Game 150: Win
Mets 3 Marlins 2
For a while there, it looked like Tom Glavine might be the burro as the hungover Mets irregulars had a hard time scoring runs against the Marlins. Glavine has been bitten by enough bad luck in his time with the Mets; he certainly didn’t need to lose another chance toward 300 due to post-clinching syndrome.
Glavine was determined to get his 289th career win, and put forth a competitive, eight-inning effort; the kind that made him famous in Atlanta. Luckily, the Mets rallied in the eighth to come from behind and topple the Marlins. Also lucky for Glavine, he has Billy Wagner pitching at peak performance; Billy came in and struck out the side en route to his NL-leading (actually, he’s tied with the Padres’ Trevor Hoffman) 39th save.
Other than giving up a two-run homer to Wes Helms in the second, Glavine was lights-out, shutting down the Marlins the rest of the way. He allowed just four hits and two runs over his eight innings, working so many portions of the strike zone he might have found some new ones.
Remarkably, Mets’ leadoff (!!) hitter Anderson Hernandez was one of the offensive heroes, scoring two of the Mets’ three runs. He blasted his first career MLB home run (and first career RBI) in the third. Later, he scored the tying run in the 8th on a single by Lastings Milledge. Mets first baseman (!) Michael Tucker drove in the go-ahead run to seal the victory.
AHern’s homer was no chip shot; he seemed to be sitting on the pitch and absolutely smoked it far over the left-field fence, probably over 400 feet. He must have been guessing; maybe someone on the bench told him to guess fastball and take a rip. For a guy who hadn’t put a ball out of the infield in his MLB career (OK, he might have bounced a few out), he was a little too smooth: he watched the ball for a moment, then slipped into a loping, Reggie Jackson trot toward first. Was this the shot he needed to finally break out and be something more than Mario Mendoza?
How silly was the Mets lineup? You already know Anderson Hernandez was the leadoff batter, but it gets better. Julio Franco played third base and batted cleanup … and he was INTENTIONALLY WALKED so that the Marlins could face his protection in the lineup, first baseman Michael Tucker.
Wednesday night pits the two best young lefthanders of 2004: Oliver Perez vs. Dontrelle Willis. If Perez can shake that bottle of lightning again, this could be a really interesting game to watch.