Green helps Mets break out broom on Dodgers in NLDS

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Shawn Green glided toward the right-field

foul line to make the final catch, just as he envisioned.

Game 3 Breakdown

Unsung Hero

Shawn Green. The Mets' right fielder beat up on his former team with a 3-for-5 night, driving in a pair of runs with two doubles and a single as part of New York's 14-hit attack.


Jonathan Broxton. The Dodgers' large rookie reliever had little effect on the Mets' hitters. He entered the game in the sixth inning, trying to preserve a 5-4 lead. And he promptly surrendered three runs on four hits as the Mets took the lead for good.

Turning Point

Three straight at-bats in the top of the sixth. Jose Reyes, Paul Lo Duca and Carlos Beltran hit consecutive singles off Broxton as the Mets took a 7-5 lead.

On Deck

The National League Championship Series. Game 1 begins in New York on Wednesday against either St. Louis or San Diego. The Mets were 5-2 and 4-2 against the Padres and Cardinals respectively during the regular season.

Green and the hitters started fast, Billy Wagner closed it out

quickly and the New York Mets completed their first postseason

sweep since 1969, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-5 in Game 3

Saturday night.

After rolling in the first round, the Mets will open the NLCS at

Shea Stadium on Wednesday against the San Diego-St. Louis winner.

The Cardinals lead 2-1 in that best-of-five series.

"We played all kind of ball," Mets manager Willie Randolph

said. "We played long ball, small ball. Whatever it takes to get

it done."

Green had three hits and two RBI in a game decided by the

bullpens after starters Steve Trachsel and Greg Maddux made early


Wagner got the final out in all three games, retiring

pinch-hitter Ramon Martinez on a fly ball to Green to finish the


"The irony of this is crazy, to be celebrating in the visiting

clubhouse," said Green, who played for the Dodgers from 2000-04

and was acquired by the Mets from Arizona on Aug. 22.

"It's a little weird, after doing this in '04 on the other side

of the field," he said. "I was actually out there hoping that the

last ball came to me, and it did. It feels incredible."

Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca was moved to tears when he was traded

by the Dodgers to Florida in July 2004. Sent to the Mets last

offseason, he has no regrets now.

"There's a lot of guys in here who want to prove something,"

he said. "It's a good feeling to get it done," he said.

It was a familiar ending for the Dodgers, who are 1-12 in

postseason games since 1988, when they beat the Mets in the NLCS

and the Oakland Athletics in the World Series.

Jeff Kent had four hits, including a two-run homer, for Los


"We just got outplayed -- pitching, hitting, defense -- but

there's no sense in being specific," Kent said. "It doesn't

really matter. We got beat by a team that was playing better

baseball than us.

"We got, what, 16 hits and scored five runs? That's one you

shake your head at and wonder why. They got two less hits than we

did and scored almost twice as many runs."

The Mets, with Randolph guiding a roster assembled by general

manager Omar Minaya, had the NL East championship virtually wrapped

up by the All-Star break, and went on to win a league-high 97


Division and conquered

Los Angeles Dodgers
The NLDS hasn't been kind to the Dodgers. They have won only one series and lost four -- in dramatic fashion.
2006MetsL, 3-0
2004CardinalsL, 3-1
1996BravesL, 3-0
1995RedsL, 3-0
1981AstrosW, 3-2

But having to go without the injured Pedro Martinez and Orlando

Hernandez against the Dodgers seemed to make for a dicey


That turned out not to be the case because the Mets scored 19

runs in the three games, and their bullpen did its job.

"This is small step," Wagner said. "We're excited today, but

we know Wednesday we have to get ready again. We know there's a lot

we want to accomplish."

The relievers needed to come through -- Mets starters pitched

only 13 2/3 innings in the series.

Hardly a repeat from 1969, when the Tom Seaver-led Mets swept

the best-of-five NLCS from Atlanta.

"When El Duque and Pedro went down, we bounced back," Lo Duca

said. "I didn't get to pop the champagne here in 2004. I did in

2006. It's a happy day."

Lo Duca said he didn't watch any of the Dodgers' postseason

action in 2004.

While the Mets were breezing into this postseason, the streaky

Dodgers won their last seven games of the regular season to earn

the wild-card berth.

Perhaps they ran out of energy against New York. The Dodgers

certainly ran themselves out of a chance in Game 1 when they had

two runners tagged out at the plate on the same play.

Pedro Feliciano, the fourth of seven New York pitchers, earned

the victory. He got just one out, but it was a big one, as he

retired pinch-hitter Nomar Garciaparra on a grounder to the box

with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth and the Mets

trailing 5-4.

The Mets took a 7-5 lead in the sixth by scoring three runs off

losing pitcher Jonathan Broxton on consecutive one-out RBI singles

by Jose Reyes, Lo Duca and Carlos Beltran -- all softly-hit balls

that fell in front of charging outfielders.

Lo Duca blooped another run-scoring single off Brett Tomko in

the eighth, and the Mets got their final run on third baseman

Wilson Betemit's throwing error.

The Mets scored three times off Maddux in the first on

consecutive two-out singles by Beltran, Carlos Delgado, David

Wright, Cliff Floyd and Green.

Elias Says

Jeff Kent
Jeff Kent had eight hits in the series. Only one player had more hits in a postseason series that lasted three games: Fernando Vina had nine hits for the Cardinals in a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks in the 2002 NLDS.

• For more Elias Says, Click here.

It could have been worse for the Dodgers, but Lo Duca, who drew

a one-out walk, was thrown out trying to take third on Beltran's

hit, and first baseman James Loney made a leaping catch of Jose

Valentin's liner to end the inning.

The Mets got another run in the third on a two-out single by

Floyd and an RBI double by Green -- a ball that hit the top of the

left-field fence over the leaping Marlon Anderson.

Loney, a rookie replacing the injured Garciaparra at first base,

hit a two-run single in the fourth to chase Trachsel.

Darren Oliver, who relieved with one out and the tying runs in

scoring position, speared pinch-hitter Andre Ethier's liner and

threw to third to complete an inning-ending double play.

The Dodgers took a 5-4 lead by scoring three runs in the fifth

after Oliver retired the first two batters. Anderson singled and

Kent followed with a two-run homer.

J.D. Drew singled to chase Oliver, Russell Martin singled off

Chad Bradford, and Betemit walked to load the bases. Feliciano

relieved and walked Loney to force home the tiebreaking run before

retiring Garciaparra, who was limited to pinch-hitting duties after

tearing his left quadriceps in Game 2.

"We've been doing that all year," Wright said of the Mets'

success in rallying. "We're a resilient team. It seems when we get

down, it pushes us, motivates us more to take the lead."

Kent's ground-rule double in the sixth put runners at second and

third with two outs, but Guillermo Mota retired Drew on a fly to

center. Mota, another former Dodger, worked two scoreless inning

before Aaron Heilman and Wagner finished with one inning each.

Neither starter lasted long. Trachsel, making his postseason

debut at age 35, allowed six hits and two runs in 3 1/3 innings.

The 40-year-old Maddux, a winner of 333 career games and making

his 30th postseason start, gave up seven hits and four runs in four


"I think a lot of guys were trying to hit the first good

strike," Green said. "Everyone knows how crafty he is. But we

came right out that first inning and got a bunch of hits in a row,

and that was the key."Game notes
Floyd was replaced in left field by Endy Chavez in the

bottom of the third because of what the Mets called a strained left

Achilles. ... Wright has hit safely in 15 straight games -- the

final 12 of the regular season and all three in the division

series. ... Rafael Furcal and Kenny Lofton, who bat 1-2 in the

Dodgers' lineup, went a combined 3-of-24 in the series. They hit

.300 and stole 59 bases between them during the regular season.