06/11/09 12:13 AM ET
Werth, Utley combine to sink Mets in 11
Right fielder's grab in 10th sets stage for All-Star's homer
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
It started with Jayson Werth's remarkable catch in the 10th inning.
It ended Chase Utley's game-winning home run in the 11th.
But there were other moments that to those bigger moments.
"That's what makes this game so much fun," Victorino said.
The Phillies beat the Mets in 11 innings, 5-4, in what has been an entertaining series between the top two teams in the National League East. The Mets beat the Phils on Tuesday, despite Johan Santana allowing four home runs. The Phillies beat the Mets on Wednesday, despite Cole Hamels allowing 11 hits and four runs in five innings.
The Mets held a 4-1 lead when the Phils put together four consecutive hits in the seventh to start a three-run rally to tie the game. The game remained tied with two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the 10th when David Wright hit a line drive to right-center field.
Fernando Martinez took off from first base as soon as the ball made contact.
Werth pursued the ball into the gap.
The ball kept sinking as Werth kept running.
Dive? Or just try to keep the ball in front of him?
Werth dived to catch the ball just inches off the ground.
"I feel like I made the right choice," Werth said.
No kidding. Werth made one of the nicest catches the Phils have made this season, and it came at a critical moment. If Werth misses the ball and it goes behind him, there was a chance Martinez scores the winning run. But Werth felt confident he could dive because he said he noticed Victorino running in his direction.
That gave Werth confidence that if he missed and the ball deflected somewhere that Victorino could pick up the ball and prevent Martinez from scoring.
"There are some quick thoughts going through your head, but really it's just more of a reaction," Werth said. "The ball snuck into the lights for a second. I was pretty much running to a spot, but when it came out [of the lights] it was a closer than I thought it was going to be. It happened so fast. Who knows?"
That set up the 11th. Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez had pitched two scoreless innings in relief in the ninth and 10th, but Bobby Parnell entered and Chase Utley hit a 1-0 fastball into the right-field bleachers for a home run to give the Phillies the lead.
"It's kind of nice to have Utley," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said with a smile. "I kind of like Utley. He's a special player. He's a tremendous player. And he loves to play, too. I can't talk enough about him."
Utley also homered in the fourth. He also homered Tuesday to give him three homers in the series and 15 this season.
Utley had an interesting moment earlier with Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey in the sixth. Utley stepped out of the batter's box for a moment, and Pelfrey became upset. Utley looked back in Pelfrey's direction almost with a perplexed look on his face.
"It seems like he was upset," Utley said.
Jack Taschner, Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre, J.C. Romero, Chan Ho Park and Ryan Madson threw six scoreless innings in relief. Madson, who is handling the closer's duties while Brad Lidge is on the disabled list, picked up his third save of the season.
"He had a good inning," Manuel said. "He's throwing the ball good right now. I'm very pleased with him."
The Phillies bullpen has a 3.64 ERA, which ranks seventh in baseball and fifth in the National League. The bullpen has a 2.51 ERA since May 20.
The Phillies hope to win the series finale Thursday and return to Philadelphia with a four-game lead in the division with the American League East-leading Red Sox coming to town Friday.
"Every game we play is big with them," Manuel said of the Mets. "We like to play them. They like to play us. I keep saying that. That's a good rivalry. It's good. Everything about it is good. We're very even teams."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.