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harris-saves-the-day-in-rubber-game | August | 2007 Articles

2007 Archives

Harris Saves the Day in Rubber Game

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The series ended with quite the same fireworks as we saw in the middle game, except in the final, the Braves came out on top. For the second straight game a team made one final effort to overcome a deficit and came up just short as the Mets dropped their fourth series of the year to Atlanta. Tim Hudson ended up with a quality start but not the kind of game we have come to expect from the right-hander. The box score doesn't really tell the whole story though. Hudson gave up nine hits but almost every single one was a ground ball that found a hole. It was a game of seeing-eye singles for the Mets, who did not get an extra-base hit off of Hudson the entire game. Ron Mahay and Peter Moylan came in to work two hitless innings of relief with Moylan the best I have ever seen him. The side-armer tossed a perfect inning on five pitches with three ground ball outs. When Tyler Yates was brought in to pitch the ninth with a four-run lead is when everything got a little scary. Yates' struggles last month are well known but the power right-hander hadn't allowed a run in his past four appearances. Yates allowed three runs on three hits, capped off by a David Wright home run to bring the Mets to within one. In even more of a sign that Bob Wickman may not be healthy, Oscar Villarreal was brought in to protect the one-run lead. On his second pitch, Carlos Delgado shot one out to left that Willie Harris, who had already made a spectacular play, brought back, taking a game-tying homer away from the slugging first baseman. Villarreal then got Moises Alou to ground out and end the game. John Maine was shutting down the Braves, but for the second straight start, Maine had an inning where he imploded. With the Mets up two-one going into the fifth, Maine just lost all control. After a Tim Hudson bloop hit started off the inning, Willie Harris drew a walk. Kelly Johnson grounded into a fielder's choice to put runners on first and third and then Chipper Jones, like he has done all his career, crushed the Mets fans' hearts with one swing. At the crack of the bat, Chipper put his head down and started into his trot as the ball hit about 40 feet up on the scoreboard out in right-center. Not content with just a three-run lead, Mark Teixeira introduced himself to the New York fans with a solo shot out the same way four pitches later. Every starter including Hudson collected at least one hit for a team total of twelve. This was a game the Braves really needed to have going into the Phillies series and with mix of offense, pitching, and defense they were able to pull through. Kelly Johnson, Willie Harris, and Mark Teixeira all added some nice glove work in. Two young lefties head to the mound tomorrow as Chuck James will face off with Cole Hamels, who has struggled of late. The game has a 7:35 ET start time and will be carried on TBS.

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