Cards-Mets meet Tuesday in pivotal Game Five of NLCS

Oct 17, 2006 - 2:35 PM BRISTOL, Connecticut (Ticker) - Rain postponed Game Five of the National League Championship Series, but forgive the New York Mets and Tom Glavine for smiling.

With a history of problems pitching on three days' rest in the postseason, the 40-year-old now will seek his third win this October when he pitches on full rest against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.

New York tied the series at two games apiece Sunday after erupting for 14 hits, including four home runs, in a 12-5 triumph in Game Four.

With injuries to Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez, Glavine is the only reliable starter the Mets have left, and he has pitched brilliantly. The lefthander pitched six innings in a 4-1 victory in Game Two of the NLDS against San Diego and followed with seven scoreless frames against St. Louis in the NLCS opener.

However, the 20-year veteran, who has 304 combined wins between the regular and postseason, is just 2-5 with a 6.75 ERA when working on three days' rest in the postseason.

After going 33-41 in his first three years with New York, Glavine was 15-7 with a 3.82 ERA in 32 starts this season. He won his lone start against the Cards and is 18-6 in 35 all-time regular-season starts against them.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner will be matched against Jeff Weaver, his Game One opponent who also was scheduled to pitch on three days' rest.

Weaver allowed only two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 frames in the series opener. Following an 8-14 regular season with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and St. Louis, Weaver opened his playoff run with a victory in Game Two against San Diego in the NLDS. He limited the Padres to two hits in five scoreless innings.

Any hopes Weaver had of facing a sleep-walking New York club, batting just .196 in the first three games, ended Sunday.

After Jeff Suppan baffled New York hitters on three hits for eight innings in a 5-0 Cardinals win in Game Three, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran sparked the Mets to a critical win Sunday.

Delgado drove in five runs and Beltran slugged two homers as the Mets rebounded from Saturday's three-hit effort to avoid their third straight loss in the series.

Delgado tied the franchise single-game postseason mark for RBI, and the Mets set playoff records for runs and homers.

Beltran has thrived in two postseason encounters against St. Louis in three years, batting .385 (15-for-39) with seven homers and nine RBI in 11 games.

The teams return to Shea Stadium in New York for Wednesday's Game Six.

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