The Mets may very well have saved their season last night. Heavy rains could have an affect on this weekend's series with the Marlins, but the Mets would have been in even deeper water, or something else, had they not won last night's game with the Cubs. Trailing 6-3, the Mets rallied back and then won the game in the bottom of the 9th when Carlos Beltran's line drive ticked off the end of the glove of a diving Micah Hoffpauir at 1st base. Jose Reyes raced home with the winning run in a 7-6 victory. It overshadowed a big game by Hoffpauir, who was playing in just his 31st big league game. The rookie homered twice, doubled, and drove in 5 runs.
The Mets bullpen, for once, was key, holding the Cubs over the final 2.2 innings after a shaky start from Pedro Martinez. It kept the Shea inhabitants in a tie with the Milwaukee Brewers, who also won in dramatic fashion, for the wildcard lead, and moved them to within one game of the idle Phillies in the NL East. Martinez left to a standing ovation, which he admittedly realized could be his last.
Knowing that the Mets had already won, the Brewers were locked in a 1-1 battle with the Pirates. The key to the 10th inning win came down to one at-bat. With two men aboard and two outs, Dale Sveum sent up Craig Counsell to pinch-hit for Bill Hall. Rookie Jesse Chavez walked him, meaning he had to face Ryan Braun. Moments later Bernie Brewer was going nuts, as was the rest of Miller Park, as Braun hit a walk off grand slam. Kudos to the Brewers pitchers, all eight of them, that held the Pirates to one run.
Bullpens were huge in the White Sox-Twins game last night as well. The White Sox built up a 6-1 and looked like they would remain in first place in the AL Central, but the Twins rallied against the Chicago pen, while their own relievers shut down the White Sox after the 4th inning.
An RBI triple by Carlos Gomez and a run scoring double by Denard Span cut the White Sox lead in half in the fourth. Down 6-4 in the eighth inning, the two struck again. Gomez's RBI single off of Bobby Jenks narrowed the deficit to a run, and moments later Span tripled to score Gomez and knot the game at 6-6. In the 10th, Nick Punto drew a one out walk, moved to second on Gomez's ground out, and advanced to third on Jenks' wild pitch. After Span was intentionally walked, Alexi Casilla singled home Punto with the game winner and vaulted the Twins into first place by a half-game.
The Dodgers clinched the NL West when the Cardinals pounded the Diamondbacks 12-3 Thursday afternoon, but held off celebrating until after they lost last night's game with the Padres, 7-5. Joe Torre and Manny Ramirez made the difference with this bunch, which took advantage of a collapsing Dbacks squad.
The Red Sox moved back to within 2 games of the Rays with a 6-1 win over the Indians. Jon Lester and three relievers combined on a 2-hitter and Kevin Youkilis hit his 28th home run. Meanwhile, the Rays fell to the Tigers, 7-5, as Scott Kazmir was tagged for four of the five home runs Detroit hit. Rookie Armando Galarraga won his 13th game for the Tigers.
News and Notes
The Padres clung to their slim playoff hopes with an 8-6 win over the Reds. Roy Oswalt won his 17th game. Oswalt went 8-2, 1.70 in his last 10 starts.
Vlad Guerrero's 3-run home run yesterday gave him at least 90 RBI for the 10th time in his career.