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New York Mets Win, Force NLCS Game 7

Posted October. 20, 2006 03:02,   


New York Mets brought the conclusion of the National League Championship Series to its final match, Game 7. In Game 6, held on October 18 at Shea Stadium in New York, the Mets defeated Saint Louis, 4-2 to tie the series 3-3, thanks to their starter John Maine’s brilliant pitching and Jose Reyes’ home run. The champion of the NL this season is to be decided in Game 7, scheduled for October 19 at 9:20 a.m. at Shea Stadium.

Now it is the Mets that are riding the updraft. A remarkable point here is that this final match will be held in their home stadium, where they boast an outstanding record of 50 wins and 31 losses this season. There have been 11 precedent teams in the history of World Series or Championship Series that finally won the series in the final game after tying it from 2-3.

The hero of New York in Game 6 was Maine, the 25-year-old rookie. He stepped down from the mound pretty early in Game 2 as he offered five base on balls and four runs (three earned) in four innings. In Game 6, however, he shutout the Cardinals for five and one third innings, with five strikeouts and only two hits earned. It became his first career win in the postseason.

His win was more significant in that his opponent starter was Chris Carpenter, winner of the Cy Young Award last year. Maine has marked six wins, five losses and an ERA of 3.60 this season. After Maine overcame the crisis of two outs with bases loaded in the first inning by putting Scott Rolen out with a fly on the right field, Jose Reyes, in the Mets’ following attack, responded to his efforts with a leadoff homer which went over the right field fence. In the fourth inning, with one out and first and second base loaded with Carlos Beltran and David Wright who got hits, Shawn Green made a timely hit to widen the gap to 2-0.

In the seventh inning, the Mets got another chance with two outs and the second and third bases loaded after Michael Tucker and Reyes had hits and stolen bases while Braden Looper was pitching in relief for Carpenter. It was Paul Lo Duca who made another timely hit to add two scores for the team that sealed the game.

With only a single win left, the Cardinals were once so close to the World Series. But they blew the chances they had throughout the game. They had bases loaded with two outs in the first inning, and runners on the first and third bases in the third inning. In both the sixth and seventh inning, they put a damper on themselves by getting doubled up after they had a runner on the first inning with one out.

Oliver Perez (Mets) and Jeff Suppan (Cardinals) will start for their teams in Game 7, which will conclude their destiny in the NLCS this year.