Those incredible Mets
John Dunn for The New York Times
Mets starter Tom Glavine allowed four runsThese Mets Cannot Be Kept Down
and nine hits in six innings against the Orioles.
He leads the National League with 10 victories.
By BEN SHPIGEL
Published: June 19, 2006
Even the Mets — the first-place-by-nine-and-a-half-games Mets — are entitled to lose two games in a row. But it does not seem to be in their circuitry or composition to lose three.
Their lineup is too ferocious, their pitching is too consistent and, as illustrated yesterday, their bench is too deep. Manager Willie Randolph surrounded Carlos Beltrán and David Wright with four reserves and the 21-year-old rookie Lastings Milledge, and the Mets regained their winning form by defeating the Baltimore Orioles, 9-4, at Shea Stadium.
Wright, batting cleanup, drove in five runs and had three hits, including a grand slam with two outs in the fifth inning that roused the offense. He enjoyed a charmed afternoon; in the seventh, he hit a single that spun up left fielder Ed Rogers's sleeve and out his collar, allowing a run to score, then one batter later was ruled safe at the plate after first being called out.
Tom Glavine, who pitched six competent innings, benefited from the run support for his 10th victory, tied for the major league lead.
But this is expected of them: Wright, the budding superstar and reluctant candidate for most valuable player, and Glavine, the wily pitcher who is improving past his 40th birthday. A far more pleasant indication of the Mets' success has been the performance of their bench. General Manager Omar Minaya often says the bench is the most challenging, and rewarding, part of assembling a team, and his efforts to round out the roster have yielded one of the best in the league.
First baseman Julio Franco saved a run with a leaping catch and drove one in. Ramón Castro hit a bases-empty home run and had two runs batted in. And the most recent addition, Eli Marrero, revealed more versatility and perhaps more productivity yesterday than Kazuo Matsui, the player he was acquired for June 10, showed all season.
Marrero, playing in his first home game, singled, walked, was hit by a pitch in the Mets' crucial fifth inning, sacrificed, stole two bases and made an outstanding catch in right field that preserved a one-run lead.
"Our everyday lineup is one thing," Glavine said. "But the bench guys, as they did throughout the last road trip, can still go out there and score a bunch of runs."
posted by Steve @ 12:31:00 AM