"He told me, 'Hey, we know what you can do, we believe in you,'" Benitez said to the Associated Press. "I needed to be in this game. I needed it for myself. I've never been in anything like this."
Tom Glavine (2-1) pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing just three hits, one run, three walks and fanned five Pirate batters. He was yanked after throwing 101 pitches, 58 of them strikes, his highest pitch total of the season. The Met ace lowered his E.R.A. to 2.91. and gave his new club a performance that was desperately needed.
"I know what I can do and what I can't do," Glavine said to the Associated Press. "I can't go out there and do anything differently. But we needed a win, so maybe you gamble a little bit more ... try to be more stubborn. Every run can make the difference."
Ty Wigginton led off the top of the fifth inning for the Mets and hit a ground ball that shortstop Abraham Nunez booted. Jeromy Burnitz, who was celebrating his thirty-fourth birthday, then deposited the first pitch he saw over the right center wall and the Mets never looked back.
The Mets (5-9) added an insurance run in the top of the six after Roberto Alomar laid down a bunt base hit and proceeded to steal second base; his first of the year. Cliff Floyd then ripped a double down the right field line to put the Mets ahead 3-1.
In the Pirates' (7-6) half of the seventh, Reggie Sanders led off with a walk against Tom Glavine. Craig Wilson then hit a fielder's choice to third that Ty Wigginton threw to second to get the second out of the inning, but Pokey Reese, the next batter, singled to chase the Mets starter out of the game.
Reliever Jaime Cerda then came on to get his first batter, Abraham Nunez, to fly out to center. Adam Hyzdu then pinch-hit for Josh Fogg and drew a walk, but Cerda was able to retire Kenny Lofton on a fly ball that Roger Cedeno ran down on the warning track to end the Pirates' threat.
Scott Strickland came on the pitch a scoreless eighth inning.
The Pirates took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning after Tom Glavine and the Mets opted to walk Abraham Nunez intentionally to bring the pitcher up with runners on first and third. Problem was, Josh Fogg then smacked an R.B.I. single up the middle that scored Reggie Sanders.
Pirates' starter Josh Fogg (1-2) went 7 innings and surrendered seven Met hits, three runs, one walk and fanned one. He used just eighty three pitches, but fell victim to a lack of run support.
Mo Vaughn, who had fluid drained from his knee, started after sitting out on Monday... Art Howe is now three wins shy of 1,000 for his career... Jeromy Burnitz, who went 3-for-4, came into the day ranked third in the NL with six doubles... The Mets improved to 2-6 on the road this season... The Pirates won six of the seven games the two teams played in 2002... Dave Cone (1-1, 7.00) opposes Jeff Suppan (2-0, 1.35) on Wednesday night...