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Lost in Shea

Mets offer little resistance in Cards' Game 3 blowout

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Posted: Sunday October 15, 2000 12:12 AM
Updated: Sunday October 15, 2000 12:15 AM

  Mike Piazza Mike Piazza and the Mets are down, but not out. AP

By John Donovan,

NEW YORK -- Maybe it was a letdown. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe the New York Mets were just too aggressive. Or maybe they weren't aggressive enough.

Whatever, the Mets found themselves on the wrong end of an 8-2 blowout Saturday in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. And, afterward, they made it clear enough that they liked it none too much.

Not that they're panicking or anything.

"We're still up 2-1, with two games to play here," said starting pitcher Rick Reed, shelled for eight hits and five runs, four of them earned, in 3 1/3 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals. "So we feel pretty good about ourselves."

Good, maybe, but not as good as they felt coming into the game. The Mets saw the Cards pull to within a game of tying the first-to-four series, with Game 4 scheduled for Sunday evening.

The only team that kept its streak alive Saturday was the visiting team, which has won all three games. The Mets won Games 1 and 2 in St. Louis' Busch Stadium earlier in the week, but they gave up two first-inning runs Saturday and never caught up.

Edgardo Alfonzo said the Mets, who had won five straight playoff games this season, may have succumbed to a bit of overconfidence. He even used the words "give up."

Many in the Mets' subdued clubhouse didn't agree. But, for sure, they didn't play as well as they did in the first games of the series.

"We should come out more aggressive," Alfonzo said.

Across the room, first baseman Todd Zeile thought the opposite was true, especially considering the gem that Cardinals starter Andy Benes threw at the Mets.

"He kept us off balance," Zeile said of Benes, who went eight innings, gave up six hits and only two runs. "He used our aggressiveness against us."

St. Louis' Darryl Kile is scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Mets' Bobby J. Jones. A loss by the Mets would force the series back to St. Louis for Game 6 on Tuesday, after Game 5 Monday night.

It's something none of the Mets are thinking about at this point.

"Were not letting up at all," Mets catcher Mike Piazza said. "We just know, today, we got beat."

Whatever the reason.

Related information
Notebook: NLCS Game 3
Cards' Locker Room: A first step
On the Diamond: Cards face house of horrors
Game 3: Cards score early and often, get back in series
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