Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Hey, Lo Duca!

Hey, Lo Duca! That's what we yelled out every time Paul Lo Duca got a hit in the Mets rain-delayed victory over the Diamondbacks last night at Shea. I was at Danny Danko's Memorial Day BBQ, eating, drinking, smoking and watching the Mets on his new hi-def widescreen TV.

First-inning double - hey, Lo Duca! Second-inning run-scoring double - hey, Lo Duca! Fifth-inning single - hey, Lo Duca! Ninth-inning single after Reyes tied the game - hey, Lo Duca!! Paul Lo Duca is clearly the Mets' best catcher since, well, Mike Piazza. He hits in the clutch, moves runners over, bunts and is always in the middle of Met rallies. He's a top-notch game-caller with a decent arm too.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. Wright, as in David, elevated the Mets to an 8-7 victory with a walk-off single in the 9th - his 3rd of the season. Wright's batting .332 - 7th-best in the NL and tied for 10th in the majors.

The soggy slugfest featured 5 HRs - 2 by the Mets (Cliff Floyd, his 6th; and Jose Valentin, his 3rd) and 3 by the D-Backs (Eric Byrnes, his 8th and 9th, both off Steve Trachsel; and Chad Tracy , his 9th, a 3-run blast off Aaron Heilman in the 7th).

The Mets (31-19) and D-Backs (29-21) meet again tonight at Shea: Alay Soler (0-0, 3.00) vs. Miguel Batista (4-2, 4.60), 7:10 start on SNY & WFAN. Brandon Webb (8-0) and Pedro Martinez (5-1) are Wednesday's featured match-up. The Giants and Barry Bonds arrive in New York on Friday for a 3-game set.

The Mets' lead the Braves (they lost to the Dodgers, 12-5) by 4.5 games and the Phillies (they beat the Nationals, 11-2) by 5.

Around the horn
• The Yankees shut out the Tigers in Detroit, 4-0, behind Randy Johnson (7-4). For a player who's supposedly pitching poorly, he has 7 wins, so what's the problem, Yankee fans? It was the 42-year-old lefty's 270th career victory, tying him with Burleigh Grimes for 31st on the all-time win list.

On the hardwood
The Heat took a commanding 3-1 lead in the Eastern NBA Finals, defeating the Pistons, 89-78, in Miami. Dywane Wade hit for 31 points. The series shifts to Detroit for Game 5. Meanwhile, the Mavs have bolted to a 2-1 lead in the Western Finals. It appears that the Mavs - led by Dirk Nowitzki - are more talented than the Suns, who revolve around Steve Nash. Game 4 will be played tonight in Phoenix, tip-off at 9 pm on TNT.

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