Mets See Mo-Mentum Ebb and Flow in Same Game

It was both a good night and bad night for Mo Vaughn. The good: He hit two towering home runs, the second one hit the Budweiser sign in center field, traveling an estimated 505 feet. The bad: He made a costly bobble in the eighth on a bunt by former Met Darren Bragg that opened the door for Gary Sheffield's game breaking grand slam home run off of the jinxed Scott Strickland that broke a 2-2 tie as the Mets went on to lose 6-3 on a cool Wednesday summer night.

Vaughn's first home run off of Tom Glavine got the Mets on the board quickly in the second inning. Jay Payton hit a home run right after Vaughn to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.

Glavine rebounded though, and held the Mets in check while the Braves chipped away at the lead. Both times the Braves scored, the ball didn't get out of the infield. In the fifth inning, Chipper Jones singled and advanced to third after Vinny Castilla singled. He scored when Rafael Furcal hit an infield single. They tied the game in the sixth when Furcal led off the inning with a walk and motored to third on Julio Franco's single. Sheffield hit into a double play, but Furcal was able to score and tie the game.

Bobby Valentine yanked Estes after seven innings and brought in David Weathers. Weathers immediately fell in trouble, walking pinch-hitter Keith Lockhart to start off the inning. Vaughn then bobbled Bragg's bunt and runners were on first and second with no outs. Weathers made a nice play on Furcal's sacrifice bunt, getting him at first with his momentum going towards the third base line. Valentine thought that was enough though, and brought in Strickland. Strickland walked Julio Franco after getting a 1-2 count on him. Sheffield then sent Strickland's second offering screaming into the night into the left field bleachers, and the Braves suddenly had a 6-2 lead and it was a subdued Shea Stadium. Even a bleacher fan throwing the ball back onto the field wasn't enough to incite anyone. Strickland got a hearty round of boos as he left the field.

Vaughn's mammoth home run in the bottom of the eighth got the crowd going some, but then the relievers shut them down, and John Smoltz pitched a scoreless ninth, including striking out both Timo Perez and also Roger Cedeno to end the game.

Notes


- It was another night of questionable calls. Roberto Alomar was called out on a steal attempt where he appeared to be safe in the first, and Jeromy Burnitz was called out on a force play at second in the sixth.
-Vaughn had a three hit night. He was the only Met with more than one hit.
-Mike Piazza started the game, but was taken out in the ninth inning after hitting in the eighth.
-Cedeno played Wednesday with a contusion in his knee, suffered from running into the wall in Tuesday's game.
-Thursday's starters are Pedro Astacio (7-2, 2.92 E.R.A.) and Damian Moss (4-2, 3.15 E.R.A.)

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