Mets, Piazza Master "Feng Shuey" In 8-6

It was a scene out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Flocks of seagulls descended into the outfield at Jacobs Field in Cleveland and just wandered around there, oblivious to the fact that a baseball game was occurring. It was an apt metaphor too, as both the Mets and Indians bullpen had performances that were for the birds as the Mets beat the Indians 8-6 in the second game of their first inter-league series of the year.

The Mets broke through in the third inning to score the game's first run. Roger Cedeno hit a looping single to right and advanced to second on Rey Ordonez fielder's choice. Vance Wilson quickly got ahead of the count 3-0, but then Finley battled back to bring the count full. Wilson hit the first 3-2 offering up the middle for a single to score Cedeno and give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Finley then struck out McEwing, who has been uncharacteristically strikeout-prone this year.

The Indians came roaring right back. First Einar Diaz hit a one-out single for the first hit of the game for the Indians, and then after Mets starter Steve Trachsel retired former Met Matt Lawton, he lost his concentration and gave up a two-run home run to Omar Vizquel. Yes, Omar Vizquel, he who is known more for his defensive wizardry than his bat. 2-1 Indians. Vizquel actually has become a dangerous hitter, though, increasing his average almost yearly in the late ‘90s and has added some power in his bat, as this home run was number seven on the season for him. Vizquel is a near lock to break his career high of nine home runs, set back in 1996.

The Indians tacked on another run in the fourth inning with a two-out rally. Milton Bradley hit a two-out single and advanced to third when Ricky Guttierez also singled. Chris Magruder then hit a ball in the hole between first and second that a sliding Alomar was not able to corral and Bradley scored to make it 3-1.

The roof caved in on the Indians in the seventh inning, with the Mets batting around in the inning. John Valentin, the longtime American-Leaguer, led off with a single off of Finley. Jay Payton then hit a single of his own to put runners on second and third. Cedeno followed with a walk to load the bases. That was it for Finley as he was yanked for reliever David Riske. Valentine then pinch-hit Timo Perez for Rey Ordonez. Perez hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Valentin from third and advance Payton to third. Valentine then had Tony Tarasco pinch-hit for Wilson. Tarasco was unable to do anything as he hit a check-swing ground ball back to the pitcher. Valentine then rolled the dice and sent Jeromy Burnitz to pinch-hit for McEwing. Manuel brought in another reliever, Paul Shuey. Shuey wound up intentionally walking Burnitz. Alfonzo then hit a single that scored both Payton and Cedeno. Alomar then hit a ball that died right in front of the pitcher's mound, but miscommunication between Shuey and Diaz, they almost fell on top of each other like Keystone Kops, allowed him to reach first uncontested. Piazza, who had had some hard hit balls on the night, then hit an opposite field three-run home run to give the Mets an 8-3 lead.

Like another type of horror movie though, the Indians refused to die. The Mets brought in Grant Roberts to relieve Trachsel. Roberts was greeted by a single by Gutierrez, and then struck out Magruder and got a fielder's choice ground ball by Lawton. However, Vizquel, doing his best Jim Thome impression, hit a three-run home run, his second of the game, to bring the Indians within two runs. Mark Guthrie and Scott Strickland came in and muzzled the treats in the seventh and eighth innings, allowing Armando Benitez to slam the door in the ninth inning, pitching a perfect inning to record his thirteenth save of the year.


- Alfonzo had three hits on the night to lead the Mets, and both Alomar and Payton had two hits apiece.
-Trachsel got the win to go to 4-6, while Finley fell to 4-7.
-Sunday afternoon's starters will be Shawn Estes (2-4, 4.36 ERA) and Ryan Drese (5-4, 5.94 ERA).

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories