Get it? Instead of “easy does it.” Yeah, I know, they aren’t very good if you need to explain them. Anyway, I’d like to apologize for a lack of updates on my end, which I can only blame the good people at MLB.tv for. If you want to know why, then clearly you don’t subscribe. Neither do I…anymore. Good riddance; welcome back ExtraInnings. With that, here’s a brief recap of what I did see of the game tonight, thanks to my late switch over Thursday night. Oh, and I’d also like to thank ESPN for helping me keep up to date with the Mets while I was “blacked out.” Yes, thank you ESPN for 20 minute Baseball Tonight recaps of the games of the day with 20% devoted to the Yankees, 20% to Barry Bonds, 20% to replaying Home Runs and a few defensive plays. That usually leaves about 4 highlights per baseball game. Oh well, can’t expect them to have time for anything else when they need to ram the NFL down our throats in April and May.
As far as the game itself, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling, who called the game on SNY, made a very astute observation in the 3rd inning, pointing out how the Mets just looked “slow,” attributing it to the possibility of a quick turn around from a day game on Wednesday and then a flight to Arizona for a game the next night. And slow they were for 8 and a third innings.
Tom Glavine got the start and didn’t seem to want to win this game. He didn’t pitch poorly, but did give up a few poorly timed home runs. The D-Backs (as their horrible new uni’s tell us they are to be called) took an early 1-0 lead when Eric Byrnes, who had turned a badly played ball by Moises Alou into a triple, scored on a Stephen Drew hit in the second inning. Alou would redeem himself in the 4th, when he took a Micah Owings pitch to right field for a double to score Carlos Beltran on the Mets first hit of the game. Paul Lo Duca would later dive Alou home with a single up the middle to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.
Drifting away from the offensive side of the game, the bottom of the 4th featured two outstanding defensive plays from the boys on the left side of the infield. First Jose Reyes made a great stab on a ball the bounced up to his left going up the middle followed by a ball hit back to the box that popped off of Glavine’s glove to his right; David Wright charged in, picked it up, spun around, and nailed Byrnes a first.
The D-Backs would strike back in the bottom of the 5th. Following a lead off single by Drew, catcher Chris Snyder hit a 2 run home run to left to give them a 3-2 lead. The lead didn’t last long however, as Carlos Beltran led off the 6th with an absolute tape measure shot (”officially,” and I use that term loosely, measured at 442 feet) to right center to tie the game at 3. Not to be out done, Orlando Hudson, in the bottom of the 6th, homer to right center to put the D-Backs right back in the lead, 4-3.
The game would remain 4-3 until the 9th inning, when the wheels would fall off for the home team. After Endy Chavez struck out to lead off, Shawn Green would reach on an error by first baseman Tony Clark, who had been inserted at the beginning of the inning as part of a double switch when closer Jose Valverde entered the game. Lo Duca would then draw a walk and lead into our Foxwoods turning point of the game. Damion Easley came up huge for the second time in as many weeks, taking Valverde to the deepest part of the feild for his third home run of the season and putting the Mets up 6-4. 3 batters later, following a pinch walk by Julio Franco and a single by Reyes, David Wright hit his second home run of the reason, making it a 9-4 game. Scott Schoeneweis would come in for the bottom of 9th to close it out in unimpressive style giving up a couple of hits and getting some help from Shawn Green on a diving catch in right, but he did the job.
The win was the Mets 11th straight win at Chase Field, their last loss coming on May 11 of 2004. Even though he didn’t get the win, Tom Glavine did notch his 2,502 strike out, tying him for 28th all time with Christy Mathewson. They also improved to 17-10 on the season, putting them back into a first place tie with the idle Braves.
The two teams return to the field for the second of this four game series later tonight with another 9:40pm ET. NL Pitch of the Month for April John Maine takes his 4-0 record and NL Leading 1.35 ERA to the mound against Randy Johnson.
Notes…Before the game, the Mets optioned Chan Ho Park to AAA New Orleans and called up Lino Undaneta, who has been the closer for the Zephyrs this season, saving 6 games. No starter has been named yet for Saturday’s game in place of Park who had been called up Monday to take the place of Orlando Hernandez who went on the 15 day DL.