Thursday, August 31, 2006

Happy Recap: Mets 11 Rockies 3

The 11th happy one in my last 12 recaps. This one was a laugher from the first inning and gave the Mets the best record in baseball.

Seems like the thin air (or the rainout Sunday) finally broke David Wright out of his slump, which was not induced by the Home Run Derby. He was 6-44 in the 13 games before coming to Colorado. In the last two games he is 5-9 with 8 RBI.
After Reyes grounded out in the first the next three men reached base and Wright drove them all home with a grand slam.

In the second inning he drove home another run with a single. And in the 6th inning he fouled a ball off his foot. I thought the picture was funny.

Carlos Beltran scored a run for the 12th straight game. A Mets record.

Jose Valentin hit 2 home runs giving him 14. An amazing season for him.

Carlos Delgado also homered.

Dave Williams pitched 7 good innings, and had 2 hits.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Happy Recap: Mets 10 Rockies 5

Another mediocre start for Steve Trachsel in which he got run support, and a win. He's now 14-5, having won 12 of his last 13 decisions. He gave up 3 runs in 6 innings, dropping his ERA by 0.02 to 4.98. He is tied for the NL lead in wins, with the 36th best ERA.

Carlos Beltran got the Mets on the board in the first inning with his 40th home run.

David Wright followed that up with an RBI single. He was 3-4 in the game and continued to break out of his slump. He also had a 2-run triple which was misplayed by Brad Hawpe.

Hawpe also misplayed a ball hit by Delgado, giving him a triple, which drove in 2 in the 6th.

Jose Reyes continued his amazing season with his 16th home run and 68th RBI in the fourth inning.

The man who once displaced Reyes, and was subsequently booed out of town had a good game. Kaz Matsui singled, stole second and scored each of his first two times up. he doubled in the 9th inning and scored then too.

Chad Bradford pitched two good innings in relief. I love this picture of him.

Aaron Heilman gave up 2 meaningless runs in the 9th and has been so good lately I don't think we have the right to complain.

About him, or anything else right now for that matter. The Mets have won 10 of 11 since the diaster in Philadelphia.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Happy Recap: Mets 8 Phillies 3

The Mets put another nail in the Phillies [division] coffin by taking 2 of 3. A nice result after dropping the first one.

Another big inning and another good [enough] performance from John Maine.

The 3rd inning was one of the stranger innings I've seen in a while, but good that it resulted in 6 Mets runs.

Endy Chavez led off with a single he slapped to left -- might have been fielded in the third baseman hadn't been protecting in against a bunt.
Then John Maine bunted and he was safe. Then Reyes bunted and the catcher was too late to get him at first, loading the bases.
Lo Duca singled in one run, but the bases were still loaded and Beltran grounded to third, and the Philles got the force at home.
Delgado singled to make it 3-0 and then the strangest play I've seen maybe ever happened.
David Wright's grounder up the third base line took a sudden left turn when it got near the base. Umpire Randy Marsh called it foul. The play stopped and the ball rolled into the outfield. It looked for certain as if it had hit the bag.
After an umpire's conference they reversed the call, giving Wright a single, and awarding the base runners one base each, making the score 4-0.
Charlie Manuel argued, getting himself ejected for the second time in the series. He later claimed replays showed space between the ball and the bag and that a rock caused it to jut out to the left.
Randy Marsh said he was screened by the third baseman on the play and that the other umps said it hit the bag.

After that bit of luck Green drove home Delgado with a double and Woodward added the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly.

Maine gave a couple of those runs back on a 2-run homer to Met killer, Pat Burrell. But overall he pitched well again, allowing only 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings (Roberto Hernandez bailed him out in the 7th). The Mets won his last 7 starts, and scored 6 or more runs, 6 of those times.

The Mets tacked on another one on a Reyes triple. Wright got another RBI on a sac fly to give the Mets their 8th run.

Ryan Howard capped the scoring with his 47th homer of the year. His 8th this season against the Mets.

Very few people showed up for this makeup game.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Lot of Pitchers

The Mets have used 13 starting pitchers so far this season, and haven't even given Darren Oliver or Aaron Heilman a chance yet.

The veterans:
Tom Glavine
Steve Trachsel
Pedro Martinez
Orlando Hernandez

The young guys:
John Maine
Brian Bannister
Mike Pelfrey

The new guys:
Dave Williams
Oliver Perez

The horrible guys:
Victor Zambrano
Jose Lima
Alay Soler
Jeremi Gonzalez

Happy Recap: Mets 11 Phillies 5

Another great come from behind victory. This time it came against the closest division rival and clinched the season series against them.

The Mets got a good look at Oliver Perez. The way this start went for epitomizes his struggles with the Pirates this year and last and his promise from 2004 when he was 12-10 with a 2.98 ERA.

He allowed no hits in the first four innings striking out 6. Even in the first when he walked two men, he got Howard and Burrell.
But in the fifth, he walked Coste, and walked the pitcher. Both runners were erased on fielder's choices but there were still two on and two out. Victorino singled for one run then Perez hit Utley with a pitch.
Then came Ryan Howard. He got Howard flailing at two sliders, but the third one was high and he ripped it for his 46th homer and 121st RBI.

this Howard guy is freakin awesome
he's also pretty tall

So Perez did hang in and get Burrell, but his Mets debut was marred. His final line showed 5 runs in 5 innings with the help of 5 walks, but only 2 hits. He struck out 7. Overall, I'm encouraged by his performance because it's clear the tools are there, and he pitched great in 80% of the innings.

Carlos Beltran had given Perez and early lead with his career high tying 38th home run of the season, which was also his 200th of his career.

In the 6th Delgado got the Mets back to within one with his 33rd homer of the year, his 7th in the last 9 games.

Then the Mets broke it open in the 7th.

Jose Reyes singled to center.
Paul Lo Duca singled to right, Reyes to second.
Carlos Beltran hit by pitch, Reyes to third, Lo Duca to second.
Carlos Delgado hit sacrifice fly to center, Reyes scored, Lo Duca to third, Beltran to second.
David Wright intentionally walked. I didn't understand that move considering how bad Wright has been.
Then Shawn Green got his first big hit as a Met. with a 0-2 count he doubled to deep left center, Lo Duca and Beltran scored, Wright to third.
Jose Valentin intentionally walked.
Endy Chavez doubled to right, Wright and Green scored, Valentin to third
Chris Woodward singled to right, Valentin and Chavez scored.
Then Reyes and Lo Duca made outs to the end the party, but not before the Mets had scored 7 runs and taken an 11-5 lead.

Guillermo Mota came in and shut the door from there. He pitched two perfect innings and struck out 2, on only 17 pitches.

Endy Chavez had another great game going 4 for 4.

David Wright had another horrible game going 0 for 4.

But before you say Wright was ruined by the All Star game home run derby, Ryan Howard beat Wright that night and leads the majors with 18 home runs since then.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Unhappy Recap: Phillies 4 Mets 3

The 7 game winning streak is snapped. The 11 game home winning streak is snapped. And the Mets are now 9-8 against the Phillies this year, with two games remaining.

Brian Bannister was up to his old tricks, getting runners on base but he wasn't able to work out of it when Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were up.
In the first inning with first and second and none out, Utley singled in a run, and Howard hit a sacrifice fly to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
In the third Bannister walked Utley and Howard homered to give the Phillies all the runs they would need.
Howard now has 45 homers and 117 RBI with an average close to .300, he is a legitimate MVP candidate.

Other than the problems with Howard Bannister pitched pretty well. He went six innings and didn't fade like most Mets starters.
The bullpen of Feliciano, Bradford and Heilman and now trouble with the back third of the game.

It was the offense that couldn't get anything going against Randy Wolf.
They had a chance to get back in it in the third when Lo Duca doubled, Beltran doubled him in, then Delgado walked. But the struggling David Wright made out to pretty much end the threat.
Beltran cut the lead to 1 with a 2-run homer in the 5th, his 37th, but the bullpen of Geoff Geary, Arthur Rhodes and Ryan Madson (Tom Gordon is hurt) shut the Mets down the rest of the way.

Mets Moves

Ricky Ledee is gone.
Brian Bannister is back to start Friday's game.
Oliver Perez is likely going to get the call to start on Saturday.

Happy Recap: Mets 6 Cardinals 2

7 in a row. 11 in a row at home, tying a team record.
The three pitchers who pitched last night (Dave Williams, Roberto Hernandez and Guillermo Mota) all joined the team in the last month.

Williams pitched very well on against the Rockies his last time out until Hernandez allowed a 3-run homer with two of Williams' inherited runners on base.
This time Hernandez relieved Williams in the 7th with second and third and one out, but he stranded the runners.

The Mets took a 3-0 lead in the third with the help of a Lo Duca triple, a couple walks, a sac fly by Wright and the first of (hopefully) many RBI for Shawn Green in a Met uniform.

Gary Bennett cut the lead to 1 with a 2 run homer in the 5th off Williams.

Carlos Delgado got that right back in the bottom of the inning with his 32nd homer of the year (also a 2-run shot).

Delgado Del-got another one

The Mets tacked on one more in the 8th, on Reyes' 66th RBI. If he continues on this pace, he could get close to 90 RBI.

Mota looked great in the 9th inning.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Happy Recap: Mets 10 Cardinals 8

What should have been an easy victory didn't turn out to be such.

The Mets started this one off in roaring fashion with four in the first. After the Cardinals walked David Wright to load the bases for Chris Woodward, he doubled down the line, his first hit in nine at bats with the bases loaded this season.

Then in the third you just knew Trachsel was going to give the runs back. He walked the pitcher and Duncan to load the bases for the Mighty Pooh Holes. He's lucky he got away with only a 2-run single cutting the lead in half.

Jose Reyes hit a 3-run homer to give the Mets a 7-2 lead in the bottom of the third. He now has 15 homers and 65 RBI, from the leadoff spot.

In the fourth the Mets knocked out Mulder, then Wright and Milledge had RBI hits off the relief pitcher to make the score 10-2. It looked like a laugher, but the Mets would not score again.

Like all Mets starters, it seems, Trachsel began to tire in the 5th. That's when he gave up a 2-run homer to Jose Vizcaino (Met killer, even when he's on the Mets). Vizcaino just joined the Cardinals and it was only his second homer of the year.

They sent Trachsel back out for the 6th because he still had a 6 run lead. Scott Rolen and Preston Wilson homered to cut the lead to 4, and Trachsel walked the next batter and was pulled in favor of Roberto Hernandez who got out of the jam.

Chad Bradford stranded another inherited runner in the 7th, retiring the Magnificent Pooh Holes. But he created his own mess in the 8th, allowing 2 more runs, before Heilman got a strike out to end the threat.

Billy Wagner put the Cardinals to sleep in the 9th despite allowing a single to you-know-who.

The Mets have won 6 in a row, including 10 in a row at Shea.

Steve Trachsel improves to 13-5. He's tied for the lead league in wins, and Wagner is one behind Hoffman for the save lead.

Happy Recap: Mets 8 Cardinals 7

The happiest recap of the whole season. What an amazing game, a 5-game winning streak (after the Philadelphia disaster) and the second comeback from a 4 run or greater deficit, in the last 3 games.

Of course Carlos Beltran was the hero. What a difference a year makes. Even earlier this year I was wondering whether he'd ever succeed with the Mets. Once the fans embraced him he produced, and now he's producing even more, now that he is a fan favorite.

Some wondered if he was really a star player when the Mets signed him and he is proving that he is, and that his best year are ahead of him. He now was 36 homers and 103 RBI, compared to career highs of 38 and 108 (which he achieved mostly while batting second). He has only 32 RBI at home, but he has 2 huge walk-off home runs at Shea (obviously walk offs can only come at home.

However, I still don't believe Beltran deserves league MVP. That honor should still go to the Great Pooh Holes. I've already stated that he is my favorite player (maybe ever) but I don't think I am biased. He is carrying the Cardinals, while Beltran has a lot more help.

Even when the Mets were losing 7-1, I was still enjoying the game because I got the see the Magnificent Pooh Holes play at his best. He crushed a 3-run homer in the 4th and a grand slam in the 5th. Over the course of 12 batters in those two innings, 5 made outs (one thrown out at home), the other 7 were driven in by the Splendid Pooh Holes.

Carlos Delgado was almost up to the challenge. He hit a solo homer in the second inning, the 399th of his career. It was his 30th of the year, giving him at least 30 for 10 straight years. In the bottom of the 5th, (right after Pooh Holes' blast) Delgado got the Mets right back in it with a grand slam of his own. That was the 400th of his career, moving him into 42nd place all-time. It was the Mets 9th grand slam this year.

John Maine got his tail kicked last night, despite being perfect through 3 innings, he allowed 8 base runners in the next two innings and, as previously mentioned, they all scored except the one who got thrown out at the plate. His ERA ballooned to 3.58, up almost a full run, but the Mets have still won his last 6 starts.

Several other players not named Carlos contributed to this Mets victory.
-Guillermo Mota pitched a strong inning in his Mets debut
-Chad Bradford got out of Feliciano's jam by inducing the Wonderful Terrific Pooh Holes to ground into a double play
-Aaron Heilman, who had one win all season until he won 2 of the last 3 games, also pitched a scoreless inning
-Endy Chavez who reached on a bunt and later scored the 6th run
-Jose Reyes who would have tied the game if not for a great play by Belliard, instead driving in only one
-Michael Tucker and Paul Lo Duca who combined to tag a runner out at home
-Bill Clinton, just by showing up

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What a Relief

An angiogram performed Monday on Tom Glavine's left shoulder revealed that an old injury to his artery was causing the coolness Glavine was feeling in his left ring finger.
The scar tissue occasionally causes blood clots to form in his finger and Glavine will be treated with baby aspirin and other medication to improve his circulation.
There is no immediate need for surgery and he most likely will be able to return to the mound in seven to 10 days.
"I was relieved to hear the news," Glavine said. "First and foremost to hear that the condition is not serious, but also to hear that I can get back to doing what I love to do relatively quickly."
Glavine will rest for the next few days to allow the incision from the angiogram to heal. The Mets said they have not decided who would make Glavine's next start, but the left-hander will be allowed to begin light activity and start throwing soon.
"The news from our doctors is as good as we could have hoped for," said Mets' general manager Omar Minaya. "We look forward to having Tom return to full activity and get back on the mound as soon as possible."
Glavine's left middle finger and index finger were diagnosed in 1990 with Raynaud's, a condition caused by poor circulation that leads to numbness and coldness.
"We just thought it was an extension of that," he said, "and then when they got further into the tests, I guess they picked something up when they did the ultrasound."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Amazin Memories

The Best Team I ever saw
Bill Buckner couldn't make the reunion
New York is the only place I've played and I'd love to finish my career here
Shea is Strawberry's field forever
Lenny Dykstra, the man they call Nails on the Mets ballclub
a golden glove first baseman makes a golden glove play
Hojo has more hair than he did in 86
Gets By Buckner!  Gets By Buckner!
Glenn Close

Happy Recap: Mets 2 Rockies 0

After a temporary hiccup in Philadelphia the Mets swept the Rockies, giving them a 4-game winning streak. And an 8-game winning streak at Shea.

Also getting past his trouble in Philadelphia was El Duque who was awesome in getting out of a couple jams.
In the fifth inning Hawpe singled and Torrealba doubled, leaving second and third with no one out. But El Duque fought through it striking out Barmes, Jennings and Carroll.
He walked the leadoff batter in the 6th, but he was caught stealing. Then a double with two outs was no problem as he struck out Atkins.
Six innings was enough for him though as he had thrown 114 pitches.
El Duque also reached base twice in this game, once on a single, once on an error, and stole the first base of his career.

All the offense was provided by the two rejuvenated Carloses. Delgado hit his 29th in the second inning and Beltran hit his 35th to lead off the 6th.

Chad Bradford pitched the 7th, Aaron Heilman pitched the 8th and Billy Wagner pitched the 9th. The relievers allowed no hits and only one walk. Wagner picked up his 31st save despite pitching for the fourth straight day. It was the 315th of his career moving him past Robb Nen for 14th all-time.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

What's Wrong With Tom Glavine?

According to the Daily News, Tom Glavine's health and his season are in jeopardy, a potentially crushing blow to the pitcher as well as to the Mets' World Series ambitions. Sources said he has experienced coldness in a finger on his pitching hand, and that the cause of the alarming condition isn't yet known.
He is scheduled for a CT scan tomorrow, while an angiogram is planned for Wednesday.
Doctors are unsure whether the problem is related to a blood clot or possibly a "knot" in an artery near his left shoulder. Depending on the diagnosis, Glavine could miss little time or the rest of the season. The "knot" could require invasive surgery, while a clot might be able to be dissolved and limit the time lost.
Trainers conspicuously huddled multiple times with Willie Randolph yesterday, and Glavine hasn't been present in the clubhouse the past two days at Shea.

Happy Recap: Mets 7 Rockies 4

It seems only fitting that the Mets should have a come from behind victory on '86 night.

The game started out slowly as Dave Williams and Jeff Francis were both pitching well.

Then in the 5th inning Yorvit Torrealba took Williams deep for the Rockies first run. In the bottom of the 5th inning, Lastings Milledge singled for the Mets first hit.

In the 6th, Williams had 2 on and 2 out when he developed leg cramps and could not continue. Roberto Hernandez came in, and was given all the time he needed to warm up. Maybe he should have warmed up a litte longer. Garrett Atkins hit the fourth pitch of the at-bat for a 3 run homer to give the Rockies a 4-0 lead.

Then the Mets came to bat in the bottom of the 6th.
Michael Tucker singled to center.
Jose Reyes flied out to left.
Paul Lo Duca doubled to left, Tucker to third.
Carlos Beltran reaced on left fielder's error, Tucker scored, Lo Duca to third, Beltran to second.
Carlos Delgado singled to left, Lo Duca scored, Beltran to third.
David Wright intentionally walked.
Chris Woodward popped out to second.
Lastings Milledge singled to right, Delgado scored, Wright to third, Milledge to second on throwing error
Julio Franco intentionally walked.
Michael Tucker walked, Wright scored, Milledge to third, Franco to second.
Jose Reyes walked, Milledge scored, Franco to third, Tucker to second.
Paul Lo Duca flied out to center.

6 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks (2 intentional, the other 2 walked in a run).

So Heilman came in since Franco pinch hit for Hernandez. He pitched two good innings and was the benefactor of a seldom invoked rule. The official scorer deemed the pitcher of record (in this case Roberto Hernandez) ineffective. Hernandez gave up a home run, a single, and didn't even get an out, the third out was made on a caught stealing. So the scorer is allowed to award the win to another pitcher, in this case Heilman.

Lastings Milledge homered to give the Mets their 7th run. His three hits in this game tied a career high. Milledge was 18th months old when the Mets won the World Series in 1986.

Wagner nailed down the 9th for his 30th save.

Happy Recap: Mets 6 Rockies 3

Steve Trachsel once again proves that on this team you don't have to pitch well, you only need to pitch well enough to win. He went 7 innings (good for the bullpen) and had only one bad inning, the fourth when he allowed 3 runs, including a 2 run homer by Garrett Atkins.

On a night when Reyes and Lo Duca went only 1-10 Beltran and Delgado set the table, and the rest of the lineup cleared it.

Beltran reached base the first four times he was up. In the third and the fifth, Delgado reached right after him, and both times Wright drove Beltran home.

In the fifth Tucker and Woodward also drove home runs.

The always exciting Endy Chavez, hit a 2 run homer in the fourth to give the Mets their other two runs.

exciting Endy

Bradford got the 8th inning in this game and handled it well.

Wagner got the save, and after allowing a single to the first batter he struck out the next two.

Byung-Hyun Kim and Jose Mesa (affectionately known as Bung-hole and Joe Table) pitched for the Rockies.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Happy Recap: Mets 7 Phillies 2

The Mets bats finally woke up. Particularly the slumbering lumber of Carlos Delgado. He was 2 for his last 30 going into yesterday's game. Then he had four great plate appearances.

First inning: sacrifice fly to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead.
Second inning: solo homer. 444-foot blast to center, on the very next pitch after he crushed one to right, just foul.

first homer

Fifth inning: Another home run.

second homer

Seventh inning: RBI triple.

Prior to this game he had 0 homers and 4 RBI in August. He had 4 RBI in 4 different plate appearances. A good sign.

The other Carlos woke up also. Beltran had four hits and a home run, which came in the 5th inning right before Delgado's.

David Wright went 0-4 with 3 Ks and he still looks lost. He's now barely over .300.

Lastings Milledge also continuing to struggle.

Jose Valentin got hurt but expects to be day-to-day.

We though Pedro would be day-to-day also, but now he's on the DL. That leaves the starter for Saturday's game up in the air. Dave Williams or Oliver Perez (probably Williams) will be called up to make the start.

John Maine pitched great again. In his last five starts, he is 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA and the team has won all five games. I continue to be impressed by him.

I love Maine

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Unhappy Recap: Phillies 3 Mets 0

The losing streak now stands at 3. Over that span the Mets have been outscored 27-4. No one other than Jose Reyes has driven in a run. The team is batting .172 (16-93, with exactly 31 at bats in each game), and even worse 3-32 with men on base. They are 0-8 with runners in scoring position.

At least this game only last two hours and three minutes. Tom Glavine helped with that, as even though he didn't get the win he clearly has righted himself with three good starts (1-2, 3.60 ERA) after a horrible July.

The Mets are going to need Glavine to get back to his early season form as Pedro is back on the DL, this time for his calf injury.

The rotation's new stopper, John Maine, tries to end the skid.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Unhappy Recap: Phillies 11 Mets 4

Are you kidding me? Mama said there'd be one day like this, not two in a row. This is why you want a 15 game lead.

El Duque followed in Pedro's footsteps and absolutely sucked. He gave up runs in every inning, 11 in total. But since the bullpen was dead from the night before he had to pull a Marquis and stay in the game to get his brains beaten in. It was the most runs El Duque has ever given up in a game. The last time a Mets pitcher gave up 11 runs in a game was 1967. El Duque's ERA ballooned to 5.54.

Ay dios Mio
Que Lastima

The biggest shame of it all was that it overshadowed maybe the best game in Jose Reyes' career. Reyes blasted 3 homers and drove in 4 runs. Including his grand slam a couple weeks ago he's becoming to them what Pat Burrell is to the Mets. Reyes now has 14 homers and 59 RBI. He's the only Met with an RBI through the first two games of this series.

HR #1
HR #2

Lastings Milledge is horrible in the outfield. He misplayed almost every ball that came his way. He also is only batting .225. If Floyd weren't hurt Milledge would be back in Norfolk and Endy Chavez would be playing everyday in right.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Unhappy Recap: Phillies 13 Mets 0

Disaster. Mama said there'll be days like this, there'll my mama said.

From the very beginning nothing went right. 6 runs in the first inning helped by a infield hit by Rollins (a better throw might have had him) 2 hit batsmen and a balk, it all blew up in Pedro's face. Beltran even misplayed a ball to let the Phillies hammer the final nail in Pedro's coffin.

This was the second shortest outing of his career (he gave up 5 runs in 2/3 inning on my 17th birtday).

Pedro also strained his right calf. He said he felt a twinge but thought it would get better. It didn't. Hopefully this won't become a lingering issue. But so far this year he has had injuries to his toe, hip and calf.

For once Darren Oliver wasn't much better. Normally he comes into games like this and keeps them close. In this one he allowed 7 runs including homers to Delluci, Victorino and Rollins.

The Mets managed only four hits against Cole Hamels.

Thankfully, tomorrow is another day, and another game.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Happy Recap: Mets 3 Nationals 1

It's always good to win a series on the road but in two of these three games the Mets were dominated by mediocre starting pitchers. This time it was Tony Armas shutting the Mets down for 6 innings until his defense and then his bullpen deserted him.

Steve Trachsel also saw some tough luck has he pitched his longest and best outing since June 4th against the Giants (when his record was still 2-4). Much like Maine on Saturday Trachsel pitched three perfect innings, but Alfonso Soriano took Trachsel deep to start the 4th and give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.

The Mets got even in the 7th thanks to some shoddy defense by Washington. Beltran singled, Delgado flied out and Wright reached on a fielder's choice. So Wright is on first with 2 out. Wisely he decides to try to make something happen and attempts to steal second. Brian Schneider's throw goes into centerfield and Wright hustles to third. Valentin then hits an easy grounder to second base which Marlon Anderson misplays and then recovers to make a bad throw. Valentin is safe and thanks to some aggressive baserunning and two errors, Wright scores the tying run.

Trachsel seemed poised to give it back in the bottom of the inning though. With two out he gave up two straight singles and Randolph had no choice but to go to the bullpen. He brought in Royce Ring to face the lefty Daryle Ward, and Ring walked him on four pitches. Nothing worse for a reliever to do (especially a lefty specialist) than come in and walk a guy on four pitches. Those were the only 4 pitches Ring would throw as Willie hooked him and then Bradford came in and added three more base runners to his stranded inherited runners total.

When he brought Bradford into the game Willie made a double switch to get Michael Tucker into the lineup in the 9th spot of the batting order. That move paid off in the 8th when Tucker put the Mets ahead with his first home run as a Met.

In the bottom of the 8th the Mets caught a break when Ryan Zimmerman singled, and forgot how many outs there were. He was running all the way with only one out, and he was easily doubled off when Beltran caught the fly ball.

The Mets tacked on another run on singles by Beltran and Wright, and then a sacrifice fly by Valentin. Beltran was able to get to third thanks to a wild pitch. The Nationals actually made their third error in this inning but it didn't matter.

Billy Wagner came on for the 9th. He got the first two men in order, then allowed 2 base runners before closing the door. It was his 28th save of the year, and the 312th of his career, moving him out of a tie with Tom Henke for 15th on the all-time list.