While it wasn't the most vaunted pitching matchup, coming into tonight's game, pretty much everyone knew the rubber game would go down to the wire. Both Jamie Moyer and Tim Redding managed to lower their ERA's. Moyer fell behind early, surrendering three runs and the Phillies trailed 3-1 after five innings. But the Phillies would get to Redding in the sixth and seventh. A Matt Stairs RBI groundout in the seventh tied the game 3-3.
So the game, once more, would come down to the bullpens. The Phillies bullpen faltered in Game 1 and barely kept things under control in Game 2, but tonight they were lights-out. Clay Condrey pitched two perfect innings, then Chad Durbin and Scott Eyre combined for a perfect ninth inning.
The Mets had a little more trouble. Pedro Feliciano got through the eighth unscathed, despite walking a batter. Bobby Parnell allowed a single to Pedro Feliz, but otherwise got through the ninth, but he ran into trouble in the tenth.
After Jimmy Rollins fouled out, Shane Victorino singled to center. That would be all for Parnell, as Jerry Manuel did not want him to face Utley, who belted the game-winning home run off of Parnell last night. With Utley, Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez coming up, the Mets turned to their only remaining lefty pitcher, Ken Takahashi. Takahashi started poorly, walking Utley, but then struck out Howard and got ahead of Ibanez, 0-1.
But that was as good as it got for Takahashi and for the Mets. Ibanez belted the 1-1 pitch over the wall in right center and the Phillies took a 6-3 lead. Jayson Werth, last night's hero, struck out to end the inning, but the three runs would be more than enough, as Ryan Madson allowed an Omir Santos single, then recovered to retire the next three Mets, sealing a Phillies victory.
After the Phillies had struggled with the Mets early this season (and throughout last season), it was very encouraging to see the Phillies win this series. However, they will have their hands full when they face Boston this weekend.