Sweep Deprived: D-Backs Fall to New York in Series Closer

After getting battered about by Arizona over the past two weeks both at home and on the road, the New York Mets dished out a little comeuppance by defeating the D-Backs, 6-4, this afternoon at Chase Field. Led by the surprisingly sturdy pitching of lefty Oliver Perez (who's had a decidedly disappointing year on the mound), NY's 6-4 win came about after squashing a late rally by the Snakes, who were seeking to secure their second series sweep of the season.

Gary Sheffield and a few other Mets sluggers also got a bit of payback against Jon Garland, who'd trumped their lineup during a complete-game performance back on August 2. In the days following that particular loss, game footage was studied extensively and the New Yawkers reportedly adjusted their pitching machines to mimic Garland's sinker. Their homework started paying dividends during the sixth inning of today's game, when they roughed up the Arizona starter and capitalized on a slew of his mistakes.

Garland, who was relatively spotless up until that point and helped propel the D-Backs to an early lead, began experiencing some major control issues. To wit: A wild pitch provided an opportunity for David Wright to get his ass from first to third and eventually across home plate. (He shouldn't have even been on base in the first place, but a passed ball by catcher Chris Snyder during what should've been a strikeout put the Mets right-hander aboard.) Sheffield then sent a single rolling in to center and later advanced to second off another wild pitch, Jeff Francoeur got the base-on-balls treatment, and an RBI single by Fernando Tatis drove the score up to 3-1.

A pair of rib-eye singles by Josh Whitesell and Miguel Montero tied things up in the seventh, but the Mets answered with back-to-back base knocks by Luis Castillo and Cory Sullivan in the next half-inning to go up for good. The same frame also saw both Jon Rauch and A.J. Hinch get 86'd by home-plate umpire Mike Everitt after the reliever and his manager argued a few bad calls which clearly should've been Ks. Another frustrating factor was the cooling of Trent Oeltjen's recent white-hot hitting streak, as the Aussie was either repeatedly walked or simply came up short during his at-bats. (So much for the "Wonder from Down Under.")

In the end, the D-Backs wound up getting two-outta-three against the Mets, and based on their upcoming schedule, it's likely going to be their last series win for quite a while. The Dodgers are up next, followed by the Philadelphia Phillies, the Houston Astros, and a few other teams with both winning records and legit shots of making it to the Fall Classic. Looks at the bright side, fans: There's less than two months of torture left, and by then the Arizona Cardinals' season will be in full swing.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.