By Mike Steffanos
Mets 3 - Marlins 2
The Mets scratched out a pair of runs in the seventh against Dontrelle Willis, then took advantage of a young reliever who was in A-ball last year to win the game in the ninth, sweeping the Fish in the rain-shortened 2-game series. David Wright drove in all 3 Mets runs.
Tom Glavine pitched 6 strong innings, but took a no-decision. He scattered 5 hits and a pair of walks while striking out 5. Both runs that scored were earned. He had excellent control to start the game, but struggled later on to get the ball where he wanted it. When the Marlins scored their pair off him in the top of the sixth it was location that betrayed Glavine. Still, as a Mets fan, you'll sign up for this type of performance from Glavine all year.
Meanwhile, the D-Train was dominating the Mets until the bottom of the seventh. Lo Duca led off the seventh with a long, battling at-bat against Willis, fouling off pitches and finally singling hard to right on a 3-2 pitch. Beltran followed with a seeing-eye grounder that just got past SS Hanley Ramirez for another hit, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Carlos Delgado followed with a sure double-play grounder, but Marlins 2B Dan Uggla tried to rush, bobbled the ball, and had to settle for a single out a first. With the tying runs on second and third, Willis elected to pitch to David Wright. Wright then hit a sinking line drive to RF that initially looked like a hard-luck out, but it kept sinking and slicing, causing RF Jeremy Hermida to make a diving attempt for the ball. It skipped by him for the game tying triple.
Duaner Sanchez, who already pitched a scoreless seventh, kept the Marlins off the board in the eighth, while Wagner came in and pitched a scoreless ninth, despite a Reyes error and some shaky D in general.
After pinch-hitting for a tired Willis in the top of the ninth, Fish manager Joe Girardi elected to bring in Carlos Martinez, a young reliever who pitched in A-ball last year. Martinez issued a leadoff walk to Carlos Beltran, then a hard single to Carlos Delgado. With runners on first and third, Girardi foolishly elected to pitch to David Wright again. Perhaps he was in a hurry to catch his flight. Wright obliged him with the game-winning sacrifice fly, driving in his third run of the game.
After being conspicuously absent for the first few games, the "bad Jose" Reyes showed up for this game. His at-bats weren't great, and he made 2 errors in the field. He also got thrown out stealing in the first. Someday, Jose will learn to bring his concentration with him every day. He's not there yet.
Anderson Hernandez had a pair of hits off the best pitcher he's seen this season, just proving how much better his approach is as a right-handed batter. Beltran looks a lot more comfortable at the plate.
If you saw the pitch where Tom Glavine hit Dan Uggla, you understand part of the reason why some many pitchers are reluctant to pitch inside. Uggla made no attempt to get out of the way of a ball he could have easily ducked away from. Nobody did that to Bob Gibson or Don Drysdale -- they wouldn't have survived their next at-bat.
The Mets are off tomorrow. They'll face the Nationals in Washington Tuesday afternoon, with rookie Brian Bannister facing Ramon Ortiz.