Mets 6, Nationals 2, 12 innings (NYM: 14-8, WAS: 8-16)
It took 12 innings, but the Mets managed to pull out a win against the Nationals on Saturday night. They need to get these wins against Washington, but they're getting tougher and tougher to come by. The Mets still trail the Atlanta Braves by a half-game in the division, and while it's too early to worry about that too much, it is important to note that the Braves are beating the opponents they should be beating - the Mets are not having the easiest time with teams like the Nationls.
The Mets were without a hit for the first five or so innings of this one - and their lack of offense ended up costing Tom Glavine a decision, leaving him at 7 wins shy of 300 in his career. (Jerome Williams gave the Nationals six innings of one-hit ball.) However, the Mets avoided being pinned with a loss with a run in the top of the ninth inning against the Nationals' shaky closer, Chad Cordero. Trailing 2-1, with runners on first and second, pinch-hitter Julio Franco lined a single to right field to tie the game at 2. The Mets might have won the game in the 9th, too, as Jose Reyes ripped one right after that, but Robert Fick made a nice play at first base to end the inning.
The mini-rally came a half-inning after Aaron Heilman stood to lose the game, giving up an RBI double, really, the only big blemish in his one-and-two thirds innings of work.
Glavine kind of got cheated out of this win, by the way. The Nationals' first run came after a bad call at first base - the Mets turned a double play, the runner at first was clearly out by a step, but the umpire called him safe. The first base ump, Tony Randazzo, had a horrible game. This call resulted in an argument that saw Willie Randolph ejected from the game. The runner came around to score on a double, so Glavine really should never have given up that run.
The Mets finally broke through with 4 in the twelfth, and it was nice to see. The first two runs came on a double by Carlos Beltran, who has been quiet lately, but came through in the clutch here. That was followed by an intentionaly walk to Carlos Delgado, and then David Wright, with the bases loaded, hit a 2-run single through the left side - a nice, solid hit. Remember all those times when teams would walk Cliff Floyd to get to Wright, and I always wrote how I think he takes that as an insult? I think it's a good thing they walked Delgado to get to him Saturday night - maybe that woke up whatever has been sleeping inside Wright.
The rally in the twelfth made a winner out of Aaron Sele, who pitched one-and-a-third scoreless innings. I forgot to write this earlier in the week, but Sele got beat up pretty good in the Wednesday afternoon game against Colorado, so it's nice to see him come back and have a good outing.
The Mets wrap up the series with Washington Sunday afternoon - John Maine against Jason Bergmann.
Coca-Cola johnnymets.blogspot.com Player of the Game: I realize this flies in the face of my logic of last week, that in order for the Mets to have won their previous extra innings game, they needed to get to extra innings first, therefore the player should be Julio Franco. But it's my decision, and I'm giving it to Carlos Beltran, who got the go-ahead runs home in the twelfth, and I'm comfortable with this decision. Beltran was 2-for-5 on the night, with the two RBI and a run scored.
TURNING TWO...HUNDRED: No double plays on Saturday, so it remains at 28 through 22 games.
MORE STEROIDS TALK: Apparently there is an article in (or coming out soon in) ESPN The Magazine in which Brian McRae says that steroids and amphetamines were rampant in the clubhouse of the 1999 Mets. The news that comes out of these investigations is going to be very, very disappointing to me, I just know it. McRae and Turk Wendell pointed the finger at pitchers in addition to hitters, without naming names. But consider this - Orel Hershiser was a pitcher on that team - so I wonder what he has to say about this too (I'm not insinuating he used anything...I actually doubt that he did. I'm just curious about his two cents, since he's an ESPN guy now, I'm sure they'll ask him about it.).
BEAT THE STREAK: Watch out, world. Freddy Sanchez got me a hit, so I'm at 5 games. I'm going with A-Rod on Sunday.