Betty's No Good Clothes Shop And Pancake House
Sunday, July 16, 2006
  Mets 6, Cubs 3
Cubs 9, Mets 2
Mets 13, Cubs 7

The second half began much as the first ended for the Mets, with victories outnumbering defeats in spite of the performance of their starting pitchers. That all three of these games was scheduled against the hapless Cubs probably helped. Also, even with Jose Reyes still on the shelf, the Mets' offense is pretty good.

On Friday, Steve Trachsel's recent string of luck extended beyond mere wins and all the way into the area of run prevention. He won his seventh consecutive start, giving up just two runs in six innings. He allowed just three hits and two walks and he struck out one.

The Met hitters had a bit more luck against old friend Greg Maddux, smacking him around for six runs in seven innings. Jose Valentin had three hits, one of which was a double. Cliff Floyd and Paul Lo Duca had two hits apiece including a double for Floyd. And Chris Woodward hit a ball over the outfield fence which for some reason was ruled a triple.

Tom Glavine continued his recent descent into mediocrity on Saturday. He lasted just five innings and gave up three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three. His ERA has climbed steadily upward over the last two and a half months. It was at 1.94 on the fourth of May and is now a season-high 3.56. I know it's been said that the Mets could really use a solid third starter, but if Glavine's going to be the guy to fill that role, they've got a new problem.

Orlando Hernandez was significantly worse on Sunday, but this time the Met bats didn't have to contend with Victor Zambrano. El Duque didn't even make it out of the second inning, allowing five runs while recording just five outs. He walked two and gave up seven hits, one of which was a home run hit by opposing pitcher Sean Marshall. Of the six relievers who followed, five of them pitched significantly better than Hernandez. Only Aaron Heilman was scored upon as he gave up two runs in the seventh.

For a while the Mets looked like they might not be able to overcome this pitching failure. Then they scored a team-record eleven runs in the sixth inning. Every Met had starter had a hit with the exception of Hernandez, who didn't stay in the game long enough to bat. Half of the other starters had at least two hits. But I think the fact that they hit two grand slams in the same inning probably was the biggest factor in their winning the game. Floyd had one of them and it was his second home run of the game. Carlos Beltran hit the other. David Wright also homered in the inning. Woodward had also homered earlier in the game and this time the umpires decided it should count.

The Mets (55-37) will continue their tour of the NL Central on Tuesday when they start a three-game series with the mighty Reds of Cincinnati (49-44). Eric Milton (6-4, 5.19) will start for the Reds, giving the Mets a chance to close the thirteen-home run gap between these two teams for the league lead. Starting for the Mets will be Mike Pelfrey (1-0, 3.60), whom I'll actually get to see pitch this time provided the Fox network doesn't come up with a devious plot to prevent it between now and Tuesday.
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Disseminating descriptions and accounts of New York Mets games without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball or the New York Mets since 2003.

Location: Hatboro, Pennsylvania, United States
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