Ejections Not Enough To Fire Mets To Win

Mets fans have to wonder if there's something in the Florida water, as they saw the second wild game in a row. This game saw a game where two people were ejected, Rey Ordoñez continue his hot hitting, the Mets pitching staff surrender three home runs in a game for the first time this season, and Jeff D'Amico continue his up-and-down pitching with a down effort as the Marlins beat the Mets 9-7 on a muggy Saturday night.

The Marlins pounced all over D'Amico in the first inning. Luis Castillo, who has been one of the hottest hitters in the game the past month, led off with a single. Andy Fox followed with a single, and Cliff Floyd then doubled, scoring both Fox and Castillo. Floyd moved to third on a throwing error by Ordoñez and scored when Mike Lowell singled. Before the Mets had blinked, the Marlins were up 3-0.

The Mets got one back in the second when Ordonez hit a fielder's choice that scored Cedeño, who had doubled and advanced to third when Preston Wilson bobbled the ball.

Wilson seemed intent on making up for his gaffe, as he hit a two-run opposite field home run in the third that put the Marlins ahead 5-1, and the game looked as bleak as the overcast skies.

It was the Mets, and not the rain, who would storm back. Mo Vaughn singled. After Marlins starter Ryan Dempster struck out Edgardo Alfonzo, Jeromy Burnitz, who hit barely .100 for the month of May, singled. Both scored when Cedeño tripled. It was now 5-3 and the Mets had new life breathed into them. Ordonez then laid down a bunt single that scored Cedeño and made it 5-4. D'Amico sacrificed Ordonez to second, and Alomar walked. Timo Perez hit a fastball that Dempster left hanging over the plate to left field that bounced off the wall. Left fielder Eric Owens bobbled the ball for a second, and both Ordonez and Alomar scored. Owens did get a good throw off though as he got Perez trying to stretch the double into a triple. After he was tagged out, Perez pointed towards home plate to indicate that Alomar had scored before he was tagged out for the third out. The umpire agreed and the Mets had taken the lead 6-5.

The Mets got a scare in the fourth when Castillo hit a soft ground ball that Ordoñez, with his momentum carrying him towards first, made a throw that barely got Castillo. Ordoñez re-aggravated his jammed left wrist when he landed. He did stay in the game though.

D'Amico just did not have his "A" game with him, as he left another fastball hanging over the plate in the fifth for Wilson, who immediately after hitting it, flipped his bat away and began trotting the bases. Game tied 6-6. After Lowell hit a double, Valentine agreed that D'Amico didn't have it, and yanked him for Satoru Komiyama. Komiyama preserved the 6-6 tie.

In the seventh, Piazza was called out on a borderline strike, and he took exception to the call. He spent the rest of that half-inning yelling at the home plate umpire, and when he came out to catch, he apparently was still upset. When a couple of pitches were called balls, Piazza said something and was summarily ejected. Normally a cool and collected person, he completely lost his temper, screaming at the home plate umpire, and when Bobby Valentine came out to keep him from throttling the umpire, Piazza tried to shove him aside. He was so angry that when he left the field, he spit his gum onto the grass. Valentine at first was calm, but he didn't like what he was hearing, and soon was having a nose-to-nose argument with the first base umpire after being ejected himself. After the brouhaha, Vance Wilson was catching. After Komiyama got Floyd to fly out for the first out, Lowell homered to put the Marlins ahead 7-6. Komiyama then plunked Preston Wilson with a pitch and was warned by the home plate umpire. Derrek Lee, who had come in for Millar in the sixth, hit a single. Grant Roberts came in to pitch and walked Charles Johnson to load the bases. Tim Raines then pinch-hit and hit a single up the middle to score Preston Wilson and Lee. Johnson was thrown out at third to end the inning, but the Marlins had a 9-6 lead now.

The Mets staged a last-gasp rally in the ninth off of Marlins closer Vladimir Nunez. After Alomar hit a screaming line drive that was caught for an out, Perez followed by doubling and advancing to third on a fielder's choice ground ball by Vance Wilson. He scored when John Valentin hit a pinch-hit single. Alfonzo battled back from an 0-2 count to walk, but Burnitz, who looks lost at the plate, chased the first pitch and flied out to end the game.

Notes


-Matt Galante took over managing duties when Valentine was ejected
-Both Jay Payton and Mark Johnson made their way into the game, for Cedeño and Vaughn respectively
-Komiyama got the loss, to fall to 0-2. Oswaldo Mairena got his second win of the year to go to 2-0
-Sunday's starters will be Al Leiter (3-2, 2.69 ERA) and Julian Tavarez (2-3, 9.09 ERA)

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