Date: Friday, June 22, 2007
Opponent: Oakland A's
Location: Flushing, N.Y. (Shea Stadium)
Pitchers of Record:
Glavine W (6-5): 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
DiNardo L (2-4): 5.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR
Time of Game: 2:11 Attendance: 43,029
Fact: Tom Glavine went 2-for-3 at the plate with a
double and 2 RBI. He has a four-game hitting streak.
To view the complete box score, click HERE.
|To view screen captures from the game, click HERE and HERE.|
|To view game highlights from Tom Glavine's win click HERE. To save the file to your computer, right click on the link and select "save target as" or "save link as."|
NEW YORK -- They smiled and laughed and, for goodness sake, they almost frolicked. And when it was over, after the Mets had left the field following the most rousing game Shea Stadium had seen in more than a month, they laughed at each other. Winning cures most ills in any clubhouse. Beating the A's on Friday night at Shea Stadium after three weeks of mostly dreadful baseball was a particularly effective elixir for the Mets.
They had played their "A" game against the other team with A's on its caps, using the M.O. that proved so successful in the first half of last season. They scored early, they scored often and Tom Glavine was the winning pitcher. Sound familiar? And they won, 9-1, mostly because of him.
Providing eight-plus innings in his primary role and two hits, two RBIs and almost two runs in a role he still relishes, Glavine finally resumed his ascent toward 300 career victories. He put an end to his personal winless streak, put his career victory total at 296 and put the Mets in a frame of mind they have rarely experienced since all of this losing began on June 1.
The Interleague victory -- it was the Mets' first regular-season engagement against the A's -- was merely their fifth victory in 19 games this month. And it felt better than any of the first four, even the one from a week earlier against the Yankees, because, as third baseman David Wright said, "We played like ourselves tonight."
And afterward, they were themselves, verbally jabbing at each other -- and mostly at the winning pitcher. Glavine had the misfortune of being thrown out at the plate in the sixth inning after his second hit, a single, had produced the final two runs in a five-run rally that all but determined the outcome. He was thrown out while trying to score from first base on a double by Jose Reyes. And he heard about it.
"I think that parachute went out as he came around third," manager Willie Randolph said, "and he started to moonwalk."
Wright was wondering whether Glavine had been carrying Baldwin or a Steinway. (What does a Steinway, anyway?)
And someone compared Glavine's speed to that of backup catcher Ramon Castro, but then suggested that the pitcher would have been thrown out at third if he ran like the thick-legged catcher.
"C'mon," Mets closer Billy Wagner said. "You can't get on him. He's 110 years old."
But outfielder Shawn Green threw one more jab.
"I'm glad [Glavine] did something wrong," Green said. "He was showing up the rest of us. It doesn't look good for us when the pitcher has all the big hits."
And all Glavine could say in his own defense was, "Once I get going at may age, it's hard to stop."
So it went. It felt good -- and unfamiliar -- to them. The best thing that happened, Glavine said, was "that we won." The runner-up: "And I had fun." He made no mention of 300 wins, except in the context of the fans' warm response to him when he walked to the mound for the ninth inning, something hadn't done since his final start in 2005.
"I know people pay attention to the rut I was in and they want me to win 300 games," he said.
The cheering and chanting, he said, made for "a very nice feeling."
The evening was one of nice feelings and renaissance for more than Glavine (6-5) and the team. He had been routed in his two previous starts, losing both, and hadn't won in five starts. But the game also produced home runs by Carlos Beltran and Green, their first since June 6 and May 15, respectively. Beltran drove in Reyes in the first -- sound familiar? -- with a single and hit his 10th home run, with the bases empty, in the seventh.
Green had a solo home run off A's starter Lenny DiNardo (2-4) leading off the fifth and hit a double in the sixth off Colby Lewis to drive in the last two runs charged to the losing pitcher.
Reyes had an extra-base hit -- they have been rare for him of late -- and Carlos Delgado had two hits for the fourth time in seven games.
"I keep thinking we're going to make up for the last few weeks," Randolph said. The Mets hadn't scored so many runs since Glavine's previous victory, posting 10 against the Yankees on May 19. "Maybe we're starting to."
But the evening, brief as it was -- the two-hour, 11-minute game was the Mets' shortest this season -- belonged to Glavine, who allowed six hits and two walks and struck out five before a leadoff single by Eric Chavez prompted Randolph to summon Aaron Heilman for a three-out assignment. That worked, too.
Everything seemed to work. Other than a home run by Shannon Stewart in the second inning, Glavine had one moment of peril. The A's had runners on first and second with one out in the fourth inning when Bobby Crosby scorched the Shea lawn with a ground ball at Reyes. It became a double play. But if it had come in either of his most recent starts, Glavine said, "It would have gone under Jose's glove and rolled to the wall for two runs."
He sensed a difference. Everything worked as if it were 2006. The Mets won a game in which they had been opposed by a left-handed starter, just as they did regularly in the first half of last season. They had lost eight straight in that circumstance before Friday.
And they won the first game of a series as they did so often last season. Of course, they had prospered in the early games this season, too. Indeed, they and the A's had the best record in series-opening games (16-8) before the Mets crushed DiNardo and his relief.
Now, there is the matter of the second game of the series. That's been a problem of late.
If they win that on Saturday, the Mets won't have to give a second thought to winning a series for the first time since May.
"Things can start to take care of themselves," Randolph said. "Maybe."