Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

NY Mets won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, August 18
Colorado3Final
NY Mets6
Game 2: Saturday, August 19
Colorado4Final
NY Mets7
Game 3: Sunday, August 20
Colorado0Final
NY Mets2

Rockies 0

(59-65, 27-36 away)

Mets 2

(75-48, 38-22 home)

1:10 PM ET, August 20, 2006

Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

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COL 000000000 0 5 1
NYM 01000100 - 2 4 0

W: O. Hernandez (9-9)

L: J. Jennings (7-10)

S: B. Wagner (31)

El Duque steps up as Mets shut out Rockies

NEW YORK (AP) -- Knowing that Pedro Martinez is sidelined and perhaps Tom Glavine, too, Orlando Hernandez came up with one of his performances of old.

Baffling hitters by changing speeds and arm angles, Hernandez won for the fifth time in six decisions, leading the New York Mets over the Colorado Rockies 2-0 Sunday for a three-game sweep.

"Vintage El Duque," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "It reminded me of when he was on top of his game."

Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran homered as the Mets completed their eighth series sweep.

Before the game, Glavine said his pitching shoulder is being examined for a possible blood clot, and depending on the diagnosis he could miss the rest of the season or be back on the mound next weekend. Martinez is on the 15-day disabled list after straining his right calf Monday, leaving Hernandez in a rotation that currently includes Steve Trachsel, John Maine and Dave Williams.

"Guys are going out there, stepped up and pitched some big games here lately. That's part of being a championship team," said Billy Wagner, who saved all three games of the series to increase his season total to 31 in 36 chances.

Hernandez (9-9) struck out eight in six innings, and allowed five hits and one walk. Chad Bradford, Aaron Heilman and Wagner followed with hitless relief.

El Duque got into his biggest jam in the fifth, when Brad Hawpe singled leading off and Yorvit Torrealba doubled. Hernandez struck out Clint Barmes, threw a called third strike past pitcher Jason Jennings (7-10) and then fanned Jamey Carroll. He punched his pitching hand into his glove in excitement, and the public address system played Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke."

"It's some good luck," Hernandez said.

Hernandez caught a break in the sixth when catcher Mike DiFelice threw out Cory Sullivan trying to steal second, and Matt Holliday followed with a ground-rule double. The 40-year-old right-hander then threw a called third strike past his final batter, Garrett Atkins.

"He was absolutely at his best in traffic today," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "When he had men on, he was able to throw at different speeds and different arm angles. I don't think anyone has ever pitched in the majors who can show you that variety and three different arm angles and change of speeds, except maybe Luis Tiant."

Yet before the game, Hernandez felt sore, according to Beltran, and the Mets had Darren Oliver in reserve in case El Duque didn't feel good warming up.

"Every veteran pitcher that has gone through the wars that these guys have gone through, they all have their days," pitching coach Rick Peterson said. "Sometimes you don't know how your body is going to respond until you actually start to warm up, but he felt very confident going in there."

At the plate, Hernandez reached twice, on a single and an error, and he stole the first base of his major league career.

"He doesn't get paid to steal bases," Delgado said with a smile.

Wearing the uniform style of their 1986 World Series championship team for the second straight day, the Mets won despite getting just four hits, extended their home winning streak to eight and beat the Rockies for the 13th time in their last 14 matchups at Shea Stadium. New York, an NL-best 75-48, is 27 games over .500 for the first time since 1999.

Jennings dropped to 1-4 in his last 11 starts, giving up four hits in six innings. The Rockies have scored just nine runs in his last six starts.

Leading off the bottom of the first, Jose Reyes hit a liner off the inside of the pitcher's left thigh.

"It hurts. It got a little stiff each inning and it's stiff now," Jennings said. "But I don't think it affected my pitching."

Delgado homered leading off the second (No. 29) and Beltran leading off the sixth (No. 35). Colorado dropped to 5-15 on the road since the All-Star break.

"In a series like this, whatever weaknesses we may have kind of come out and show themselves," Jennings said. "We think we can play with these guys, but it's obvious that they're better in some ways."

Game notes


Mets OF Cliff Floyd, recovering from an Achilles' injury, is expected to start working out at the spring training complex Tuesday. Floyd is returning to workouts following the death of his sister, Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. ... Wagner's 315th save moved him past Robb Nen into sole possession of 14th on the career list.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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