October 18, 2006: Game Six of the NLCS
|Date: October 18, 2006|
|Mets starter: John Maine|
|Winning pitcher: John Maine|
|Key player(s): Jose Reyes|
|Key play: Reyes' leadoff homer in 1st|
As the NLCS returned to Shea Stadium, the Mets were facing extiction in the Series. They rested their hopes on John Maine to keep them alive another day. Maine pitched five and one-third shutout innings with five strikeouts, holding the Cardinals in check. The bullpen also pitched well and the Mets had a 4-2 win to tie the Series at three games apiece.
Maine faced a Cardinal scoring threat in the first inning. The Redbirds loaded the bases with two out when Scott Rolen came to bat. Maine got Rolen to fly out to right field, ending the inning.
The Mets got quick offense from Jose Reyes. Facing Cardinals' starter Chris Carpenter, Reyes led off the first inning with a home run for a 1-0 lead. The Mets added another run in the bottom of the fourth when Shawn Green hit a single to center field that scored Carlos Beltran.
In the bottom of the seventh, Braden Looper entered the game to pitch for St. Louis. Looper retired the first two batters, but then Michael Tucker got a single and stole second base. Reyes then singled Tucker to third and stole second himself. Paul Lo Duca got the Mets' third straight single to score Tucker and Reyes and make the score 4-0.
Billy Wagner took the mound in the ninth inning. Billy surrendered two hits to start the inning, but then recorded two outs. Pinch-hitter So Taguchi came up and doubled to drive in two runs, cutting the Met lead in half. Wagner then got David Eckstein on a ground out to end the game. The Mets avoided elimination and sent the Series to the ultimate seventh game.