Mets Use Extra Innings, Floyd For Victory

Unlike their loss a few games ago to the Astros in extra innings, the Mets were able to use their time wisely to wait for Cliff Floyd's two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning in a thrilling 9 pitch at-bat to give the Mets a very hard-fought 5-3 victory.

They were oh-so-close to never seeing the 10th inning to begin with. They were oh-so-close to dropping their fourth game in a row and turning their homestand into humiliation not to mention damaging their NL East position with a deep drop back to .500.

Instead, we were able to experience a thrilling comeback in the 9th inning when, down 2-1 with Angels nearly-unbeatable closer Francisco Rodriguez on the mound, Marlon Anderson, pinch-hitting for Chris Woodward, hit a gapper to right-center field that dropped and then bounced off Angels center fielder Steve Finley's leg like a pinball, and rolled toward the right-field corner.

Finley chased it down and relayed it to second baseman Adam Kennedy, who threw home, but Anderson was running the whole way and just beat catcher Jose Molina's tag for a rare, crowd-pleasing, game-tying inside-the-park home run. It was the first hit of its kind by a Met in Shea since Darryl Strawberry did it in May 1989 and the subsquent collision with Molina's catcher's mask caused Anderson a cut on the left side of his chin requiring three stitches:

The run in the 9th and the three runs in the 10th went a long way to erasing the wretched memories of an humiliating loss the night before. It also went a long way towards vindicating Kris Benson's sharp performance. Despite 7 innings of 4 hit ball, Benson was due to earn the loss because of two small runs earned in the 2nd and 5th innings respectively, the first coming off a double play and the second a sacrifice fly.

The Mets almost blew Anderson's dramatic play in the top of the 10th. Or rather, the Mets .206-hitting first baseman, Doug Mientkiewicz nearly blew Anderson's dramatic play in the top of the 10th. With two out, a runner on and the ever-shaky Braden Looper trying to keep the score tied, a slow-rolling grounder hit by pinch hitter Jeff DaVanon went under Mientekiewicz's glove. Ironically enough, Mientkiewicz was only in the game as a "defensive" substitution to begin with - to compound matters, Looper failed to cover first properly and the end result was a near-disaster.

Thereafter, Darin Erstad followed with a run-scoring single off Looper to give everyone the sinking feeling that Marlon Anderson's seemingly heroic inside-the-park-homer would be all for naught before Steve Finley ground into another ground out, this time handled properly by Kaz Matsui.

But then Flloyd, by going 2 for 5 with three runs batted in and the walk-off homer, and really being one of the only clutch hitters the Mets currently have in the batting order, was the real hero at the end of the night.


Pedro pitches for the Mets on Sunday which will likely lead us all into prolonged battles with fatiguing difficulties in trying to figure out how to write the same smarmy love songs about our beloved Pedro after another brilliant pitching performance without sounding the same as we did in the last one. Good work if you can find an ace to drive you to it.

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