Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Phils are gamers, and Mets know it

Another night when the Phillies showed the Mets what they're up against.

Phils are gamers, and Mets know it

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Kathy Willens

Good column in the New York Post today by Mike Vaccaro. What it did, more than anything, was paint a picture of the dynamic that exists between the Mets and the Phillies, about how the Phillies know how to win and how the Mets know this all too well.

Everybody has lived the rivalry the last couple of years. Everybody knows what happened, about how the Mets gagged away their chances as the Phillies caught fire at the end in both 2007 and 2008. Faced with the need to win, a desperate need, the Phillies responded and the Mets wilted.

Gamer. It is a baseball word, even if it sometimes gets applied to athletes in other sports. Gamer. A guy who plays the game. A guy who does what it takes to win. A guy who recognizes those moments in games, those moments when fortunes pivot, and gets himself on the right side of those moments.

Gamer. It is the word that defines so many of the Phillies. And on a night when Jayson Werth makes a great diving catch to save the game in the 10th inning, and then Chase Utley hits his second home run of the night to win it in the 11th, it is a words whose definition was writ so very large. The Mets read it, too.

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Manager Jerry Manuel could read it. He said, "It's no secret that this is a team that knows very well how to win baseball games. They take advantage of anything you throw at them."

David Wright -- who hit the ball that Werth caught, who rounded first base with this excruciating look of frustration on his face as Werth tumbled and held on -- could read it. He said, "What we have to do is a better job of answering. Like they do."

Daily News Executive Sports Editor
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About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at Reach Rich at

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