July 5, 2002: Bacsik's First Major League Win

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Date: July 5, 2002
Mets starter: Mike Bacsik
Mets: 5
Marlins: 3
Winning pitcher: Mike Bacsik
Key player(s): Mike Bacsik, Tony Tarasco
Key play: Burnett’s wild pitches, Tarasco’s home run

The Mets faced the Marlins on a Friday night in Miami, Florida. The teams played the second of four games in a series. Mike Bacsik recorded his first major league win in a 5-3 Mets victory over the Fish.

Roberto Alomar doubled against Marlins’ starter A. J. Burnett to lead off the top of the first inning. Edgardo Alfonzo hit a single to advance Alomar to third base and Mike Piazza went down on strikes. Mo Vaughn was struck out and a wild pitch on a third strike to Timo Perez brought home Alomar. Jay Payton singled to score Alfonzo for a two-run Mets lead. With Roger Cedeno at bat, Payton went to second base on another wild pitch. Burnett then fanned Cedeno for the third out.

Luis Castillo hit a double against Bacsik to begin the bottom of the first. Preston Wilson’s sacrifice bunt moved Castillo to third base and Mike Lowell drew a walk. With Cliff Floyd at the plate, Castillo came home and Wilson went to second on catcher Piazza’s passed ball. Floyd popped out to third baseman Alfonzo and a single by Derrek Lee plated Lowell, tying the game at 2-2. Kevin Millar singled and Bacsik got Mike Redmond on a force play ground ball to Alfonzo that ended the inning.

Bacsik and Burnett each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. Alfonzo and Piazza drew back-to-back walks to open the top of the sixth. Vaughn was called out on strikes and Perez’s ground out to first baseman Lee advanced the runners to second and third base. With Payton at bat, Burnett threw his third wild pitch of the game to bring home Alfonzo for a 3-2 Mets lead. Payton walked and Burnett got Cedeno to hit an inning-ending force play grounder to shortstop Andy Fox. Mets’ reliever David Weathers then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Against Florida reliever Blaine Neal, Rey Ordonez reached on Fox’s error to lead off the top of the seventh. Tony Tarasco followed with a two-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Neal struck out Alomar and retired Alfonzo on a fly ball to right fielder Floyd. Piazza walked and the Marlins’ Oswaldo Mairena issued a walk to Vaughn. Perez went down on strikes to close out the inning and consecutive singles by Castillo and Wilson began the bottom half. Weathers got Lowell to hit a grounder to shortstop Ordonez for a double play. Mets’ reliever Jaime Cerda then retired Floyd on a pop-up to second baseman Alomar to finish off the inning.

After allowing a leadoff single to Payton, Mairena struck out three straight batters in the top of the eighth. Lee homered against Mets’ reliever Scott Strickland to open the bottom half. Millar drew a walk and Redmond was struck out. Fox hit a single and Mark Guthrie came in to pitch for New York. With pinch-hitter Tim Raines at the plate, Millar went to third base and Fox to second on Piazza’s second passed ball. Raines drew a walk to load the bases and Guthrie got Castillo to hit a ground ball to Alfonzo for an inning-ending double play. Florida reliever Vic Darensbourg then pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.

Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez retired Wilson on a fly ball to center fielder Payton to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Lowell fouled out to first baseman Joe McEwing. Benitez then threw a called third strike past Floyd for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory as Bacsik chalked up his first win in the major leagues.