While most New York sports fans were transfixed by the latest overtime drama between the Rangers and Capitals in D.C., another thriller was taking shape just up the interstate.
— From the first inning to the last, and plenty in between, this Mets-Phillies game had as many big and surprising plays as any in recent memory. None was bigger or more shocking than this nine-iron for a memorable first big-league hit.
- Roy Halladay had won his last 8 starts against the Mets, including all 7 since joining the Phillies.
- Gary Cohen set up a classic Announcer’s Jinx with this bit of hyperbole just before the first pitch to Jordany Valdespin: “Papelbon hasn’t given up a hit with a runner in scoring position yet this year.” May you never hear a bigger fuss over three at-bats.
- It was the first exactly 3-run HR ever hit off Jonathan Papelbon. He has allowed one grand slam (way back in 2007), twelve 2-run HRs and 20 solo shots.
- The Mets came into Monday without an extra-base hit in their past 2 games, tying the MLB high since 2011. Out of 30 such streaks, only the Mets won both games. In the past 20 years, just 10 other teams have won consecutive games with no XBH; the lasst 3-game streak came in 1986.
— Will Middlebrooks (2 HRs, 5 RBI) is the third player since 1918 with two games of 4+ RBI within his first 4 career games. All 3 such players (including Dave Kingman and Joe Cunningham) had a total of 3 HRs and 9 RBI in those games.
— Welcome back, Doug Fister! Injured in his first start of the year, Fister blanked his former team for 7 IP in his return. In 81 IP since joining Detroit, he has a 1.56 ERA and just 6 walks with 63 Ks.
- Please tell me that’s not Octavio Dotel trying to protect a 2-run in the 9th. Well, no, it can’t be; Dotel would have given up a HR. This sequence — walk, walk, wild pitch, wild pitch, double — only could have come from one man.
— Big Z allowed 3 singles and 1 walk in his first shutout since 2009. The slimmed-down Zambrano put up 7 goose eggs in his last game. It’s just the 2nd time in his career that he’s had consecutive starts of 7+ scoreless innings.
- Giancarlo’s 10-game hitting streak has just one multi-hit game, but 6 HRs.
Help me out here, guys. What else was eye-popping on this Monday night?