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The defense rests

The defense rests
Last week Phillies starter Chan Ho Park looked like a pitcher destined for the bullpen.

Wednesday, he looked like a star.

Park, though, had little to show for it.

That's because the defense blew it.

With two outs and the game scoreless in the seventh, the Phillies handed the Mets a run, which held up for a 1-0 victory at Citi Field on Wednesday night.

"We didn't play good defense," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said.

"It's definitely frustrating," center fielder Shane Victorino added.

Park worked his way out of two-on, two-out jam in the sixth before being pulled for a pinch hitter the next inning. Then, in the seventh, left-handed reliever Scott Eyre walked fellow lefty Carlos Delgado to lead off. Eyre got back-to-back fly outs when Manuel decided to go to Chad Durbin to face pinch hitter Fernando Tatis.

Tatis hit a grounder to third baseman Pedro Feliz, who made an off balance throw to first. The ball, though, was nowhere near Ryan Howard, which allowed Delgado to scoot around the bases.

"I think [Feliz] knows who's running and I think he thought he had a shot," Manuel said. "He was rushing it and made a bad throw."

Right fielder Jayson Werth tracked down the ball and fired home, but Delgado made it in safely.

"I didn't pick up home plate right away," Werth admitted. "I think Pedro and ... Delgado and the third base coach were a third of the way or halfway down the line. I just didn't pick up home plate. And by the time I did and threw the ball home, I was called for traveling."

Mets starter Johan Santana and Park kept pace all night.

In seven innings, Santana walked three and gave up two hits. He fanned 10 and lowered his ERA to 0.91.

"That was probably the best I've ever seen him," Werth said. "Good, hard fastball, good arm speed on his change-up."

Park, in danger of losing his gig, rebounded with a stellar outing. In six innings, he surrendered just two hits (with the first not coming until there were two outs in the fifth, and two walks.

"Obviously, I had a bad time last time against them (seven earned runs in 4 2/3 on Friday)," Park said. "I was more aggressive. I threw more fastballs and it worked good."

But the time came in the sixth inning when Manuel had to choose between his offense and his pitching.

After Raul Ibanez led off with a double, Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz popped out and grounded out respectively, bringing the pitcher's spot up.

Although Park was in the batter's box, he was called back into the dugout in favor of pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett, who struck out on three pitches.

"I felt like I could throw a couple more innings, but the situation was there [to score]," Park said.

Manuel evaluated the situation and couldn't bring himself to let Park hit.

"I feel like we had to go for the win there," Manuel said. "Santana played a part in there and also where we was at in the game. Park might get another inning in, but at the same time, they had Delgado, [David] Wright and [Daniel] Murphy and [Jeremy] Reed, three lefties out of four, coming up, and I figured we had to try to win the game and we would put Scott Eyre on them for one inning."

Note: The Phillies , who coming into the game led all major league teams with a .994 fielding percentage, committed three errors Wednesday. Before Wednesday, they had made just five errors in 24 games.


Mets 1

Phillies 0

More inside: Aaron Boone, recovering from heart surgery, returns to ballpark. PAGE Sports 4

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 8, 2009

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