Beltran Ends Endless Night With Homer In 16th

Five hours, 22 minutes and 522 pitches.

That's how long it took Carlos Beltran to end the 16 inning marathon at Shea this morning, that's how long it took to stuff the Phillies.

And it wasn't easy. Falling behind 2-0, 6-2 and 8-5 before a furious rally in the 8th inning capped by a Jose Reyes homerun tied the game and sent it spinning into eternity, the Mets used up all 7 members of their bullpen whilst Ryan Madson threw 7 innings of relief for the Phillies before giving up Beltran's walk-off homer on pitch 105.

This was the fourth straight one-run game the Mets have been involved in and this latest victory boosts their record in one-run games to 13-6, the most one-run game victories in the Majors. Only the Braves, with 20 1-run games have been involved in more and they are a measely 7-13 in such affairs.

Another tight and happy ending at Shea

The game started off as most games do that either Pedro or Glavine aren't pitching. That is, close your eyes and hope the Mets bang more runs in than the Mets flailing starting rotation lets in.

Another muttering, winless night for Trachsel.

Steve Trachsel did all he could to keep the Mets out of this game, seven hits, four walks and six earned runs over five mediocre innings that saw the Mets behind 6-2 when the dust cleared.

Fortunately for Trachsel, David Wright's second-inning homer was the first run the Mets scored for Steve Trachsel in three starts so he couldn't fault run support as an issue. Not unless he was expecting double figures by the 5th inning.

But it didn't matter because the bats and the bullpen saved the day in the end. The bullpen combined to allow only 5 hits and a pair of runs over 11 innings of relief and the Mets finished with 9 runs and 15 hits on the night.

Somehow I just can't imagine Mike Piazza leaping like that.

Of course, heroics being what they are; fragile flashes in a long season of ups and downs wherein one day is exchanged and forgotten for another, one might begin to ponder already what Willie will do with an exhausted bullpen and two unproven starters pitching next for the Mets.

Will Alay Soler pitch a complete game shutout of the Phillies tonight in his debut against wunderkind Cole Hamels? Because if he doesn't, if he lasts, say a mere four or five innings, the bullpen faces another long night with a day game of Jeremi Gonzalez to follow, surely another bullpen innings eating affair.

So perhaps if the Mets fall behind say, 10-2 in the first few innings Wednesday night Willie might decide to leave Soler in and work his innings like a man.

Otherwise the bullpen, for all it's success and glory early this season, will wilt and fade when the games are do or die in the Fall.

Kaz ent gonna throw away the gloves on Alay Soler.

In no other season in the last 20 have the Mets used a ninth pitcher (Soler will be the 9th starter used) before their 65th game. In 1988, they used six starters until their first 152 games. David West started the 153rd, and no other starter was used.

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