Friday, May 19, 2006


The Wright Stuff, Pt. 2

Twelve games ago on May 5, David Wright drove in the winning run in a 14-inning battle with the Braves. He repeated that feat tonight, knocking in Paul Lo Duca in the 9th with a blast over CF Johnny Damon's head to defeat the Yankees 7-6.

The Yanks jumped all over Jeremi Gonzalez in the 1st, scoring 4 runs, but the Mets retaliated with 3 of their own on Carlos Beltran's 11th HR in the bottom of the inning off Randy Johnson. Both starters got roughed up (Xavier Nady also tagged Johnson for a 2-run HR, his 9th); Gonzalez was relieved in the 4th, Johnson in the 6th. Then both bullpens shut down the offenses - for the Mets, Aaron Heilman pitched 3 perfect innings, followed by Billy Wagner who struck out the side in the 9th and got the win (he's 3-0) - until the 9th when the Mets' clutch players Lo Duca and Wright (he had 3 hits) reached loser Mariano Rivera.

Gonzalez's poor performance begs the question: What the hell are the Mets going to do about 40% of their starting rotation? Clearly, Jose Lima and Gonzalez are not the answer. Heilman is. Let him start a few games until Brian Bannister and John Maine are ready to rejoin the club. Chad Bradford and Pedro Feliciano could fill in for Heilman in the meanwhile. Why are the Mets being so stubborn about Heilman?

With the Phillies (22-19) falling to the Red Sox, 5-3, the Mets (25-16) increased their NL East lead to 3 games. The Bosox (24-15) are 1.5 games ahead of the Yankees (23-17) in the AL East.

Tomorrow afternoon, Pedro Martinez takes his 4th shot at going 6-0. He'll have to beat the Yannkees' ace Mike Mussina (6-1); 1:20 pm start on FOX and WFAN & WCBS Radio.

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