NLCS Game One – Thu. 10/12 – Mets 2-0

The St. Louis Cardinals opened up the NLCS by losing to the New York Mets 2-0 at Shea Stadium on Thursday night. Tom Glavine bested Jeff Weaver. Carlos Beltran's two-run home run was the difference-maker. On the other side, the Cards' offense managed just four hits.

Cardinals starting pitcher Jeff Weaver cruised into the sixth inning having allowed just one hit. But a single and a long home run by Carlos Beltran with two out in the frame changed the complexion of the game completely.

After four days off, the offense couldn't muster much against veteran Tom Glavine – four hits over seven innings to be precise. Still, they had two runners on base twice, but couldn't avoid the double play.

One year ago today
On October 12, 2005, Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals defeated Andy Pettitte and Houston 5-3 in Game One of the NLCS. Carp allowed five hits and two runs in eight innings and Jason Isringhausen picked up the save. Reggie Sanders homered and Abraham Nunez and David Eckstein each had two hits and scored three times among them.

The match-up
Jeff Weaver (5-4, 5.18; 1-0, 0.00) vs. Tom Glavine (15-7, 3.82; 1-0, 0.00).

The line-up
Eckstein, Wilson (LF), Pujols, Encarnacion, Edmonds, Rolen, Belliard, Molina and Weaver.

On to the game…

Cards first – Albert Ks
Pujols fanned swinging to end a fast top of the first.

Mets first – Me, too
Weaver fanned Paul Lo Duca for the second out of a 1-2-3 inning of his own.

Cards second – Almost big fly
Encarnacion flied out to the warning track in left for the first out. Two more outs followed.

Mets second – Three down again
Carlos Delgado and his lusty career stats against Weaver grounded out on a full-count offering. David Wright lined off Jeff Weaver's heel. The ball bounced to David Eckstein, who threw out the runner. Cliff Floyd's foul ball bounced off Preston Wilson's glove to give the hitter a second life. But, he flied out and had to leave the game, ostensibly due to a recurrence of his Achilles injury.

Cards third – Twin killing
Molina's one-out single to right center created the first baserunner of the night. Weaver showed bunt, but pulled the bat back and singled to right on the first pitch he saw. Molina was shown chatting with shortstop Jose Reyes as he led off second base. Quickly, Eckstein lined out to David Wright at third. Molina was a dead duck between second and third for an inning-ending double play. Where is Bob Gibson?

Mets third – Aggressive Yadi
Shawn Green started the inning with a dunk single to right. With one out, Glavine bunted a dribbler in front of the plate. Molina got the lead runner at second base, but the throw was a bit off line as Eckstein dropped the ball on the exchange. The Mets argued that Green should have been called safe, but replays showed the out call was correct.

Cards fourth – Another double play
Pujols drew a one-out walk. He was made to look stupid by Delgado, who easily doubled Albert off first base on a fly to short center. Aggressive or taking unnecessary risk?

Mets fourth – Free pass
Delgado drew a two-out walk. He was stranded by Wright.

Cards fifth – Two on again
Edmonds singled to right with one out. The new left fielder, Endy Chavez, took a late break on Belliard's fly to left, but made a diving catch to secure the out. Molina walked on four pitches but Weaver fanned.

Mets fifth – Weaving
Weaver continues to match Glavine pitch for pitch.

Cards sixth – One on for Albert
It began to rain. Preston Wilson singled to left with one out. Pujols lined out to short and Encarnacion flied out.

Mets sixth – Beltran belts one
Paul Lo Duca singled to the left of Rolen for a two-out single, the Mets' second hit of the night. Worse, that brought up Beltran. He blasted, and I mean blasted, a 2-2 offering high off the scoreboard in right for a two-run home run. Tyler Johnson began to crank it up in the bullpen. Delgado doubled to right center. Weaver was ordered to walk Wright as La Russa brought in Johnson to face the lefty Chavez. He got his man. Mets 2-0.

Cards seventh – Down in order
So much for the quick comeback.

Mets seventh – Pen comes through again
Brad Thompson hurriedly warmed up in the bullpen. Leading off against Johnson, Green walked on a pitch that looked like strike three. He stole second as Jose Valentin struck out. Julio Franco hit for Glavine and struck out. Thompson came on next to face the dangerous Reyes and got him on a lazy fly to center.

Cards eighth – Parade of pinch-hitters
Guillermo Mota took over on the mound against Aaron Miles, who was out hitting for Molina. Braden Looper warmed up to pitch next as John Rodriguez struck out, hitting for Thompson. Eckstein walked on four pitches to offer hope. After going 3-0, Wilson fouled off several pitches before popping out in foul ground.

Mets eighth – Looper held on
Looper came on to pitch to a chorus of boos. They continued even as Lo Duca singled leading off. Delgado hit a one-hop double to the wall in left. Two in scoring position were stranded.

Cards ninth – Closed out
Billy Wagner closed out the Cards. Rolen did coax a walk with two down to bring up pinch-hitter Scott Spiezio, whose flare to short right field ended the game.

In conclusion
Jeff Weaver made just one mistake, and Carlos Beltran's mammoth home run did the Cardinals in. That and Tom Glavine's seven shutout innings.

Upcoming action (times CDT) – probable pitchers
NLCS Schedule (All games on FOX TV, times Central)

Fri., Oct. 13, 7:00 p.m.	Shea Stadium (Maine vs. Carpenter)
Sat., Oct. 14, 6:30 p.m.	Busch Stadium  (Trachsel vs. Suppan)
Sun., Oct. 15, 6:30 p.m.	Busch Stadium (Perez vs. Reyes)
Mon., Oct. 16, 7:00 p.m.#	Busch Stadium (Glavine vs. Weaver)
Wed., Oct. 18, 3:00 p.m.*#	Shea Stadium (Trachsel vs. Carpenter)
Thu., Oct. 19, 7:00 p.m.#	Shea Stadium (Suppan vs. Maine)
* Moves to 7:00 p.m. if ALCS is over on or before 10/17
# If necessary

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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