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Reed rocked early

By MARC TOPKIN

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2000


NEW YORK -- Not much went right for Mets right-hander Rick Reed on Saturday.

While New York left-handers Mike Hampton and Al Leiter shut down the predominantly left-handed hitting Cardinals in the first two games, Reed got abused early and often, giving up eight hits and five runs (four earned) in less than four innings.

"It's a tough lineup to deal with if you're right-handed or left-handed," Reed said. "They can really knock around right-handers." Reed faced 20 batters; 10 got on base. "When I needed to make quality pitches, I didn't do it," he said.

"He didn't have his fastball tonight," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "When he made good pitches, he wasn't making them consistently, and he didn't get it called."

BASIC STRATEGY: St. Louis' Darryl Kile will start on three days' rest for the first time this season, but he said it won't be much, if any, different than a normal outing.

"If you look throughout the course of the season, there's days where you have your good stuff and there's days where you don't," Kile said. "Your job as a pitcher is to try to find a way to win, no matter if you're coming back early or if you have extra rest or whatever."

Manager Tony La Russa said Kile, who is pitching today so he also can work a potential Game 7, should be in good shape since he threw only 83 pitches in Wednesday's opener.

"He's been protected all year so that he'd have that little extra for this type of year, and I think he'll go out there with his normal really good stuff," La Russa said.

Said Will Clark: "We've got our ace and we'll see if we can't tie this series up."

BIG MAC: La Russa said he was looking for the right opportunity to use Mark McGwire as a pinch-hitter, and he felt he had it with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth, but McGwire flied out.

"We had a lot of things going for us, so I thought I'd take a shot," La Russa said.

IN TODAY'S EPISODE ... : As if there isn't enough to write about with the Mets and Yankees headed toward a possible Subway Series matchup, the New York tabloids are obsessed with potential managerial changes.

Thursday, the New York Post had Lou Piniella leaving Seattle and replacing Valentine with the Mets. Saturday, the Daily News had the "news" that if Valentine is not re-signed, the Mets will go hard after Giants manager Dusty Baker. That's the same Baker whom Valentine outmanaged in the NL division series. The News said the Mets will offer Valentine a contract but won't meet his request for a three-year deal.

ON THE RUN: The job Andy Benes did pitching was one thing. But singling in the fourth inning, then scoring from second with a headfirst slide? "I know my slide was really bad," Benes said. "But that's what I had."

MISCELLANY: Mets second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo extended his post-season hitting streak to nine games. ... The Mets had won five straight post-season games. ... The Cardinals' 2-0 first-inning lead was their first in the series.

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