The 2005 New Mets are a team and franchise coming off a time where everything went wrong…again. With new GM Omar Minaya and new manager Willie Randolph at the helm, the Mets seesaw between 3 games over and 3 games under for the majority of the year. Coming off a tough 2-3 loss to the overachieving, 51-32, 1st place, 1st year Nationals of Washington, the Mets, at 41-42, look to even the 3-game series up at 7:05PM in our Nation’s capital.
On the mound for the Nats is Livan Hernandez, the 30-year-old, 6’2” Cuban-born right hander, standing at 12-2 with an ERA in the low 3’s. He is to face the Mets’ lead-off hitter, the 22-year-old shortstop, Jose Reyes. Reyes is still developing, and is showing it with an Avg in the low .260’s. He pops up to the 1st baseman in foul territory, and Livan has gotten the speed demon out to start the game. Up next is right fielder Mike Cameron, providing speed and a little bit of pop in the 2-spot. On a 1-1 count, Mike crushes the pitch to left field, long gone for a home run. The Mets are up 1-0. Livan then sits down center fielder Carlos Beltran and left fielder Cliff Floyd on another pop-foul to 1st and a groundout to 3rd, respectively.
Taking the mound for the Mets is the 39-year-old, 6’0” southpaw out of Concord, MA, a Mr. Tom Glavine. He gets through the 1st 3 batters in 10 pitches.
Both teams sprinkle in a few hits, but things are rather quiet till the bottom of the 4th, when 3rd baseman Vinny Castilla singles on a line drive to center for Washington. Left fielder Marlon Byrd follow up with a single of his own on a 2-1 count, moving Castilla to 2nd. Catcher Brian Schneider lines out to 3rd, holding the runners, but shortstop Jamey Carroll singles on a ground ball to right field, sending Castilla dashing home from 2nd. Cameron picks the ball up and throws it home, but Castilla scores, tying the game at 1 apiece. Hernandez is up to bunt, and he does so, moving the runners over to 2nd and 3rd. Up walks center fielder Brad Wilkerson, already with a hit on the day. On a 1-0 pitch, he hits a line drive to center field that lands for a single. Carroll and Byrd both score, and the Nats lead, 1-3. 2nd baseman Jose Vidro singles as well, sending Wilkerson over to 2nd, but right fielder Jose Guillen grounds to 3rd to end the threat.
Livan holds down the fort for an inning, but the Mets get something started in the top of the 6th. Beltran sends a long line drive to left-center that lands for a double. Floyd sends a single to right field, sending Beltran to 3rd. Up to the plate walks 3rd baseman David Wright, who continues to walk to 1st base. With the bases loaded, up to the plate comes today’s 1st baseman, Mr. Marlon Anderson. Anderson is in a part-time role with the Mets, and on the 6th pitch he sees, he gets a huge single on a ground ball into left field. Beltran scores and everyone else moves up a base. Back-up catcher Ramon Castro, having a okay season in his role, but today, he gets a ground-ball single to left on the 2nd pitch he sees. Floyd and Wright score, and the Mets lead 4-3. Anderson goes to 2nd, but Castro is caught a little too far off 1st and is tagged out. Now, with 1 out, 2nd baseman Miguel Cairo looks to continue the slaughter. He hits a shot to right field, but it gets there a little too quickly and directly at the fielder. Anderson, a little too far off 2nd, gets doubled off. The Mets have the lead, but some bad base running keeps it at 1.
It looks as if the sloppy play on the paths will immediately come to bite the Mets in the bottom half. After Schneider grounds out to 1st, Carroll reaches after Wright boots the ball. Knowing he can give him length, manager Frank Robinson leaves Livan in there to bat. Carroll steals, but Hernandez flies out to right. Glavine now has a chance to get out of the inning, but he walks both the lead-off man Wilkerson and Jose Vidro to load the bases. Randolph has had enough, and he walks to the umpire to make a double switch. He brings in righty reliever Aaron Heilman to pitch, sends Anderson over to 2nd, replacing Cairo, and brings in Jose Offerman to play 1st. Guillen steps in to face Heilman, and on a 1-1 count, grounds out to 2nd to end the threat.
The Mets get an insurance run on a sac fly by Anderson, but the didn’t really need it. Heilman and closer Braden Looper pitch spotless baseball, and the Mets win 5-3.
Tom Glavine goes 5 2/3 innings, gives up 3 runs on 9 hits, 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. He is 6-7 with a 4.94 ERA.
Heilman gets his 3rd hold and Looper gets his 19th save.
Livan Hernandez goes 7 innings, gives up 5 runs on 8 hits, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. He is 12-3 with a 3.48 ERA.
The Mets keep going back and forth the rest of the way. They are only a half-game out of the wild card in early-september, but a losing streak drives them out of the race. An 8-2 record to end the year, however, makes sure they finish above .500 for the 1st time since 2001 at 83-79.
The 2005 New Mets.
Thanks for reading! You can read Sam Maxwell’s personal Mets Blog here.