Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 4/2)

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 1

(1-1, 1-1 away)

Mets 4

(1-1, 1-1 home)

7:10 PM ET, April 2, 2003

Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

123456789 R H E
CHC 100000000 1 - -
NYM 31000000 - 4 - -

W: A. Leiter (1-0)

L: M. Clement (0-1)

S: A. Benitez (1)

Sosa laments homer that got away

NEW YORK (AP) -- Sammy Sosa took a big swing and sent a fly ball soaring to left field. Sure it was home run No. 500, he immediately threw his arms up, took a signature hop and clapped his hands.

"I hit it great,'' he said. "Everybody thought it.''

Cliff Floyd
Left Field
New York Mets
Profile
2002 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R SB AVG
146 28 79 86 15 .288

Instead of history and a tying three-run homer, however, the ball was blown back into the park and fell for a harmless out, exactly the kind of break the New York Mets needed Wednesday night in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Al Leiter gave the Mets the type of pitching performance they lacked in Tom Glavine's debut, a 15-2 drubbing in Monday's opener. Cliff Floyd and Roger Cedeno homered, giving manager Art Howe his first victory in a New York uniform.

"The first one is the toughest,'' Howe said.

The Mets won minus All-Star catcher Mike Piazza, who began serving his four-game suspension for charging Los Angeles reliever Guillermo Mota and going into the Dodgers' clubhouse looking for him in spring training.

The Cubs were trying for their first 2-0 start since 1995, and Sosa nearly gave them a good chance to get it.

Walked his first two times up, Sosa came to bat again in the sixth with runners on first and second, no outs and Chicago trailing 4-1. With fans in the left-center field bleachers standing and a representative from the Hall of Fame ready to collect his bat, Slammin' Sammy cut loose.

"I put a great swing on that ball,'' Sosa said.

To the sparse Shea Stadium crowd, it looked like a home run and the fans let out a big shout. Sosa also thought he'd become the 18th major leaguer to reach 500 homers as he put his head down and began a wide trot.

"I thought he hit it,'' Leiter said. "When he did his little dance, I thought it, too.''

But the ball got caught in the wind and dropped into Floyd's mitt on the warning track, Sosa cut across the diamond back to the dugout and that was the closest the Cubs came to getting back in the game.

"I probably hit it too high. The wind stopped it,'' Sosa said. "I wish I could get it over with today. Sooner or later, I'm going to hit it.''

Leiter (1-0) limited the Cubs to four hits in six innings. David Weathers and Mike Stanton each followed with a scoreless inning and Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for his first save.

Moises Alou hit an RBI single in the first, but the Mets ended the inning with one of their three double plays. Horrible in the field Monday, New York improved -- first baseman Mo Vaughn even got a big cheer when he lumbered to beat Cubs pinch-hitter Lenny Harris to the bag on a grounder.

Floyd's first home run for the Mets, a drive estimated at 455 feet, and a shaky outing by Matt Clement (0-1) helped New York score three times in the first. Clement tied a Cubs' record by throwing three wild pitches in an inning.

Cedeno homered in the second, and Clement was pulled after three innings because of tightness in his left lower back.

"He jammed it. We think he'll be OK,'' Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

Cubs relievers did a lot better than Clement. Mark Guthrie took over in the fourth and struck out the side, then Joe Borowski fanned the side in the fifth. On opening day, Chicago reliever Juan Cruz struck out six in a row all by himself.

Game notes


Terry Adams was the last Cubs pitcher to throw three wild pitches in an inning, doing it in 1998. The major league record for a regular-season game is four, shared by Walter Johnson and Phil Niekro. Rick Ankiel threw five in one inning during the 2000 playoffs. ... Mets batting coach Denny Walling was released from the hospital after having an angioplasty to relieve a narrowing of a coronary artery. He is expected to be out 7-to-10 days. Chris Chambliss, the Mets' minor league hitting coordinator, will fill in for Walling.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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