07/14/2002 5:40 pm ET
Alomar doesn't bobble in Mets win
Fans pleased with win and toy they received
By Patrick Mulrenin / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- The Mets have found a way to go undefeated at Shea Stadium for the remainder of the season.
Turn every home game into a Bobblehead Day.
For some unexplained reason, the Mets are successful during that popular giveaway day. The Mets are a modest 2-0 on Bobblehead Days in 2002, with their latest win coming on Sunday over the Phillies on Roberto Alomar Bobblehead Day.
Bobbleheads do not ensure that the particular player will be productive, seeing as Mike Piazza did not play on April 28 when his likeness was given to fans, but there is always the possibility that the player will be the star of the game, as Alomar was in the Mets' 4-2 win.
New York's second baseman had the key hit in the game, a two-run double in the second inning.
Pedro Astacio (9-3) picked up the win and Brandon Duckworth (5-7) got the defeat as the Mets and Phillies split the four-game series. Bobby Abreu and Ricky Ledee hit solo home runs for Philadelphia.
"I think that it is nice to (get a big hit) every day," Alomar said. "It was nice to do it on Bobblehead Day, but I would like to do it every day."
Alomar actually had two big hits during his second inning at-bat with the bases loaded and two outs. The Mets led, 1-0, but desperately needed to get a hit in a situation that has been very difficult for them.
"Any time you have two outs, it's not an easy thing to do to get a hit," Alomar said.
Duckworth had the bases full of Mets when Alomar stepped to the plate. The crowd of 40,463 erupted when Alomar blooped a pitch into center field that would have scored at least one run.
Or at least they would have.
Home plate umpire Mark Wegner waved the play dead immediately, sent everyone back to their respective bases and ordered Alomar back into the batter's box. Catcher Mike Lieberthal had called for time just before the pitch was delivered and Wegner had granted it to him.
Despite the adverse reaction from Mets faithful, Alomar said that he heard Lieberthal ask for time and Wegner made the right call.
"If you get angry, it takes you out of the game," Alomar said. "This is a mental game and you have to stay focused mentally."
Alomar stepped back in against Duckworth and bettered his first attempt by pulling a ground-rule double down the right-field line, scoring Timo Perez and Vance Wilson.
"I did not lose my concentration," Alomar said. "I came back and battled and got a hit."
The Mets added an insurance run in the third inning on Edgardo Alfonzo's sacrifice fly, giving New York a 4-1 lead.
Armando Benitez closed out the ninth for his 21st save.
Alomar has been more productive within the last month, which he credited to feeling more comfortable at the plate. He is currently riding an eight-game hit streak. Alomar is batting .429 (15-for-35) during the streak with 10 runs scored and eight RBIs. He has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games.
Manager Bobby Valentine said the switch-hitting Alomar has been taking swings from the right side of the plate during every batting practice rather than only doing that when the team is facing a left-handed starter.
"We now have a (left-handed) guy throwing batting practice and I try to face him every day to continue to stay sharp on the right-handed side," Alomar said. "That has helped me a lot."
Having a Bobblehead Day didn't seem to hurt either.
Patrick Mulrenin is an editorial producer for MLB.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.