Rain Delay Precipitates Met Outburst

For all the groaning from Queens these days in weary anticipation of the beginning of the end, it was easy to forget that this was actually a matchup between the teams with the National League's two top records.

After a rain delay of 1 hour and 41 minutes in the middle of the seventh, the Mets clinging to a fragile 4-3 lead, were assisted by a throwing error from Albert Pujols who helped turned a sacrifice bunt into a run scored, an extra baserunner and gradually, a four run 8th inning outburst that saw the Mets pull away for an 8-3 victory.

What a night, 0-4 at the plate, throwing errors, hitting ball against his shin, slipping on wet pitch. The Cards were lucky to get out of this game with their star in one piece.

Pujols, who in a quite timely fashion committed his second error of the season but only his second in two games, tried unsuccessfully to outrace Xavier Nady to first on a sacrifice. Having lost the race, he compounded the problem by making an errant toss to second baseman Hector Luna who had been waiting at the bag, and David Wright scored from second on the play to give the Mets a 5-3 lead.

Maybe not good for the game, but certainly not bad for the Mets, Pujols takes one on the shin

In fact, the Mets took advantage of every thing they could take advantage of. Like scoring on three of the four batters Cardinals starter and Met nemesis Jeff Suppan walked yesterday. Going into yesterday's game, Suppan was 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA in five career starts against the Mets.

Tom Glavine pitched another minor gem, saving the face of the rotation with a six inning three-run performance that kept the Mets in the game for the bullpen but allowed an early 3-0 to evaporate as well. Glavine finished the game with 2,397 strikeouts, one ahead of Koufax, and four behind Dennis Eckersley. He also scored after being foolishly walked after Jose Reyes hit a two-run homer in the third.

Hardly a Ruthian swing, but it cleared the fence anyway

Reyes in fact, had quite an interesting evening to with his three RBIs. In addition to his homer he also managed to get himself picked off of first base in the first inning after reaching on an error by Luna.

Luna bobbling the first play of the game

Yes indeed, the sort of moment when you think to yourself, you bloody idiot!, squandering what we all thought would be a rare chance for the Mets to score. He partially atoned for that mistake when he stole second in the 7th after walking and ran home after Paul Lo Duca's RBI double that gave the Mets the lead again. Just as Luna atoned for his error when he made an outstanding play at second in the fifth, ranging far to his right and bouncing a one-hop throw to first to nip Reyes at the bag, something that rarily happens.

In any event, the win, after giving up seven hits and three runs, was Glavine's fourth in a row and helped the Mets at least attempt to gain solid footing in the unlikeliest of places, the brand new Busch Stadium where the Cardinals entered last night 16-6, the best home record in the majors.

Another play at the plate that the Duke comes in at the short end on.

Heilman and Sanchez resumed their roles as Mr Steady and Mr Reliable in scoreless 7th and 8th innings, paving the way for an appearance by Jorge Julio who promptly allowed the first man in the 9th to single and walked the second man he faced. I'm beginning to think Willie is saving Billy Wagner for September.

Ominous beginnings in every game Julio enters, even games wherein we've a steady 5 run lead, Julio seems capable of meltdown. However, he was able to set the next three batters down in order to close out the game and lower his ERA to 5.40.

This was a must win game in a way, simply to avoid an inevitable sweep what with Steve Trachsel taking the mound tomorrow against lefty Mark Mulder (4-1, 4.27) who is 3-0 at home this season and then Jose Lima getting another chance to throw the Mets under the bus again on Thursday.

Chances are not good that the next great hitter will go 0 for 4 again tomorrow night but then again, we weren't expecting it very much tonight either.

Uncharacteristic night for Albert

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