10/12/06 11:16 PM ET
Mets Short Hops: Game 1
Beltran, Glavine come up big in opener against St. Louis
By Chris Girandola / MLB.com
A pitchers' duel with both starters matching zeros for most of the game? And then, Carlos Beltran's decisive blast? This could be a classic NLCS. Frozen moment
The first out of the game was a tell-tale sign that Cliff Floyd may be reduced to pinch-hitting duties for the rest of the playoffs. Floyd, suffering from a sore left Achilles tendon, gingerly jogged to his right to catch a fly ball by St. Louis leadoff hitter David Eckstein. Then in the second inning, after Floyd appeared to come up lame racing down another popout, his at-bat clearly defined his status. On a 2-2 count, the Mets left fielder pulled up in agony running the bases on a fly ball that ended up being foul. After his inning-ending flyout two pitches later, the sight of Floyd limping into the dugout and then into the tunnel told it all.
0 -- As in Tom Glavine producing another scoreless outing, his second in as many starts in this year's playoffs. Counting his last start in the regular season, Glavine has gone 19 innings without allowing a run.
Five balls: Beltran broke up a scoreless tie with a two-run home run off Cardinals starter Jeff Weaver that nearly hit his number on the giant scoreboard in right field. The 430-foot blast essentially ended Weaver's night and sent the Mets to a Game 1 victory.
Five balls: Glavine holding the Cardinals scoreless for seven innings was big, but him lasting seven innings was even bigger as it saved the bullpen for the rest of the series.Sense of October
Most of the NLCS-record crowd of 56,311 was already at Shea by the time a video montage of Mets legend Darryl Strawberry appeared on the video board in left field.
Chants of "Darryl, Darryl" brought back memories of his days with the club and the 1986 World Series title. And when Strawberry walked to the pitcher's mound to throw out the first pitch, it was clear that playoff baseball definitely was in the house.Lines of the Game
4 AB, 1 R, 1 H, HR, 2 RBIs
Comment: His home run produced the only two runs and won the game -- enough said.
Paul Lo Duca
4 AB, 1 R, 2 H
Comment: Lo Duca is batting .539 in the playoffs. So much for an injured hand.
4 AB, 2 H, 2 2Bs, 1 BB
Comment: Delgado is definitely making the most of his first time in the postseason. Pitching
7 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 Ks
Comment: Glavine only threw 89 pitches, which bodes well for him and the Mets if there is a Game 5. Spoken
"Chavy's been picking us up all year. He's been one of our unsung heroes and an MVP-type player. When you put Chavy in the game, he doesn't miss a beat."
-- Mets manager Willie Randolph, on Endy Chavez stepping in for Floyd Next step
Last week, John Maine set the table for Glavine. Now, the veteran lefty hands it over to the young right-hander in Game 2 on Friday.
Chris Girandola is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.