Mets make own luck in win over Phils

Mets make own luck in win over Phils

NEW YORK -- Shawn Green has been with the Mets for less than a week and he can already sense it. There's something special about the club.

Call it whatever you want: chemistry, an intangible feeling or something magical.

And, now, having been a part of it for the past week, he knows it's something that can carry the club to a World Series title.

After Sunday's rainout, Green contributed his part in helping the Mets use every bit of "that something" in Monday's makeup to beat the Phillies, 8-3, in front of a paid attendance of 45,868 but an actual 8,766 at Shea Stadium.

The Mets right fielder went 1-for-4 with an RBI double as the Mets topped the Phillies for the second straight game and wrapped up the nine-game homestand with an 8-1 record.

"It kind of has an energy of its own," said Green, who has hit safely in his last seven games. "This club has the ability to take a timely hit and turn it into three, four, five runs at a time. And it's not just with power. As a collective group, with speed at the top and guys who have power, go deep in the count, take walks at times, hits with players on base. There's so much about this club that's different. And nice to be a part of."

John Maine earned his fourth win of the season and picked up the third against the Phillies this season as well. Although the 25-year-old righthander admitted it wasn't his best stuff, it turned out to be good enough. He threw 6 1/3 innings and allowed five hits and two runs -- both earned -- with two walks and two strikeouts.

"It goes both ways," said Maine of pitching against a team repeatedly. "They know what you have, you have a good idea what they have. But, ultimately, the key is to go out and execute pitches. It felt good, but I know I made mistakes, and I'll have to learn from them to get better each and every outing."

One mistake Maine says he made came in the first inning with one out and two men on base. Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, who added to his National League-leading home run total with a homer in the eighth, almost hit his 47th home run of the season in the first with a deep drive to left field that Carlos Beltran caught on the warning track. But Maine was helped by a 13-mph wind and got out of the inning.

"I definitely got lucky with that one," said Maine, who threw a hanging slider on the pitch.

Maine coasted through the next two innings and the Mets offense came through in the third.

By that time, it felt like the Phillies should have had a lead, and sensing this, the Mets took advantage of the breaks when they got them. They posted six runs in the third against Phillies starter Jamie Moyer, who was making his second start for the Phillies since coming over in a trade with the Mariners. How the Mets scored left the 43-year-old lefthander shaking his head. The runs came with some controversy, though, and a bit of fortunate circumstances.

The Mets put six runs across the board in the third inning off Phillies starter Jamie Moyer, but they were helped by some bizarre happenings. Endy Chavez led off the inning with a sharp single through the hole at short, but the Mets then strung together two bunts to load the bases. Maine tried to sacrifice Chavez to second, but Maine safely reached first base when Phillies catcher Chris Coste committed a throwing error trying to get Chavez at second. Jose Reyes followed with another bunt, and Coste could not get the speedy runner at first.

Paul Lo Duca then hit a liner past Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, who may have been shielded by Reyes, to score Chavez. A fielder's choice grounder by Carlos Beltran forced Maine out at home before Carlos Delgado's single up the middle barely escaped the reach of Phillies second baseman Chase Utley for two more runs.

Then came the controversy. David Wright, who was hitless in his last 25 at-bats against lefties entering Monday's game, hit a chopper down the third-base line that third-base umpire Randy Marsh initially called foul. After conferring with the other umpires, home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez signaled that the ball had struck the bag and was fair. Beltran was awarded home on the play and, after Delgado stroked a two-run single, Green doubled to right to boost the lead to 5-2. An out later, Wright would score on a sacrifice fly by Chris Woodward.

After the game, Hernandez said the ball had "definitely ricocheted off the base," which by rule makes it a fair ball.

"The ball was curving down the line and, to be honest with you, at the last minute, I had the third baseman coming over and the runner down the line and I got distracted for a second," Marsh said. "[Mets third-base coach] Manny Acta said it hit the corner of the bag and I admit it was my fault. I took my eye off it, which was wrong."

Manuel felt otherwise and argued the change of the call. He was also ejected from Saturday's game.

"It definitely opened the inning up and kept it going," Manuel said. "How many runs would they have scored, I don't know. But neither do they if he had called it foul."

"I've never seen a play like that in my life," said Wright, who was awarded a single. "They definitely got the call right but either way I would have had another opportunity to do something if they had kept it foul. And Randy's one of the best umpires in the game, so I feel they did a good job."

Beltran was awarded home on the play and, after Carlos Delgado stroked a two-run single, Green doubled to right to boost the lead to 5-2. An out later, Wright would score on a sacrifice fly by Chris Woodward.

Maine, who has been criticized by his manager for relaxing every now and then, gave up a two-run homer to Pat Burrell in the fourth. Burrell has now hit 36 home runs against the Mets in his career.

"He got a little careless there but, overall, he pitched a real good game," said Willie Randolph. "Sometimes, he takes the foot off the accelerator and we have to remind him to keep going after people aggressively. But he's throwing the ball well and he has to learn to leave it all out there."

Maine cruised through the next two innings without any harm before being pulled in the seventh after allowing a one-out double to Coste and a walk to Abraham Nunez. Roberto Hernandez recorded two outs to end the inning.

After the Mets tacked on another run in the seventh when Reyes hit his 16th triple of the season and scored on Lo Duca's single, Howard blasted his 415-foot homer, his third in as many games, off reliever Guillermo Mota in the eighth.

The Mets comfortably closed the door, though, when Billy Wagner ended the ninth with three consecutive strikeouts.

After outscoring the Phillies 22-12 in the past three games, the Mets go on the road with some more of that swagger that has produced the NL's best record and the second best mark in the Majors.

"We realized after that series in Philadelphia that we can't pat ourselves on the back and get proud of what we've done," Wright said of an Aug. 13-17 series in which the Phillies took three of four from the Mets. "We have to keep pushing and not be happy with what we've done until we've accomplished our goal. Once we get there, then we can talk about all the good things that have happened."

Chris Girandola is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.