Mets Bats Come Alive in First Game of Second Half

It looked like it was going to be another one of those games. Al Leiter gutted through seven innings of battling against the Phillies, but Rey Ordonez madea critical miscue that allowed the Phillies to tie the game at one apiece. But rather than show previous form, the Mets actually stormed back to score eight runs and soundly thrashed the Phillies 9-1 on a cool Monday night. Some things stayed true to form though as Leiter was given a no-decision, with Mark Guthrie getting the win, his third.

Roberto Alomar, who had struggled the entire first half batting right handed, led off the game with a double off of Phillies starter Randy Wolf, a left-hander. After Roger Cedeno struck out, Mike Piazza stroked a single to right center field to score Alomar and give the Mets a 1-0 lead.

Leiter continued with another one of his gutsy outings, battling out of jams in several innings and just forcing his will on the Phillies. His will ran out in the eighth inning though, as Pat Burrell singled and then Scott Rolen doubled to have runners on second and third with one out. That was it for Leiter as he left to a standing ovation. Scott Strickland came in and he did his job, getting Mike Lieberthal to hit a soft line drive in the infield. Unfortunately for Strickland, Rey Ordonez decided to try to make a SportsCenter highlight catch, diving to catch the ball on a play he could have made staying on his feet. The ball popped out of the webbing and rolled across the infield towards first base. Burrell easily scored to tie the game. Lieberthal was credited with a hit, but everyone in the stadium knew that was an error on Ordonez. Everyone but Lieberthal, that is. A shellshocked Strickland was taken out for Mark Guthrie who escaped a bases-loaded jam to keep the score tied at 1-1.

Showing resilience that had eluded them in the first half of the season, the Mets came back in the bottom of the eighth. John Valentin pinch-hit for Guthrie and drew a walk off of Rheal Cormier, who had come in to pitch forWolf, who had matched Leiter in a pitching duel since giving up that lone run in the first. Timo Perez was sent in to pinch-run for Valentin. Alomar then continued to show signs of life batting right-handed by hitting a deep fly ball to left. Burrell, the left fielder, raced towards the wall, thinking he could make a catch at the wall, but the ball shorthopped the wall and wound up bouncing over Burrell's head towards the infield as Burrell was unable to slam the brakes in time. Perez, running hard at the crack of the bat, was able to score easily and Alomar was at second with his second double of the evening. 2-1 Mets. That was it for Cormier, who got the loss in the game. He was replaced by Carlos Silva. Cedeno hit a ground ball that handcuffed Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and the hesitation allowed Cedeno to beat the throw, which short-hopped Travis Lee at first base anyways. Alomar moved to third on the play. Piazza wiped them off the bases with a triple and made the score 4-1. The floodgates proceed to open as the Mets scored five more runs. Vaughn singled in Piazza to make it 5-1. After the Mets loaded the bases with no outs, a new Phillies pitcher, Joe Roa, was brought in. He managed to strike out the next two hitters he faced, but Perez doubled to score three runs and make it 8-1. Alomar singled in his third run of the night to make it 9-1 to cap off the inning.

Jaime Cerda pitched a scoreless ninth and Perez made a nice tumbling catch of a sinking fly ball in left to end the game.


-Alomar had three hits, two from the right side, one from the left and two runs batted in and scored two runs as well.

-Jeromy Burnitz, still in a deep slump, did not start. He pinch-hit in the eighth for Joe McEwing, who has also been in a slump, and popped out to second base.

-Piazza had three runs batted also.

-Friday's starters will be Jeff D'Amico (4-7, 4.72 E.R.A.) and Robert Person (3-5, 5.11 E.R.A.)

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories