Mets Luck Gets Worse in 7-5 Loss to Giants

The Mets entered Friday night's game with the San Francisco Giants losers of three straight and winless at Pac Bell Park since the spiffy home to the 2002 National League Champions opened three years ago. The Mets were hoping something would give. Unfortunately, what did give was Mike Piazza's groin as they fell 7-5.

The Mets watched their leader and main offensive weapon being carried off the field by trainers just two outs into the game. They then proceeded to lose their fourth straight when the Giants' back-up catcher, Yorvit Torrealba, pressed into duty in the 7th inning when Benito Santiago was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, drove home two runs with a ground ball passed a drawn in infield in the eighth to give the Giants a 7-5 win.

The heartache started early for the Mets. After Alomar led off the game with a single, Jay Bell walked to put runners on first and second with no one out. Piazza quickly fell behind 1-2. On the fourth pitch of the at bat, Jason Schmidt came in high and tight. Piazza, trying desperately to avoid the 95 mph heater, lurched up and back and then crumbled to the ground. The first assumption was perhaps an aggravation to the area where a mole was recently removed, but when trainers had to carry him off the field, it was apparently much worse. A preliminary report indicated a groin strain or pull. He is currently listed as day to day, but that seemed optimistic.

Vance Wilson took over Piazza's at bat and swung through the first pitch he saw. The strikeout was credited to Piazza. Floyd followed however with a single passed a diving JT Snow driving in Alomar. It was the fifth consecutive game the Mets scored in the first inning.

In the second, Benito Santiago reached for a curve ball and snuck it by Ty Wigginton. Ex-Met Edgardo Alfonzo followed with a home run to left on a hanging breaking ball from Astacio.

Wilson made the most of his first official at bat in the third by homering off the top of the center field wall to tie the game at two.

The Giants came right back in the bottom of the frame with four consecutive singles to take a 3-2 lead. They chased Astacio in the fifth after Marquis Grissom and Rich Aurilla singled and Alfonzo again exacted revenge on his former team by doubling them home, giving the Giants a 5-2 lead. Astacio went 4 2/3 innings, giving up 5 runs on 10 hits while walking two and striking out 3. It was the second consecutive night a Mets pitcher lasted just an out under five innings.

The Mets fought back though in the 7th. Gonzalez got it started with home run just over the 405 marker in center after fouling off a number of two strike pitches. After Shinjo flied out to center. Joe McEwing doubled to the gap in left center. Pinch-hitting Tony Clark struck out, but Alomar followed with a double to the track in right. Like Gonzalez' earlier at bat in the inning, Alomar fouled off a number of tough two strike pitches.

Jay Bell then walked to bring up Vance Wilson. Wilson singled up the middle to tie it at five after taking a close, possible third strike moments before. After Alomar crossed the plate, Benito Santiago got into a heated discussion with home plate umpire, Bruce Dreckman and was tossed. Floyd ended the inning with a fly out to left. Santiago would be replaced by Yorvit Torrealba, a name no one thought the Mets would remember.


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