16.4.05

10 Games Later It's All Even

"From day one, we have told everyone that Carlos would make his choice based on where he felt he had the best chance to win a World Series," wrote David Sloane, Delgado's agent, in an e-mail the day he signed with the Marlins. "I'm proud to say that is exactly why he made the choice he made."

For one game anyway, the Mets stuffed David Sloane's bravado and Carlos Delgado with it as they won the series opener at Shea 4-0. It was their fifth win in a row after five losses in a row, and another gem of a pitching performance, this time from an unexpected source in Aaron Heilman. They have now moved to within a game of first place and are no longer in last place. The Phillies are taking care of the basement.

Heilman tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout against the Marlins and is now only four behind Tom Seaver for the team record of one-hit shutouts. Prior to last night's game it would have been hard to believe that of the two starters, he and Josh Beckett, who hadn't surrendered an earned run in his first two outings of the season, Heilman was the untouchable one. Heilman also struck out seven and walked three in what turned out to be the best performance of his career.

And Delgado, whom we may one day look back at in relief that he chose the Marlins, had a double error in the fifth inning that helped the Mets stake a 4-0 lead. After Miguel Cairo walked, Carlos Beltran grounded to Delgado, who booted the ball. Delgado retrieved it, then flipped a wild backhand to the base, allowing Cairo to reach third. Piazza, who entered batting .148 with one RBI, doubled both home and previously awesome starter Josh Beckett departed after the inning.

Also looking surprisingly alive for the Mets in addition to Heilman, was Mike Piazza who had a pair of hits and three RBIs. He also just missed his second homer of the year with a fly ball to the warning track against reliever Brian Moehler in the seventh.

Kaz Matsui's missed another game due to a scratch in his left eye related to his contact lenses. Through his translator, Matsui indicated the lens, which he wears overnight, is for treatment to improve his vision. Matsui has an astigmatism. And his vision, he said, has improved since he began wearing the lens before Spring Training.

The second game of the series features Pedro in his first outing as a Met at Shea against Al Leiter, back at Shea for the first time since he was declared persona non grata by the Mets front office and let loose for the Marlins.

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