Astacio Gets Rocked, Mets Lose A Blowout

Remember the days when Pedro Astacio's ERA was below 3.00 as recent as the beginning of August? Well it has risen ever since, and the Mets have gone down during the same period in devastating fashion. They got blown out 10-1 this afternoon and lost three of four in Montreal.

Astacio did not have it from the start after giving up a grand slam to Matt Cepicky, the first of his career, in the first inning to center. That put the Expos up 4-0 and they never looked back on "Turn Back The Clock" day.

In the second, an Endy Chavez sacrifice fly plated Wilton Guerrero to add a run. The following inning Orlando Cabrera launched a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall and extended the lead to 6-0.

The Mets (70-79) finally got on the board in fifth when Jeromy Burnitz led off the inning and continued to scorch the baseball by lashing a home run to right center.

A crowd of 16,608 could have seen the last series between the Mets and Expos in Montreal if the Expos relocate to another city following the 2002 season.

Javier Vazquez (10-13) was exceptional for the Expos (74-76), allowing one run over seven innings. He limited the Mets to only four hits, issued no walks and struck out nine.

Pedro Astacio (12-10) lasted only 3 1/3 innings surrendering five hits, nine runs, three walks, while striking out nine. His ERA increased to a frightening 4.61.

Pat Strange pitched the final three innings notably, yielding only two hits and shutting Montreal out.

Writer Christopher Guy covers the Mets and is the football guru for NYFansOnly. E-mail him at NYMetsBelieve@aol.com.

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