No Prior Knowledge: Phenom, Cubs Muzzle Mets

The good news for Mets fans: Sammy Sosa didn't hit his 500th home run during the three game series. The bad news: he singled in two runs and the Cubs beat the Mets 6-3 to win two out of three games in the series.

Cubs phenom pitcher Mark Prior and the rest of the Cubs pitchers muzzled the Mets for most of the game. Sosa didn't hit a home run his first at-bat, but he did damage, hitting a two-run single off of Steve Trachsel to give the Cubs the early 2-0 lead, driving in Mark Grudzielanek and Alex Gonzalez. Trachsel escaped trouble when he made a nifty play of hard line drive hit right back at him by Moises Alou, plucking it out of the air like a hockey goaltender making a save and then threw to first to double off Sosa, who had been running on the 3-2 pitch. He then got Eric Karros to fly out to end the inning.

Prior sailed through the first inning, but the Mets got to him for a run in the second when Rey Sanchez hit a fielder's choice to score Jeromy Burnitz, who had led off the inning with a walk and then advanced to third on Vance Wilson's bloop single.

The Cubs scored again in the third on a blown call by first base umpire Bill Welke when Sosa hit a ground ball to third with the bases loaded. Ty Wigginton fielded the ball but his momentum carried him into foul territory and made a long throw to first. The throw pulled Jay Bell, playing for Mo Vaughn, off of the bag, but Bell was able to swipe-tag Sosa, but Sosa was ruled safe by Welke. Bell started to argue then realized the ball was still in play and wisely called time-out before continuing his argument. Although replays showed clearly that Sosa was out, the argument fell on deaf ears. With the bases loaded, Alou lifted a long fly ball to left field that looked like a home run, but died on the warning track. It was still over Cliff Floyd's head and bounced off the wall. Two runs scored but Floyd hit the cut-off man who then turned and threw to home plate to cut down Sosa, who was trying to score. Floyd then made another nice play after that, catching Eric Karros' sacrifice fly and throwing out Alou, who was trying to tag up and score. The Cubs still scored three runs and it was 5-1, Cubs.

The scoring died down until the eighth when the Cubs tacked on another run when Alou hit a fielder's choice to score Grudzielanek to make it 6-1.

The Mets staged a brief rally in the ninth, scoring two runs to make it 6-3, but Mo Vaughn, who didn't start due to a stomach virus, pinch-hit and flied out to end the game.

Notes

-Trachsel had two pickoffs in one inning, one pickoff shy of the record.
-Trachsel gave up five earned runs and walked two while striking out one and got the loss.
-Bell, Jeromy Burnitz and Vance Wilson had two hits apiece while Wilson had two r.b.is to lead the team.
-The Montreal Expos come to town for a three-game series, starting on Friday. David Cone will face Javier Vazquez.

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