Series: Game 1 of 3

Chi Cubs leads 1-0 (as of 3/31)

Game 1: Monday, March 31
Chi Cubs15Final
NY Mets2
Game 2: Wednesday, April 2
Chi Cubs1Final
NY Mets4
Game 3: Thursday, April 3
Chi Cubs6Final
NY Mets3

Cubs 15

(1-0, 1-0 away)

Mets 2

(0-1, 0-1 home)

    1:10 PM ET, March 31, 2003

    Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    CHC 401014500 15 16 0
    NYM 020000000 2 4 0

    W: K. Wood (1-0)

    L: T. Glavine (0-1)

    Glavine pulled in debut for Mets

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Tom Glavine got off to a great start -- for all of one pitch.

    Glavine opened the season with a called strike, then completely fell apart. Booed off the mound in the fourth inning, the Mets' prized newcomer was long gone by the time Corey Patterson finished with two home runs and seven RBIs Monday in the Chicago Cubs' 15-2 romp over the embarrassed New Yorkers.

    It was the most-lopsided opener in the major leagues since the Chicago White Sox beat up the St. Louis Browns 17-3 on April 17, 1951, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball's statistician.

    "It certainly wasn't what I envisioned or hoped for,'' Glavine said. "But I guess in the scheme of things, it was just one game and I'll try not to read more into it than what it was, which was a bad day for me and a bad day for us.''

    Sammy Sosa stayed stuck at 499 career home runs, hitting an RBI single and drawing three walks before leaving early. Everything else went right for the Cubs in their highest-scoring opener since 1899.

    "It was nice to be a part of,'' Sosa said. "We're going to take it from here.''

    New manager Dusty Baker saw ace Kerry Wood win with five effective innings on a cold, blustery afternoon and watched Juan Cruz tie a team record by striking out six straight batters in relief.

    "To me, it's a victory. It's No. 1, hopefully of many,'' Baker said.

    His Cubs hope to follow the same formula.

    "Dusty's been telling us, 'You try to jump them early and try to get them to quit,''' Patterson said.

    For new Mets manager Art Howe, his debut was an utter disaster. Glavine struggled, and New York's defense -- which led the majors in errors last year in a last-place finish -- looked even worse. Mets pitchers walked 12 and gave up 16 hits.

    The sold-out stands at spruced-up Shea Stadium were half-full by the middle innings, with fans sitting through a gametime temperature of 39 degrees with winds at 20 mph. Yet that didn't stop the bundled-up crowd from jeering when the Mets couldn't even throw the ball around the infield without a mistake.

    "We're not going to lose any sleep over that. It wasn't a pretty game, but we can only get better,'' Howe said.

    By the late innings, it had become a nonstop boo-fest. The lone break came when fans chanted "Lenny! Lenny!'' as former Mets pinch-hitter came to bat for the Cubs.

    Overall, the Mets set a team record for runs allowed in an opener. Not a good omen for them, considering they started the afternoon with the best winning percentage on opening day -- .634 -- in major league history.

    "Obviously, this team is fighting the stigma of what happened last year and to come out and have things go the way they went today, I'm sure there's going to be a certain amount of 'same old Mets' or 'there were go again' and all that stuff,'' Glavine said. "But you know what? It's one game.''

    Glavine never found his rhythm, walking the leadoff man and giving up four runs in the first inning. The two-time Cy Young Award winner spent the past 16 years pitching for rival Atlanta, but left to sign a $35 million, three-year contract with the Mets.

    Patterson hit RBI singles in the first and third innings as the Cubs took a 5-2 lead. He also made a nice catch on Mike Piazza's deep drive to center field, and that was plenty as Wood limited the Mets to two hits and two runs in his first Opening-Day start.

    Patterson hit a three-run homer off Mike Bacsik in the sixth that made it 10-2.

    Bacsik walked the bases loaded in the seventh and Mark Bellhorn lofted a high fly that center fielder Roger Cedeno lost in the wind, with the ball dropping 30 feet behind him for a three-run triple. Patterson followed with a two-run homer.

    The Mets were charged with two errors, but the day was filled with misplays and misadventures. Gold Glove second baseman Roberto Alomar skipped a nonchalant throw on a routine grounder, right fielder Jeromy Burnitz stumbled toward the wall on Patterson's first homer and no one covered second base on an early hit.

    Game notes

    Piazza's hearing on his appeal of a five-game suspension was heard shortly after the final out. The All-Star catcher was penalized in spring training for charging Dodgers pitcher Guillermo Mota and later going into the locker room looking for him. Piazza and the Mets hope to get a decision Tuesday. ...Patterson had his second multihomer game. The other came in Colorado last season. ... The Mets fell to 26-16 in openers. The Cubs are 70-56-2 in their 128 openers. ... Glavine fell to 2-3 in Opening-Day starts.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press