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An Imperfect Win

Mike SteffanosTuesday, May 15, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

Mets 5 - Cubs 4

If, at the end of the season, you were going to put together a portfolio of the Mets most aesthetically perfect wins of the year, this one surely winds up on the cutting room floor. Fortunately for the Mets, style points don't play a part in the standings. A series of defensive plays not made -- including one each by the usually impeccable Carlos Beltran and Endy Chavez -- helped place Tom Glavine into an early 4-0 hole in the second inning. After that, both Glavine and the defense tightened up, and the offense was able to do just enough to turn an "L" into a "W".

It was a strange game for Tom Glavine. Although he wasn't as sharp as he had been in San Francisco last time out, he wasn't pitching all that bad in the first two innings. Carlos Beltran only needed to dive to catch the soft hit that plated the first run. Chavez seemed to lose sight of the ball as he attempted a diving catch in the second on what was ruled a double for Angel Pagan. That "hit" put two runners in scoring position for Jason Marquis, who hit a soft grounder that was outside of Damion Easley's limited range to drive in two, and then the fourth run scored when Easley and Shawn Green couldn't come up with a short fly to right field. On the other hand, Glavine walked 4 batters, including one who scored on the Marquis hit and three in a row with 2 outs in the fifth. And although Marquis is a good-hitting pitcher, he's still a pitcher, and Glavine allowed him to beat him in a big spot.

Glavine -- with the exception of that walk binge in the fifth -- toughened up quite a bit after that. Although the Mets were unable to come back quick enough to earn Glavine win number 295, he did escape the loss.

It's been a strange year for Glavine who has a nice 4-1 record, but with some luck could easily have 6 or 7 wins by now. After beating St Louis on opening day, Glavine lost to Atlanta 5-3 with 2 Mets errors contributing to 3 of the 5 Braves runs being unearned. Glavine came back to beat the Phillies twice his next two times out -- 5-3 in New York, then 8-1 in Philadelphia. Since then, he has 4 no decisions and a win in 5 games, although he pitched pretty well in most.

The good news at the plate is the continued resurgence of David Wright, who went 3-4 including the 2-run homer that got the comeback jump started. Carlos Delgado showed great patience at the plate in drawing the 2-out bases loaded walk that won it. It was his second walk of the game. He also contributed a pretty fluky bloop single that Soriano misplayed. You just keep waiting for the Mets cleanup hitter to go on a hot streak and definitively show that the long dry spell is over.

Jose Reyes stole 2 bases and scored the winning run in the ninth after getting it started with a 2-out single. In 37 games, Reyes now has 34 runs scored and 23 stolen bases. He's also driven in 23 runs. Keep in mind that this is a guy who is still being called "overrated" in some quarters.

Tom Glavine (4-1)
TOTAL (9 Games)54.1232048291873.311.217-2

Box Score

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (4)

Easley....the man can hit with authority, no question. But watching him over the span of a dozen games or so, one can see why he has been released twice, and allowed to walk another two times. The man is a limited fielder, and when he isn't hitting there's not enough game there to sustain his place on a roster.

Sorry to make a comparison that draws upon Yankee history, but in a perfect world I think Easley would be our Jim Leyritz, a player with no real defensive position, but god help you if you have to pitch to him with a game on the line. NOT the sort of player you want to use for a month -- get better fast, Senior Valentin! -- but a valuable part of a winning team nonetheless.

When Easley was signed I more or less glued my mouth shut, thinking "why do the Mets need a guy who was released with his team owing him over six million dollars?" I think I know why he was released now; I also know why he got that big contract in the first place: there are things he CAN do very well. It just happens that fielding grounders eight feet away isn't among them.

Great artical there Mike . That game last night was something I will remember for the simple fact that even though the Mets D was somewhat lax in the field against the Cubs , and Tommy Gun Glavine did not bring his A Game to the Mound , the Offense came through in clutch when it counted . The Wright homer , and the later rally to tie it , just goes to show people that the 2007 Mets do not Lie Down for anyone when trailing in the later innings of a game . And Kudos to Delgado for having a great at bat there in the bottom of the 9TH too . He hung in there and fouled off some tough pitches , and just plain out , won the war of wills by forcing that Walk to end the game . Now if we could only somehow get a quality front line SP to fill out the Rotation by july , and hoping Pedro comes back and contributes to the Teams sucess in some way in early Aug. , then maybe the Mets could finally go into the post season in 2007 with some Solid pitching to go along with that potent Offense . I sure Hope so mike , this just seems like the Year for the Mets to go all the way IMO .

LETS GO METS ! BELIEVE ! 2007 ! .................stem50 *

sorry Mike to be a broken record but this team is going to have a better defensive projection. Your synopsis again has Easley yielding a run on a weak grounder, and Green yielding a short fly...for the 2nd game in a row..costing Glavine a win.

Per Metsblog;Willie is 'backing' off playing Gomez: In other words he wont let Gomez become NY microscope fodder as Milledge was last yr. He is going to let Green play his way out of the job....

on that note Ambro is back. The Lino public service experiment is over.

dd - I agree, I think he's okay filling in, but he's not a starter, and he's exposed in that position.
Mark - I think if Pedro comes back they may not need to trade for a front line starter.
Ed - You've been very unfair to Green, who has hit very well this year, well enough to offset his defense. He helped carry the club when Wright and Delgado were sucking wind. When he goes into a slump for more than a few games I'll talk about the possibilty of him being replaced. I think he's earned that respect.

No one thinks Easley is a good defensive 2B, but neither is Gotay. But Easley has had some big hits and deserves a little respect for that, too. As for Gomez, they skipped High-A completely and I'd like to see him get more Triple-A time before I see him as the everday RF.

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