Coming off of seven shutout innings over the Astros last Wednesday, Ishii (0-2) went back to Dr. Jekyll form against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, suffering the brunt of a 5-4 defeat that really wasn't all that close.
Ishii allowed the first four batters of the game to reach base and, at one point, threw 13 straight pitches out of the strike zone in a five-inning, five-run, six-walk disaster.
"I have to look back at this," Ishii said. "I let the team down. I couldn't do the job."
"Obviously, he was struggling with his command," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He couldn't find any real kind of groove and was struggling early."
The culprit, Ishii said, was his timing and his cut fastball, which misbehaved badly. Somewhere within the comedy of uncontrollable pitches was a ball four fastball toward the head Philadelphia's Randy Wolf, knocking the pitcher to home plate into a display of free-flowing blond locks.
"It was a frustrating night," catcher Mike Piazza said. "Usually, you're able to subtract a little bit [of velocity] off when you're struggling. I was just trying to get him to focus on location."
"[The cutter] threw me off a little more than I'd like," Ishii said.
With the Mets' bats dormant against Phillies starter Randy Wolf, it was almost as if the poor first inning alone deflated New York.
New York did not move a runner into scoring position until Victor Diaz's one-out double in the eighth; only a four-run ninth inning against Wolf and reliever Tim Worrell (helped by Cliff Floyd's monstrous three-run bomb on a 3-0 Worrell fastball) helped make the scoreboard tally respectable.
"It's a little frustrating, obviously," Ishii said. "I know what I have to work on. I don't think I'll struggle as much next time around."
Heredia could be DL candidate, finally: Weeks after they originally tried to, the Mets may finally have a reason to place LHP Felix Heredia on the disabled list.
The reliever, who was reportedly asked to go on the club's injured list before leaving spring training, was forced to leave the game in the sixth inning with soreness at the base of his left thumb, but only after throwing several pitches behind the heads and backs of Philadelphia hitters.
"I couldn't squeeze [the] balls," Heredia said.
Heredia will be sent back to New York for further examinations tomorrow, but he said this was unrelated to the numbness and cold sensation he felt in Florida.
"Wow," Piazza said, asked about the respective wildness of Ishii and Heredia. "Maybe I'll go back to first base."