It’s not enough for Pirates skipper Lloyd McClendon to provide bulletin board fodder for his former pitcher Kris Benson. He’s also chosen to ignore Mets 3B David Wright’s emergence as an offensive force, writes the NY Daily News’ Ian Begley :
Last night, McClendon intentionally walked Cliff Floyd twice in order to face David Wright instead. And the Mets’ third baseman answered the Pirate skipper’s challenge each time.
McClendon ordered starter Josh Fogg to put Floyd on first base in the fourth and sixth innings, but Wright followed by helping the Mets grab the lead the first time and put the game out of reach the second in their 5-1 victory at Shea.
“You have to take it personal,” Wright said of McClendon’s decisions. “You know it gets under your skin and you want to make them pay.”
Wright, who hit fifth in the order with Carlos Beltran back in the lineup, made McClendon’s move look misguided.
In the fourth, with the score tied 1-1, Floyd was walked after Beltran singled and stole second. After the runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch, Wright (above) lined a single to left to give the Mets a 3-1 lead that was more than enough for Tom Glavine and Aaron Heilman.
After Floyd’s second intentional pass in the sixth, Wright drew a walk of his own, pushing the Met left fielder into scoring position. Floyd scored on Jose Offerman’s single in the next at-bat.
McClendon may not have done his proper homework before the game. If he had, he would have noticed that Wright entered the game 5-for-6 with 11 RBI when he came up after an intentional walk.
At least, that’s how Willie Randolph saw it.
“I don’t know exactly what Lloyd was thinking,” Randolph said. “He probably thought that Floyd was gonna hurt him. That’s probably why they put him on. But I feel very comfortable with David in an RBI situation.”
Fogg (6-8) also wasn’t exactly clear on his manager’s strategy.
“It’s not my decision (to intentionally walk Floyd). Unfortunately, I don’t get to make those decisions,” Fogg said. “It’s the higher-ups that do that.”