St. Louis-New York Mets Regular Season Recaps

Oct 9, 2006 - 10:34 PM Overall Season Series - NYM, 4-2 Series at St. Louis - STL, 2-1 Series at New York - NYM, 3-0

DATE SITE WINNER ---- ---- ------ 05/16 STL NYM, 8-3 05/17 STL STL, 1-0 05/18 STL STL, 6-3 08/22 NYM NYM, 8-7 08/23 NYM NYM, 10-8 08/24 NYM NYM, 6-2

NY METS 8, ST LOUIS 3 ---------------------

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Once the rain stopped, the New York Mets really poured it on.

Tom Glavine pitched six effective innings and the Mets broke open a close game with four runs after a lengthy rain delay en route to an 8-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Jose Reyes homered and drove in three runs for New York, which had lost five of its previous seven contests and was beginning a tough nine-game stretch against St. Louis, the New York Yankees and Philadelphia.

Glavine (6-2) allowed three runs and seven hits to join Arizona's Brandon Webb as the National League's only six-game winners.

"A win is a win, especially against these guys," Glavine said. "It's a nice game to win. We scratched and clawed and the bullpen did a great job."

The lefthander walked one and struck out a pair to move past Sandy Koufax for 37th on the all-time strikeout list with 2,397.

Gary Bennett's RBI single off Glavine in the sixth tied the game at 3-3, but Reyes drew a two-out walk from Jeff Suppan (4-3), stole second and scored on Paul Lo Duca's double one inning later to give New York the lead for good.

"I want to be up in that situation," Lo Duca said. "This is a big win for us. We've lost some tough games on this road trip and to win the first game here is big."

"He's clutch, he's a clutch hitter," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He's a competitor and all year long he's been coming through with some big hits for us. He does a tremendous job."

The rain became to come down heavily shortly thereafter and the game was delayed for 1 hour, 41 minutes in the middle of the seventh. Aaron Heilman worked a perfect seventh once the game resumed and New York broke open the game against two relievers in the eighth.

Albert Pujols committed an error on a sacrifice by Xavier Nady, allowing David Wright to score and Julio Franco, Reyes followed with run-scoring singles off Brad Thompson, who had not allowed a run in his previous 14 1/3 innings. Carlos Beltran capped the burst with a base hit off Brian Falkenborg.

"We made mistakes," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "In a game that had a chance to be close, you can't make mistakes like that and win. It turned what could have been a closer game and maybe even a win to a loss."

The Cardinals survived a scare in the eighth when Pujols slipped on the slippery on-deck circle attempting to catch Reyes' foul pop-up. Pujols fell hard on his back remained on the ground for a few minutes but stayed in the game.

"Anytime you lose your feet like that, it's pretty scary," Suppan said. "Fortunately there was nothing, no bat or donut or anything out there."

Suppan allowed four runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings and had a personal four-game winning streak snapped.

ST LOUIS 1, NY METS 0 ---------------------

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Jason Isringhausen would not let Mark Mulder's performance go to waste.

Mulder carried a three-hitter into the ninth inning, when Isringhausen escaped a bases-loaded jam as the St. Louis Cardinals posted a 1-0 victory over the New York Mets.

Scott Rolen drove in the only run with a double in the sixth for the Cardinals, who won for the eighth time in 11 games despite recording just four hits.

Mulder (5-1) was dominant through the first eight innings, allowing just a double, two singles and two walks and retiring 11 straight batters before the Mets made things interesting in the ninth.

"I kept the ball down today," Mulder said. "I stopped from making that one mistake throughout the game with the exception of trying to give the game away in the ninth. I was just making better pitches, I didn't leave any balls over the middle of the plate for most of the game."

Jose Reyes led off with a double and was sacrificed to third. Mulder then walked Carlos Beltran and hit Carlos Delgado to load the bases. However, Isringhausen came on and struck out David Wright and got Cliff Floyd to hit a weak grounder to first base to complete the four-hitter and record his 12th save in 14 chances.

"More than anything I just wanted to get a ground ball from Wright," Isringhausen said. "Trying to get a double play and I was able to strike him out. Then it was not to walk Floyd and try to get him to hit a ground ball."

"It's frustrating," said Floyd, who's batting .198 this season. "Forget the fact the fact that I'm struggling, it's just the fact we had an opportunity to win the game. You've got a guy like that on the ropes and you've got to take advantage of it. We didn't."

New York also had a chance in the fifth. With runners on the corners and one out, Mulder got both Kaz Matsui and pitcher Steve Trachsel to fly out to shallow center field to preserve a scoreless tie.

St. Louis was able to take advantage of one of its few opportunities Trachsel (2-4). Albert Pujols drew a one-out walk in the sixth and, after Jim Edmonds flied out, scored when Rolen drove an 0-2 pitch into the left-center field gap.

"It was a good pitch (to Rolen)," Trachsel said. "He's a good RBI guy. It was a real good pitch and a real good piece of hitting too."

Trachsel, who had a 7.90 ERA in his last three outings, allowed just four hits in seven innings.

"It was outstanding pitching," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "Mulder was terrific and Trachsel was just as good. It was one of those games where you just need a break here or there and it could have been a totally different ballgame."

ST LOUIS 6, NY METS 3 ---------------------

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Albert Pujols got the day off. It didn't end up helping the New York Mets.

Scott Spiezio filled in for the reigning National League MVP and had two hits and two RBI as the St. Louis Cardinals posted a 6-3 victory over the New York Mets in the rubber game of their three-game series.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa decided to rest Pujols, the major league home run and RBI leader who was 0-for-7 with a walk in the first two games of the series. Spiezio, who has played first base, third base and the outfield for the Cardinals this season, singled home a run in the first inning and added an RBI double in the fifth off Jose Lima.

"It was nice to give him (Pujols) a day of rest and have other guys step up," said St. Louis shortstop David Eckstein. "Spiezio went out and a did a fantastic job with some big two-out hits."

So did Eckstein, who sparked the team with three hits, two RBI and two runs from his leadoff spot.

Eckstein led off the game with an infield single, advanced on a grounder and scored on a single by Scott Rolen, who went to second on the throw home. Spiezio delivered a two-out single to right to score Rolen.

The Cardinals added two more runs off Lima in the second. Aaron Miles doubled and scored on a two-out single by Eckstein. A second run scored on a fielding error by Lima.

Spiezio hit an RBI bloop double to left in the fifth inning and Eckstein doubled home a run in the sixth to increase the lead to 6-2.

Spiezio is probably best known for hitting a three-run homer for Anaheim in Game Six of the 2002 World Series against San Francisco. He was used primarily as a designated hitter in the American League before signing with the Cardinals in the offseason.

"Anytime I can get a chance to play, I enjoy it," Spiezio said. "Of course, there aren't many opportunities at first base because we have a good guy there."

Pujols is trying to shake off some minor injuries suffered on Tuesday. He fouled a ball off his left leg in the first inning and slipped on a wet batting circle chasing a foul in the eighth, hitting his back and head on the ground.

"He's battling through some stuff and we just wanted him to give him a day," La Russa said. "We reached down for something extra today and got a nice contribution from Spiezio.

Jason Marquis (5-4) pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on just four hits to earn his second straight win after losing four in a row.

"I came back to the basics," said Marquis, who walked two and struck out one. "My sinker is moving. I had a lot more action on it than it has had in the past couple of weeks."

Carlos Beltran hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and Jose Valentin added a solo shot in the eighth off Marquis, who has yielded a team-high 10 homers in 56 2/3 innings.

Jason Isringhausen pitched a scoreless ninth for his 13th save in 15 opportunities.

Lima (0-3) lost for the third time in as many starts for the Mets, yielding five runs - four earned- and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. In 14 1/3 innings, he has allowed 14 earned runs.

Not facing Pujols didn't turn out to be an advantage for him.

"Sometimes you take out the best guy in the lineup and put in a guy who plays once a week and he always has a big day," Lima said of Spiezio.

The loss was the seventh in 10 games for the Mets, who will host the New York Yankees in an interleague series this weekend.

"As a team, you go through ups and downs," Beltran said. "It wasn't a good road trip for us, but that's behind us. We can only look forward to what's ahead and getting better."

NY METS 8, ST LOUIS 7 ---------------------

FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- Albert Pujols drove in a career-high seven runs. But he still took a backseat to the New York Mets' Carlos connection.

Carlos Beltran hit a game-ending homer in the bottom of the ninth inning and Carlos Delgado added two blasts as the Mets rallied from a six-run deficit to clip the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-7, in the opener of a three-game series between division leaders.

The matchup of the teams with the two best records in the National League unfolded as a Home Run Derby between Pujols, who homered twice, and Delgado, but it was Beltran who took the final bow.

"We're not playing Albert Pujols. We're playing the St. Louis Cardinals," Delgado said. "This is not a man-to-man matchup. We just wanted to get back in the game."

The Cardinals were leading, 7-6, and had closer Jason Isringhausen (4-7) on the mound, but Paul Lo Duca singled with one out, his third hit of the game, to set the stage for Beltran.

"I went into that at-bat looking for a cutter and he threw it right over the middle of the plate," Beltran said. "The feeling of a walk-off homer is great. The game is over."

Beltran hit a first-pitch homer to right field, his 36th blast of the season, to give New York its fifth straight win.

"It's a tough loss. Izzy's got to make better pitches," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "The pitches to Lo Duca and Beltran were both up."

Aaron Heilman (3-4) pitched a scoreless ninth to record the victory.

The loss dropped St. Louis (66-58) to just one game ahead of the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central.

Reigning NL MVP Pujols did his best to make this a laugher, hitting a three-run homer off Mets starter John Maine in the fourth and adding his fifth career grand slam one frame later for a 7-1 lead.

Pujols has 38 homers this season and recorded the 15th multi-homer game of his career. He is the first Cardinal to drive in as many as seven runs in a game since Mark McGwire on May 18, 2000, against Philadelphia.

"It's not a big night. We got the loss. Next question," Pujols said. "It's the same as any other loss. All the games for us are big."

But Delgado, who hit a solo blast in the second, answered back with his 400th career homer, a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth against Cards starter Jeff Weaver.

Weaver has allowed 63 homers over the last two seasons, the most in the majors over that span.

Jose Reyes plated a run in the sixth with a groundout to cut the deficit to 7-6. Delgado, who broke out of a 2-for-30 slump last week, has five homers in his last five games and has 40 multi-homer games in his career.

"I'm not big with numbers, but I still want to get more," Delgado said. "It was nice for a minute, but I also said I've been around a long time. I must be getting old."

Maine has been a pleasant surprise since joining the rotation last month, but yielded seven runs and six hits in five innings.

"I felt some fastballs over the plate and I paid the price," Maine said. "I didn't do my job. The bottom line is we won, but I still pitched terribly."

The game was the end of an eventful day for the Mets, who received good news when they learned that pitcher Tom Glavine will not require surgery after undergoing an angiogram on Tuesday. During the contest, the Mets announced they had obtained outfielder Shawn Green from Arizona.

"It was a nice day," Delgado said. "A nice day indeed."

NY METS 10, ST LOUIS 8 ----------------------

FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- The New York Mets celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' last concert at Shea Stadium. Along the way, Mark Mulder endured a Hard Day's Night.

Chris Woodward delivered a three-run double and Jose Reyes hit a three-run homer as the Mets pounded Mulder for nine runs in three-plus innings and extended their winning streak to six games with a 10-8 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

David Wright added a two-run double for the Mets, who built an eight-run lead after four innings before withstanding a late St. Louis rally.

Mulder (6-6) was activated from the disabled list prior to the game and was making his first start since June 20 with a left shoulder strain.

"I felt good, my shoulder felt good. I think I had a little too much energy," Mulder said. "I was just jumping toward home plate a little bit."

The two-time All-Star was in immediate trouble and never recovered, allowing nine hits and walking four, including the key blows by Woodward and Reyes.

"Two swings, six runs," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "I thought he did some good things, but he struggled with his command."

The Mets have won the first two games of the three-game series. They had lost their previous eight series with the Cardinals since taking two of three in April 2002.

Steve Trachsel (13-5) won for the 11th time in 14 starts despite allowing six runs and six hits in five-plus innings. He allowed a two-run homer to Jose Vizcaino in the fifth and back-to-back shots to Scott Rolen and Preston Wilson in the sixth that cut the lead to 10-6.

"We gave him a big lead and he made it interesting," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "But he's pitched well, so he's entitled to that."

Five relievers followed, including Chad Bradford, who allowed run-scoring hits to Wilson and Ronnie Belliard in the eighth. Aaron Heilman recorded the final out of the eighth and Billy Wagner logged the ninth for his 32nd save.

The Beatles played twice at Shea Stadium, the last coming on August 23, 1966. The Mets paid tribute with performances before and during the game by a Beatles tribute band. At one point, the game was ready to resume and the band kept playing for an extra 30 seconds or so.

"Someone needs to tell them that when the batter is in the box, you don't play," Trachsel said.

The Mets jumped on Mulder early when Reyes singled, Carlos Beltran walked and Carlos Delgado delivered a one-out RBI double. Wright was walked intentionally and Woodward brought all three runners home with a double to left field, giving New York a 4-0 lead.

Albert Pujols, who drove in a career-high seven runs on Tuesday, including a grand slam, delivered a two-run single in the third to cut the lead to 4-2.

Reyes hit a three-run homer in the third to increase New York's lead to 7-2. He has hit 15 homers this season compared to seven in all of 2005.

"I'm surprised a little bit," Reyes said. "I don't try to hit homers, but (power) can become part of my game."

Mulder was finished after allowing the first two batters to reach in the fourth and Wright greeted reliever Josh Hancock with a two-run double and rookie Lastings Milledge followed with an RBI single.

NY METS 6, ST LOUIS 2 ---------------------

FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- Shawn Green received a warm welcome in his New York Mets debut. Shea Stadium fans also saved some well-deserved applause for Dave Williams.

Green had a run-scoring single in a three-run third inning and Williams pitched effectively into the seventh as the Mets extended their winning streak to seven games and completed a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 7-2 victory.

Carlos Delgado added a two-run homer for the Mets, who have won 11 straight games at Shea Stadium for the first time since 1995. Prior to the streak, the Mets had been the last team in the majors to sweep a three-game home series this season.

The Mets acquired Green from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday and the two-time All-Star batted sixth in the lineup and was 1-for-3 with a walk. He was given a loud ovation when he came to bat in the second.

"That was the most fun I've had playing baseball in a while," Green said. "I almost felt like a rookie, but I did feel I had some extra focus, which these fans bring. There's so much energy here."

The Mets completed their first three-game sweep of the Cardinals since July 28-30, 2000, the last year they won the National League pennant.

Gary Bennett hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals (66-60), who now are tied with the Cincinnati Reds for first place in the National League Central.

"We've been swept in series before," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "Regardless of the score, we were not as competitive in those games as we were in these."

With Pedro Martinez on the disabled list and Tom Glavine missing a turn following an angiogram, the Mets are in need of temporary help in the rotation.

After a solid effort in his Mets debut last weekend against Cincinnati, Williams allowed just two runs and seven hits and walked just one in 6 1/3 innings.

"I just tried to pound the strike zone and make them earn it," said Williams, who had been in the minors after being acquired from Cincinnati. "That's why they brought me here, to compete and carry the game as long as I can."

Williams (3-3) may have made his case for another start, especially after the Mets announced that Orlando Hernandez will not make a scheduled start over the weekend to give him some rest.

"He doesn't do anything to knock your socks off, but he knows how to pitch," Mets manager Willie Randolph said of Williams.

Roberto Hernandez replaced Williams with runners on second and third with one out in the seventh and retired Ronnie Belliard and So Taguchi. Hernandez also pitched the eighth and Guillermo Mota finished off the seven-hitter with a perfect ninth.

Jason Marquis (13-12), a New York native, became the latest St. Louis starter to struggle mightily in the series, allowing five runs and seven hits in six innings.

"They definitely have a quality lineup up and down, but if I make my pitches, I can get these guys out," Marquis said.

Cardinals starters allowed 19 runs - 18 earned - and 21 hits over 14 innings in the three games.

Jose Reyes singled in the third and stole second before scoring on a triple by Paul Lo Duca off the glove of right fielder Preston Wilson. Marquis then walked Carlos Beltran and Delgado to load the bases.

David Wright drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly and Green sliced an RBI single to left field to make it 3-0.

Bennett cut the lead to 3-2 in the fifth with a two-run homer.

The Mets regained a three-run cushion in their half of the fifth on the two-run homer by Delgado, who has hit six homers in his last seven games since a 2-for-30 slump.

"He's one of the best hitters in baseball," Randolph said. "We knew when he broke out, it would be payback time."

Reyes added an RBI single in the eighth.

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