The Mets will enjoy a few days to rest, flying back to the East Coast and preparing to take on the winner of the Padres – Cardinals NLDS series on Wednesday.
Facing veteran Greg Maddux, the Mets opening up a three-run lead in the first inning and extended it to four runs in the third when Shawn Green stroked a run-scoring double – the second RBI of the evening for the former Dodger, who was benched in Game 2 at Shea Stadium but returned with a flourish.
Darren Oliver surrendered a game-tying solo home run to Jeff Kent in the fifth – one of four hits for the former Met infielder - and Chad Bradford allowed a walk and a hit, leaving the bases loaded for reliever Pedro Feliciano.
The left-hander issued a walk to Loney, briefly giving Los Angeles a 5-4 lead, before escaping the inning. It would again be up to the bullpen, as usual for a club lacking both Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez in the postseason: Mets starting pitchers only tossed 13 2/3 innings in the NLDS.
The Mets came back with three runs in the sixth, taking the lead they would not relinquish. Jose Reyes tied the game with a single to center and Paul Lo Duca gave New York the lead with a run-scoring hit to left that brought home Michael Tucker, and Carlos Beltran increased the lead to two runs with a single to left that scored Reyes.
New York tacked on insurance runs on Lo Duca's hit and a Wilson Betemit throwing error in the top of the eighth, and in the ninth, all that was left was for Billy Wagner to record the final three outs – as he did in all three games of the series.
The final out came when Wagner induced Ramon Martinez to fly out to Green in foul territory down the right field line, ending the Division Series at 11:56 p.m. ET.
Perhaps the lone negative in the contest came in the third inning, when Cliff Floyd re-injured his troublesome left Achilles, scoring on Green's double. Floyd covered his head with a towel when he returned to the bench and needed to be helped to the clubhouse, as he was replaced in left field by Endy Chavez.