Mets 4, Cardinals 2 (Series tied, 3-3)
I asked for a little post-season drama. Now I have it. But I don't know that I really need it. Nothing's more dramatic than a Game 7 - and that's what the Mets face on Thursday night, for the right to face the Tigers in the World Series.
Game 6 was a little of everything that made the Mets such a good team all season long. I wanted Jose Reyes to set the table, get the Mets going...he got them going, but skipped the middle man by driving himself in with a leadoff homer in the first inning.
The homer came after the game's other MVP for the Mets made a key play on defense. Paul LoDuca made a nice backhand grab of a down and away pitch from John Maine with the bases loaded in the top of the 1st, saving a run. Maine then got a flyout, leaving the bases loaded. In the 7th inning, LoDuca provided the Mets with some much-needed breathing room with a 2-run single to make the game 4-0.
John Maine was fantastic in this game. He went 5-and-a-third, giving up no runs, and got key outs when he needed to. (He even made a spiffy defensive play on a comebacker by David Eckstein in the fifth - things were going his way in this game.) Maine's only mistake came at the plate, when he failed to lay down a bunt after an Endy Chavez leadoff bunt single in the third inning.
Willie Randolph punched all the right buttons, too. In the 7th inning, with lefty Chris Duncan pinch-hitting, Randolph called on righty Guillermo Mota instead of lefty Pedro Feliciano (who had given up a homer to Duncan in Game 5), and Mota promptly got the 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
I might question Randolph bringing in Billy Wagner in a non-save situation - those are the only times I don't feel confident in Wagner. Wagner made it very interesting - letting the first two batters reach base, then giving up 2 runs before closing the door....gently.
Aaron Heilman pitched a great 8th inning, by the way, setting up Wagner.
So we'll head to Game 7. These games are killing me on school nights - I'm going to bed late, and I'm too wired to get right to sleep...I need the weekend bad. But then I'll be watching the World Series - and I won't be able to sleep after those games either.
The Cardinals are battle-tested in Game 7's - the past two years, winning one and losing one against Houston. Jeff Suppan won one, and he's going for the Cardinals in this Game 7. For the Mets, it'll be Oliver. Not sure if it'll be Perez or Darren, though. I might prefer Perez, just because Randolph has been reluctant to mess with his bullpen all year - I'd hate to see him start now. If Perez gets into trouble eary, then bring in D. Oliver, I guess. Tough call. But I think you stay with the guy who's been a starter.
Let's Go Mets.