Even after the Mets' crushing 5-4 defeat Sunday, setting off another one of the celebrations at home plate that Giambi is enjoying of late, long faces were few and far between in the visiting clubhouse.
"Obviously we would rather have swept, but I'm proud of my guys," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "They played hard for me. We had them right there but didn't close the deal."
"We don't feel down at all," Carlos Beltran said. "In our minds, we won the series, and that's what's important."
With Interleague play securely tucked in the rear-view mirror – the Mets went 5-10 against American League clubs this season – the focus now shifts to an all-NL East homestand, with six games against the Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins.
"It wasn't meant to be, obviously," Mike Piazza said. "Now we've got to regroup and have a good series at home."
Notes & Quotes
Doug on the DL: Now that Doug Mientkiewicz is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring, Randolph plans to use a rotation of Chris Woodward, Marlon Anderson and Daubach in Mientkiewicz's absence. Woodward started at first base on Sunday night, batting seventh.
"This is only the second time in my career I've been on the DL," Mientkiewicz said. "I don't want to sit at all, but then again, I don't want to strap my manager."
36-year-old Jose Offerman had his contract purchased from Triple-A Norfolk. Offerman played in 33 games for the Phillies this season before he was released, signing with the Mets as a minor league free agent this month.
Minor League Report
TRIPLE-A NORFOLK: The Tides fell 4-3 in 12 innings at Columbus Sunday, with Andy Cannizaro lining a two-run single off Norfolk reliever Steve Colyer. Norfolk had taken a 3-2 lead in the top half of the inning on a Chris Basak groundout. Eric Junge started and pitched well for the Tides (6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 HR), and Angel Pagan doubled twice in five trips, driving in a pair of runs.
DOUBLE-A BINGHAMTON: The B-Mets put up four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to stage a comeback and defeat Erie, 4-3, behind David Bacani's run-scoring single and Victor Hall's walk-off three-run homer. The rally made a winner of Anderson Garcia, who threw the top of the ninth inning; Kevin Deaton (5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR) was taken off the hook for the loss.
HIGH-A ST. LUCIE: St. Lucie's rally fell short in the bottom of the ninth inning, as the Mets scored once but couldn't tie the game in a 4-3 loss to Palm Beach Sunday. Corey Ragsdale hit his 10th home run of the year for the Mets, and starter Chuck Smith (4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 K) took his first loss of the season.
LOW-A HAGERSTOWN: Rafael Cova (5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR) took his third loss of the year Sunday as the Suns fell to visiting Lexington, 5-2. Hagerstown's offense was limited to just four hits in the contest, with Carlos Gomez picking up the only run batted in of the game, his 27th.
SHORT-SEASON BROOKLYN: Jeff Landing (6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K) was dominating, firing six innings of one-hit ball, striking out 10, as the Cyclones rolled over Aberdeen, 9-0. Caleb Stewart contributed three hits, including a double, two runs scored and three RBI to Brooklyn's 12-hit attack.
ROOKIE-LEAGUE KINGSPORT: The K-Mets took advantage of a two-run throwing error in the bottom of the eighth, rolling to a 6-5 win over visiting Bristol. Josh Wyrick homered and had two hits, and Matt Anderson added another pair of knocks for Kingsport.
Victor Zambrano (3-6, 3.97) is on the hill Tuesday as the Mets open a three-game series against the Phillies at Shea Stadium. Rookie Robinson Tejeda (1-0, 2.03) provides the opposition for Philadelphia, as the Mets try to win their fifth game of seven.
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