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October 19, 2006 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-10-19

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10A-The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 19, 2006
Maine sparkles; Mets,
Cards now deadlocked

NEW YORK (AP) - With the
New York Mets on the brink of
elimination, John Maine pitched
a game to remember.
The rookie dominated the St.
Louis Cardinals with the poise of
a veteran, Jose Reyes sparked the
offense with a leadoff home run
and the Mets rock 'n' rolled at
boisterous Shea Stadium to beat
St. Louis 4-2 on last night and
force the NL championship series
to a decisive seventh game.
"He was amazing," Mets
catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "I
think after the first inning he
really settled down. ... He showed
me a lot tonight."
Reyes had three hits and two
stolen bases, Shawn Green boost-
ed the lead with a fourth-inning
RBI single and Lo Duca let the
loud crowd of 56,334 exhale with
a two-run single in the seventh
off Braden Looper that made it
4-0.
Now the pennant comes down
to Thursday night, when the Car-
dinals send Jeff Suppan to the
mound to save their season. The
Mets, carefully piecing together
their pitching following injuries
to Pedro Martinez and Orlando
Hernandez, will start Oliver
Perez on three days' rest.
Of 11 prior teams to trail 3-2
in the LCS and force-a seventh
game, eight won pennants. The
exceptions were the 1988 Mets,
the 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates and
2003 Boston Red Sox.
Darting in and out of trouble
twice in the first three innings,
Maine outpitched reigning NL Cy
Young Award winner Chris Car-
penter. Maine allowed two hits in
the first and none after that, pitch-
ing 5 1-3 shutout innings, striking
out five and walking four.

"I went to him before the game,
and I said, 'I wouldn't want any-
body else but you. Let's go!' " Lo
Duca said.
When it was time to come out,
he was circled on the mound like
a conquering hero: Reyes pat-
ted him on the back and David
Wright patted him on the shoul-
der. Maine acknowledged the
standing ovation with only a
small wave of his left hand as he
walked to the dugout.
"I try not to put too much pres-
sure on myself," Maine said. "I
just try to pound the strike zone
and get them to put it in play."
Chad Bradford, Guillermo
Mota, Aaron Heilman and Billy
Wagner finished. Wagner gave up
a two-run, two-out double to So
Taguchi in the ninth before retir-
ing David Eckstein on a game-
ending grounder.
In a rematch of Game 2 start-
ers who didn't get decisions, Car-
penter was nearly as good, just
not enough on this night. He gave
up two runs and seven hits in six
innings, dropping to 0-1 in his
two starts.
Shea Stadium was rocking,
with the volume on the speak-
ers turned up and the scoreboard
flashing quotes from Mets play-
ers praising the fans. In the first
Game 6 at the ballpark since the
famous comeback against Bos-
ton that was capped by Mookie
Wilson's grounder through Bill
Buckner's legs, the spirit of '86
was invoked on several signs.
"Uno, dos, adios," read another
sign.
Maine, a 25-year-old right-
hander, was obtained in January's
dump of Kris Benson to Balti-
more. In a tense time, he pro-
vided the cool of a veteran - on

days he pitches, he usually sits by
himself in the clubhouse before
the game doing Sudoku puzzles.
He got in trouble in the first and
third innings, but came up with
the big outs, perhaps the biggest
of his life. St. Louis had runners
at second and third with one out
in the first, before Maine fanned
Jim Edmonds on three pitches
and loaded the bases by hitting
Juan Encarnacion. Lo Duca saved
a run with a backhand stop of a
pitch in the dirt on a 1-2 pitch to
Scott Rolen, who then flied out.
Eckstein walked leading off
the third and stole second, but
Maine struck out Scott Spiezio
and, after intentionally walking
Albert Pujols, retired Edmonds
on a flyout and struck out Encar-
nacion.
That left St. Louis 0-for-5
with runners in scoring position.
Maine didn't allow any runners
past first after that.
Reyes' home run, a no-doubt-
about-it drive to right-center,
was his first in postseason play
- his first since Sept. 10. It was
the first leadoff homer Carpenter
allowed.
New York used small ball to
double its lead in the fourth. Car-
los Beltran singled into left field
leading off, advanced on a one-
out single by Wright - just his
second hit in 19 at-bats in the
LCS. Green then hit an opposite-
field liner into left.
Bradford got Rolen to hit into
an inning-ending double play
in the sixth, and Mota retired
pinch-hitter Chris Duncan on an
inning-ending double play in the
seventh. Then, following singles
by pinch-hitter and Reyes in the
bottom half, Lo Duca got the big
single against Looper.

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes led off the bottom of the first with a home run, helping New York pull into a 3-3 tie
with St. Louis in the NLCS.

Tom Glavine helped
the Mets open the
series with a 2-0 win.
So Taguchi socked a
go-ahead homer to lift
the Cards to a 9-6 win.
Jeff Suppan tossed a
gem to give Cards the
series lead in 5-0 win.

Mets slugfe<
series with s
tory.

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ENGLEMON
Continued from page SA
home-state Kentucky Wildcats, the
opportunity to play for Michigan
was just too tempting to refuse.
"When I came up here, my high
school coach was a big Michigan
fan, and he helped me get visits
and stuff up here;' Englemon said.
"When I came up here, I loved
the atmosphere. (Michigan safety)
Willis (Barringer) was my host,
and we just connected, so I just
decided to come up here instead of
Kentucky."
It didn't take long for Englemon
to prove his coaches' intuitions
right. In his redshirt freshman
year, 2004, Englemon played every
game and made eight special-teams
tackles, the second-best total on the
team.
Last season, Englemon took
another step up, when he filled in
for injured safety Ryan Mundy and
didn't miss a beat as the starter.
Now, Mundy's back. And while
Englemon hasn't relinquished his
role without a fight, he says that he
enjoys competing with Mundy for
playing time in the Wolverine sec-
ondary.
"It's a friendly competition,"
Englemon said. "Of course, me and
Ryan compete in a lot of things. It
just helps both of us get better. It
helps the position in itself. The
competition helps bring out the
best in everybody."
Although Mundy has started
more games, defensive coordinator
Ron English has found it difficult
to keep Englemon off the field. As
a backup, Englemon has already
collected 16 tackles.
And when he does get in,
Englemon's fresh legs increase his
already substantial playmaking
ability, as Penn State found out the
hard way Saturday.
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