Out in Arizona, the Mets lost an ugly game to the Diamondbacks, 12-8 (box score), where they gave up two leads and five home runs, including three to Luis Gonzalez. The "Amazins'" newly called up pitcher James Baldwin gave up 6 runs by the 3rd inning and reliever Dan Wheeler gave up 6 more runs in 1 1/3 innings of work. The Mets had their chances, actually providing two leads to Baldwin and tallying 17 hits for the game, but they didn't capitalize on their situations. With bases loaded and two outs in the 5th inning, Art Howe let pitcher Ricky Bottalico bat because he was short on arms in the bullpen. Needless to say, Bottalico grounded out to end the inning.
The Post details the ugliness:
- The Mets allowed five home runs, including three to Luis Gonzalez alone - the first time in seven years they allowed an opposing hitter to go yard three times (Bobby Higginson, June 30, 1997).
- Two different Mets pitchers - James Baldwin and Dan Wheeler - surrendered six runs apiece in the first 3 1/3 innings.
- The Mets made two wild pitches, committed two errors -including a dropped pop-up - and lost one fly ball that fell for an RBI triple.
- Jason Phillips suffered a brain cramp when he began trotting to first as if he'd drawn a walk - in reality, it was only 3-2 in the count.
This single game wasn't a low point in Mets history, since there have been quite a few, but from the surface, it didn't look good. On the plus side, Al Leiter, with his 1.53 ERA, starts for the Mets tonight. With Leiter's luck, the Mets offense will be lacking.