Mets fall short in comeback against Yankees 9-8

Gonzalez hits double, then is tagged out in 8th.

The night was a story of lost opportunities and just falling short for the Mets, as baserunning mistakes and a costly error held the Flushing nine from coing all the way back from a nine run deficit.

Tom Glavine, the new Met ace and winner of 247 ball games in his career, allowed back to back homeruns to Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter to start the second game of the day night, home and home double header. Glavine allowed singles to Jason Giambi and Hideki Matsui in the inning as well, but emerged without any further damage when he induced Juan Rivera to hit into a 1-6-3 twin killing to end the inning.

Glavine settled down until the fourth inning, when he gave up singles to Hideki Matsui and Juan Rivera and then allowed a safety squeeze single to John Flaherty to plate Matsui. Glavine's throw to first base went into rightfield, but no further damage was done.

The Yankees began to tee off on Glavine in the fifth again when Soriano singled, stole second and Derek Jeter reached on a walk. Jason Giambi drive Soriano home with a single, and Matsui drove in Jeter with another single. Juan Rivera then proceeded to hit a double to drive in Giambi and Matsui. That would be it for Glavine, but not for the Yankees, as Enrique Wilson hit a sacrifice fly, and Brandon Claussen got his first Major League hit and RBI on an infield single. Jason Giambi added a solo homer in the top of the sixth.

The Mets began their ill-fated comeback in the sixth, as Jason Phillips drove in Ty Wigginton in with a single after Wigginton hit a double to lead off the inning. Roger Cedeno started the scoring in the seventh for the Mets with a solo homerun, which chased Claussen, who was on a strict 105 pitch count due to his recent return from Tommy John surgery.

After Sterling Hitchcock came into relieve Claussen, Ty Wigginton hit a homer before Hitchcock retired Cliff Floyd and Timo Perez on fly outs.

The eight inning is when it got exciting for the Mets and their remaining fans at Shea, as they scored five runs off of Hitchcock and Mariano Rivera. Jason Phillips, who continued his torrid hitting, led the inning off with a double, and scored on Tony Clark's shot off the wall in leftfield. Jay Bell and Timo Perez followed with walks, and Roberto Alomar drove in Clark with a sacrifice fly off of Rivera, who came in after the Perez walk to relieve Hitchcock. Roger Cedeno then reached on a bunt single to load the bases.

The game came within reach and then out of it in the play that followed. Raul Gonzalez, who was called up in between games as Tsuyoshi Shinjo was sent to AAA Norfolk, hit a well struck double beyond the reach of Yankee rightfielder Raul Mondesi. Three runs came into score and make it a one run game, but Gonzalez got hung up between second and third and was eventually tagged for the second out by Derek Jeter. Ty Wigginton then struck out to end the inning, and Rivera retired the Mets in order in the ninth to end the game.

The game was so typical of the Mets of the past three years, especially against the Yankees. Baserunning errors, such as Timo Perez jogging around the bases thinking Todd Zeile's double off the top of the wall was a homerun. Perez, like Gonzalez, was eventually retired by Derek Jeter, taking the momentum away from the Mets.

The Yankees have now taken all five games against the Mets this season, who look to salvage the final game of the annual six game fling. They will send Al Leiter up against Jeff Weaver Sunday night at 8 pm.

InsidePitchMagazine.com Recommended Stories