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)||54.1||23||20||48||29||18||7||3.31||1.21||7-2|