09/14/2003 3:38 PM ET
Mets no match for Guerrero's cycle
By Kevin T. Czerwinski / MLB.com
MONTREAL -- Tom Glavine's quest for .500 ended Sunday afternoon under the Olympic Stadium roof.
The veteran southpaw, who hasn't finished with a sub-.500 record since 1990, will be looking up at the break-even point this season after suffering the loss in a 7-3 decision to Montreal. Glavine (9-13) is slated to start two more times this season. Had he won or earned a no-decision Sunday, the possibility existed that he could have come back on the final day of the season on short rest. But after struggling through five largely ineffective innings against Montreal, the point became moot.
"I've been prepared in my mind that it possibly wasn't going to happen," Glavine said. "I don't want to end the season under .500, but there are a lot of things you can't control. Things haven't worked out. Some of it is my fault and some of it is not my fault."
The loss was also the ninth in 10 games for New York, which is now one defeat shy of equaling last season's total of 86. The Expos, meanwhile, won for the fourth time in five games as Vladimir Guerrero hit for the cycle, igniting the 21,417 fans in attendance. Montreal also kept alive its slim hopes in the National League Wild Card race.
Glavine shared the blame on Sunday with right fielder Roger Cedeño, who struggled to field a pair of hard-hit but catchable balls, each of which turned out to be RBI triples. Cedeño got a late break on Guerrero's shot in the fifth, mistiming his jump as the ball bounced off the wall. Guerrero steamed into third, delivering what would prove to be the game-winning RBI.
Cedeño also could handle Michael Barrett's long fly ball in second. He got a poor jump and Barrett wound up on third. Glavine, who allowed five runs on seven hits, chose his words carefully afterwards, working hard not to ignite a firestorm.
"Let's just say I'm disappointed and leave it at that," Glavine said. "There have been a lot of things that have gone wrong. I just have to keep going out there and making my pitches and see what happens."
When asked if he thought those balls could have been caught, Glavine's words were measured carefully.
"Sure I did," he said. "I don't know what happened. The bottom line is that they weren't and we lost. But I'm not going to dwell on it. What are you going to do? You try to make the best pitch you can make and whatever happens beyond that, there's not much you can do about it."
Cedeño didn't meet with the media after the game, issuing a statement through a team spokesman that he "felt bad because he thought he had a chance at catching both those balls."
While Cedeño's miscues drew attention, Glavine did allow the leadoff runner to reach base in two of the five innings he worked and on each occasion it proved costly. Guerrero led off the second with a double, eventually scoring on Barrett's RBI triple. Barrett later scored on Joe Vitiello's grounder to first, cutting what had been a three-run New York lead to one.
The Expos evened things up in the third. Brad Wilkerson negotiated a leadoff walk, went to third on a Jose Vidro single and scored on an Orlando Cabrera sacrifice fly.
Glavine's final inning proved to be the most frustrating. He has had blister problems on and off this season and had to have work done on his finger by assistant trainer Mike Herbst while the Mets were at-bat in the top of the fifth. Glavine retired the first two batters before hitting Cabrera with a pitch. Guerrero followed the triple.
"It was right against the wall and he leaped as high as he could," Mets manager Art Howe said. "Both those balls he missed by inches. When you realize how close both those balls are to being caught, you realize it's a game of inches. Some days those inches go your way, some days they don't."
Todd Zeile then singled to score Guerrero. Glavine's afternoon came to an end in the top of the sixth when he was lifted for a pinch-hitter, his brother Mike, who was making his Major League debut.
Guerrero sealed the victory with a two-run homer off Dan Wheeler in the seventh, completing his cycle. He drew a standing ovation from the crowd and even came out for a curtain call after hitting for the first Expos cycle -- sixth in club history -- since Wilkerson turned the trick on June 24 against Pittsburgh.
Glavine, who has been a victim of low run support much of this season, aided his own cause early, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead with a two-run single off Zach Day (8-7) in the second.
Kevin T. Czerwinski is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.