second with his 432nd home run, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. for 37th place on the career list. Delgado is 30-for-68 (.441) with eight homers against Moyer.

Ryan Church added an RBI groundout in the fourth for New York.

During a pregame ceremony, the Mets honored the legacy of attorney William A. Shea. The ballpark was named after Shea, credited with leading the charge to bring National League baseball back to New York following the departure of the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers after the 1957 season.

Thirty members of the Shea family took part in the festivities. The name `Shea' was unveiled alongside four retired numbers in the left-field corner, and a countdown of regular-season games remaining at the ballpark was posted on the center-field fence with No. 81.

Notes:
Mets 2B Luis Castillo left after the fourth with soreness in his surgically repaired right knee. He was replaced by Damion Easley. ... Victorino and Werth collided on the warning track in right-center as Victorino caught David Wright's fourth-inning drive. Both outfielders were shaken up but remained in the game.


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