By Mike Steffanos
Mets 4 - Dodgers 1
Mets lead NLDS 2-0
The Mets have taken the first two games of their series against the Dodgers using a simple, time-tested baseball formula -- they're making the plays and their opponents are not. Oh yeah, and our Hall of Fame bound lefty outpitched their secret weapon. Now the Mets head out to LA with Steve Trachsel and Oliver Perez lined up to start those games and can wrap things up with one more win. This was a huge win tonight, and Glavine was magnificent with six shutout innings.
Glavine was sharp out of the box, allowing only a walk to Russell Martin over his first 3 innings of work. Meanwhile, the Mets were putting together better at bats against Hong-Chih Kuo than they did last time they saw him in September. After Kuo skated with a 10 pitch first, the Mets worked him for 27 pitches in the second and 24 in the third. They also scratched out a run in the third when Chavez led off with a bunt single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on Glavine's soft grounder, and scored on Reyes' ground ball.
The Dodgers threatened in the fourth when Garciaparra and Kent had 1-out hits off Glavine, but the lefty came back to strikeout J. D. Drew and retire Martin on a fly out to center. The Mets hit 2 balls to the fence in their half of the fourth, but both were kept in the park by the wind. Cliff Floyd's in particular would have hit the scoreboard on a normal night.
Glavine pitched around a Lugo double and a walk to Furcal in the fifth. In the home fifth, Jose Valentin worked a leadoff walk and Chavez followed with a hard single. After Glavine bunted both over, Kuo walked Reyes intentionally and then was lifted by Grady Little. It took Kuo 85 pitches to negotiate 4-1/3 innings. Lo Duca greeted reliever Brett Tomko with a sac fly that put the Mets up 2-0.
Glavine worked a scoreless sixth, then the Mets scratched out another two runs. Julio Franco came up with the bases loaded and hit a soft ground ball to Furcal that the Dodgers failed to turn into a double play, and then Reyes drove in his second run of the game with a single.
Pedro Feliciano pitched a scoreless seventh in relief of Glavine. Heilman got touched up on a long solo homer by Wilson Betemit in the eighth to make it 4-1, but allowed nothing else, and Wagner notched his second post-season save with a flawless ninth.
Thoughts on the game
The Mets simply outplayed the Dodgers. Endy Chavez did a great job sparking the offense from the eight hole, Glavine was magnificent and the bullpen was great, too. The Mets made all the plays while the Dodgers were a little shaky, and the Mets were clearly the better team tonight -- as they were yesterday. Their bullpen was also much better.
It's doubtful the Mets will take anything for granted in LA this weekend with Trachsel and Oliver Perez starting games for them, but they did what they had to do by holding serve at home, and now they need to end this thing in Los Angeles.