Endy Chavez

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Posted by sonny 03/28/2009 @ 01:11

Tags : endy chavez, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Play by play - USA Today
Endy Chavez due up. Single: Endy Chavez singled to right. Runner on first with two outs and Ichiro Suzuki due up. Single: Ichiro Suzuki grounded into a fielder's choice to short to end the inning. Out: Bobby Abreu grounded out first to pitcher....
Mother's Day cause special to Chavez - MLB.com
By Jim Street / MLB.com SEATTLE -- The pink ribbon Endy Chavez attaches to his uniform on Mother's Day, and the pink bat he'll carry to home plate, will have special meaning for the Mariners left fielder. It will rekindle memories of the sister he lost...
METS (21-16, 1st place/NL East) at DODGERS (26-13, 1st place/NL West) - New York Daily News
Mets 8, Dodgers 4: David Wright belted a pair of two-run homers off Brad Penny, and Endy Chavez used his arm for heroics a night after using his bat, as the Mets welcomed Joe Torre back to New York by returning to .500 with a victory....
Yuniesky Betancourt, Endy Chavez take seats as Mariners look to ... - Seattle Times
But not said in all of this is the fact that Endy Chavez. not in the lineup today, has quietly become an automatic out. They put him near the top of the order yesterday and he again went hitless. Chavez is now 3-for-his-last-29 at-bats....
Franklin Gutierrez sits for Mariners, Endy Chavez, Wladimir ... - Seattle Times
So, Endy Chavez takes his place and Wladimir Balentien gets a start in left. Wakamatsu said Gutierrez has had a leg condition -- he sort of likened it to shin splints --since spring training that the team has to be aware of. So, he's giving him a shot...
Play by play - USA Today
Runner on first with two outs and Chris Davis due up. Out: Chris Davis struck out swinging to end the inning. Out: Yuniesky Betancourt grounded out short to first. None on with one out and Endy Chavez due up. Out: Endy Chavez struck out swinging....
American Leage Breakdown - RotoTimes.com
Seattle Mariners: Hopefully you weren't thinking you could rely on Endy Chavez to maintain his early-season production throughout the season. One of the hottest waiver-wire pickups in April has already cooled off in a major way. Chavez had been hitting...
Play by play - USA Today
None on with one out and Endy Chavez due up. Out: Endy Chavez grounded out second to first. None on with two outs and Jose Lopez due up. Out: Jose Lopez grounded out second to first to end the inning. Double: David DeJesus doubled to left....
Mariners' ace flops - TheNewsTribune.com
Seattle picked up a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Ichiro Suzuki and a run in the sixth, when Kenji Johjima led off with a double to left-center, moved to third on Cedeño's sac bunt and scored on Endy Chavez's ground ball to second to cut the...
Mariners vs. Athletics game thread (5/2) - Seattle Times
Endy Chavez, though, gets credit for making sure to get that fly ball deep enough. That will be it for Washburn. Mark Lowe is now warming up. 7:50: Trevor Cahill has been pitching with plenty of confidence, ever since the leadoff single by Branyan in...

Endy Chávez

Endy Chavez signs autographs.jpg

Endy Chávez (pronounced /ˈtʃɑvɛz/) (born February 7, 1978 in Valencia, Carabobo State, Venezuela) is an outfielder in Major League Baseball for the Seattle Mariners.

Chávez bats and throws left-handed and is considered to have good fielding skills, speed, and the ability to hit to all parts of the field. He is best known for his outstanding catch in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, which is considered by many to be one of the best catches in MLB postseason history. The catch was the start of a cult following for Endy and he was a fan favorite during his career with the New York Mets.

In his first six seasons, Chávez had a .269 batting average with 15 home runs and 148 RBI in 569 games played.

Endy's brother Ender Chávez has also played minor league baseball with affiliates of the New York Mets, Montreal Expos and Washington Nationals, and is currently playing for the Seattle Mariners.

Chávez made his Minor League Baseball debut in 1996 with the Dominican Mets, a rookie-level affiliate of the New York Mets. In his first season with the team, he hit .354 in 48 games. He played the next four years in the Mets organization with the Kingsport Mets, Gulf Coast Mets, Capital City Bombers, and St. Lucie Mets. On March 30, 2001, Chávez was traded from the Mets to the Kansas City Royals organization. In 2001, Chávez played with Wichita Wranglers and the Omaha Royals before making his MLB debut with the Royals.

In 2002, Chávez joined the Montreal Expos organization, playing for the Ottawa Lynx. With Ottawa, Chávez was an International League all-star in 2002. Chávez finished out the 2004 season with the Expos affiliate Edmonton Trappers. In 2005, Chávez moved to the New Orleans Zephyrs, the triple-A affiliate of the relocated Montreal Expos, now known as the Washington Nationals.

In 2001 Chávez played his rookie season with the Kansas City Royals. He appeared in 29 games and compiled a career low batting average of .208.

In the winter of 2001 Chávez was traded to the Montreal Expos, playing 309 games over three years (2002-05). In 2002 and 2003 he helped the Expos compile competitive records of 83-79 in each season, contending for postseason play, but falling short of the wild-card slot each time. Playing full-time in 2003 and 2004, Chávez batted first in the lineup and started in center field. Stealing 18 bases in 2003 and 32 in 2004, Chávez proved himself a serious running threat. On October 3, 2004 Chávez recorded the final out in Montreal Expos history in their 8-1 loss to the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.

In 2005 Chávez played in only seven games for the team, now re-located to Washington, D. C. and re-named the Washington Nationals, before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. During his tenure in Washington, Chávez was given the mocking nickname of "Inning Endy" by Nationals fansites due to his tendency to swing at most pitches rather than "playing the count," often resulting in groundouts and popups.

Chávez played in 91 games with the Philadelphia Phillies, usually joining the game in later innings. He batted .215 and stole only two bases.

On December 23, 2005 the New York Mets signed Chávez to a one-year, $500,000, major league deal.

During spring training, Mets manager Willie Randolph convinced Chávez to alter his batting style to favor contact hitting over power. Chávez's speed and his modified batting style sparked a 50-point jump in his batting average with 12 stolen bases during a season in which he saw limited playing time (often as an injury replacement for regular left fielder Cliff Floyd). This, in addition to his excellent defensive skills, helped the Mets win the National League East and qualify for the 2006 baseball postseason.

Chávez's catch at Shea Stadium in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series is seen by many as one of the most remarkable plays in baseball history. In the top of the sixth inning, with the game tied 1-1, Chávez leaped over the 8-foot (2.4 m)-high left field wall and caught the ball with the tip of his glove to rob Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen of a two-run home run. Chávez reeled the ball in and threw to the cutoff man second baseman Jose Valentin, who threw to Carlos Delgado at first base, doubling off center fielder Jim Edmonds for an inning-ending double play. The catch was named the top post-season moment in the 5th annual This Year in Baseball Awards.

On July 13, 2007, American International Group (the company whose sign is displayed on the left field wall at Shea Stadium where Chávez made the catch) sponsored a special Bobblehead Doll day to commemorate the catch. The sign remained on the wall in the same spot until the stadium's demolition in the winter of 2008. The sign was seen by many as an inspiration and ironic coincidence because the sign says "The Strength To Be There".

Chávez continued to contribute big hits in 2007. On April 24, 2007, in the 12th inning, Chávez made a drag bunt to drive in Shawn Green for the winning run, giving the Mets a walk-off win against the Colorado Rockies, 2-1. The play is known as "The Bunt", mainly because of the excitement of the game and the perfection of the drag bunt.

When regular left fielder Moisés Alou was placed on the DL, Chávez, in a reprise of the previous season, moved up to fill his spot. Sporting a .292 BA, and maintaining his slick fielding, Chávez was a more than adequate replacement. However, on June 6, 2007 Chávez suffered a strained left hamstring while sprinting to first base on a double play ball. Two days later, he was placed on the 15-day DL. He returned from the DL on August 28.

During the 2007-2008 offseason, Chávez injured his right hamstring and right ankle while playing winter ball in Venezuela for Navegantes del Magallanes.

On September 28, the final day of the 2008 regular season and the final game at Shea Stadium, the Mets played the Florida Marlins. With an NL wildcard spot at stake for the Mets, Chávez made another teriffic catch in the outfield during the top of the seventh inning, the same inning in which he entered the game as a defensive replacement. After a ball was hit hard and deep to left field by Jorge Cantú, Chávez fully extended to make the catch for the final out of the inning. A hit by Cantu would have scored one run to give the Marlins the lead and surely would have resulted in extra bases and kept the inning alive.

The Mets traded Chávez along with teammate Aaron Heilman and minor leaguers to the Seattle Mariners in a 12-player deal on December 10, 2008.

Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Stats through September 26, 2008.

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Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners logo.svg

The Seattle Mariners are an American professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in 1977, the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July 1999; from their 1977 inception until June 1999, the club's home park was the Kingdome.

The "Mariners" name originates from the prominence of marine culture in the city of Seattle. They are nicknamed "the M's", a title featured in their primary logo from 1987 to 1992. The current team colors are navy blue, teal, and metallic silver, after having been royal blue and gold from 1977–1992. Their mascot is the Mariner Moose.

The organization did not field a winning team until 1991, and any real success eluded them until 1995 when they won their first division championship and defeated the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. The game-winning hit in Game 5 clinched a series win for the Mariners, and has since become an iconic moment in team history. The Mariners share the record for most wins in a single season with 116, which they achieved in 2001. Despite their successes since winning their first division title in 1995, they have never won an AL Pennant championship and remain one of three franchises (the others being the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals) never to have played in a World Series.

Before being awarded a team in Major League Baseball, Seattle had been a staple of the Pacific Coast League dating back to the late 19th century. The first attempt to land a major league team failed when a bid by William Daley to move the Cleveland Indians to Seattle in 1965 fell apart. In late 1967, Daley, by then having sold the Indians, led a consortium to win a franchise in the 1969 expansion. That team became the Seattle Pilots. The Seattle Pilots, amidst a bevy of financial problems, were sold and relocated to Milwaukee for the 1970 season and became the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Mariners were created as a result of a lawsuit. In 1970, in the aftermath of the Pilots' purchase and relocation to Milwaukee by future Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig, the City of Seattle, King County, and the state of Washington (represented by then-State Attorney General Slade Gorton) sued the American League for breach of contract. Confident that Major League Baseball would return to Seattle within a few years, King County built the multi-purpose Kingdome, which would become home to the NFL's expansion Seattle Seahawks in 1976.

The Pilots lawsuit continued until 1976. At trial, the American League offered to give Seattle an expansion baseball franchise in return for dropping the suit, and details were ironed out over the next year. To keep the league with an even number of teams, a formal expansion proceeding was held, with a second team, the Blue Jays, being awarded to the city of Toronto. The new Seattle team, to begin play in 1977, would be owned by entertainer Danny Kaye, along with Stanley Golub, Walter Schoenfeld, Lester Smith, James Stillwell Jr. and James A Walsh.

The Mariners played their first game on April 6, 1977 to a sold-out crowd of 57,762 at the Kingdome, losing 7-0 to the California Angels. That year, star pitcher Diego Segui, in his last major league season, became the only player to play for both the Pilots and the Mariners. The Mariners finished with a 64–98 record, echoing the record the 1969 Pilots once held. In 1979, Seattle hosted the 50th Major League Baseball All-Star Game; Mariner Bruce Bochte had the game-winning hit for the American League in front of a sold-out Kingdome crowd. After the 1981 season, the Mariners were sold to California businessman and future U.S. Ambassador to Spain George Argyros.

Despite having stars such as Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry (nicknamed the "Ancient Mariner"), 1984 American League Rookie of the Year Alvin Davis, two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner Harold Reynolds, three-time American League strikeout leader Mark Langston, and shortstop and team captain Spike Owen on their rosters, the Mariners teams of the late 1970s and the entirety of the 1980s were characterized by perennial non-achievement, gaining a reputation for poor performances, low attendance, and losing records. Moreover, the team's ownership again changed hands after the 1988 season, as Argyros sold the club to a group headed by communications magnate Jeff Smulyan. However, the 1989 rookie season of center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr., acquired with the first pick in the first round of the 1987 amateur draft, gave fans hope that a change of fortunes might be on the horizon. The Mariners finished with a losing record in 1990 to start off the decade.

The first home run in team history was hit on April 10, 1977, by designated hitter Juan Bernhardt.

After yet another dismal performance in 1990, the Mariners managed their first winning season in 1991, finishing 83–79 under manager Jim Lefebvre. Though it was the team's best season up to that point, it was only good enough for a fifth-place finish in the seven-team American League West in which no team finished under .500, and Lefebvre was fired after 1991. The team hired Bill Plummer as Lefebvre's replacement for the 1992 season, but he too was let go after a 98-loss campaign in 1992.

After several years of relocation threats by owner Jeff Smulyan, in the middle of the 1992 season the Mariners were purchased by a group of Seattle-area businessmen, led by Nintendo chairman Hiroshi Yamauchi. The purchase was initially opposed by baseball officials, who objected to a team being owned by a non-North American entity. Eventually, they allowed the sale, provided that the team's presidency and chairmanship remained in the hands of American partners.

In 1993, the Mariners donned their current uniforms probably as a result of new ownership. During the 1992-93 offseason, the Mariners hired manager Lou Piniella, who had led the Cincinnati Reds to victory in the 1990 World Series. Mariner fans embraced Piniella, and he would helm the team from 1993 through 2002, winning two American League Manager of the Year Awards along the way.

The Mariners' fortunes began to improve in 1994. Beginning in the late 1980s, the team had added a core of strong players built around center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr., pitcher Randy Johnson, third baseman Edgar Martínez, and right fielder Jay Buhner. On July 19, 1994, four 15-pound ceiling tiles fell from the Kingdome roof onto the field and into the stadium's seating bowl. The incident led to uncertainty over whether the Kingdome was fit for use as a major league stadium, and may well have ultimately been a factor leading to the construction of Safeco Field. Unable to play at the venue while repairs were being executed, the Major League Baseball Players' Association rejected the idea of playing games at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma or BC Place in Vancouver, feeling that games should not be played in non-MLB venues. This forced the Mariners to play their next 20 games on the road over the span of 21 days. The long trip began miserably as the Mariners started off 2–8, but rebounded to win nine of their next ten games, leaving them just 2 games behind the division-leading Texas Rangers when a players' strike was called on August 12 that resulted in the cancellation the rest of the season. Many players felt the time together on the road and the overcoming of the adversity faced that season fed directly into the success the team would achieve in the 1995 season. The extended roadtrip resulted in a peculiarity, in which the first game in a series with the Boston Red Sox - which was supposed to be in Seattle - was rained out; if one still counts this as a home game, it would mark the first - and so far only - home rainout in Mariners history.

Although pitchers Randy Johnson, Bill Risley, and Bobby Ayala combined for an opening-day three-hit shutout, the Mariners' 1995 season started off on a bad note overall, as Griffey sustained a major early-season injury. Despite this loss, the Mariners continued to play fairly well, guided by Piniella. In mid-August, however, the Mariners appeared to be out of contention, 13 games behind the first-place California Angels.

The tide turned with a September winning streak marked by late-inning comeback wins, which led to their most-known slogan "Refuse to Lose." Combined with an absolute collapse by the Angels, this opened the way for the Mariners to end up tied with the Angels for first place at the end of the regular season, forcing a one-game playoff. The playoff pitted Johnson against Angels ace Mark Langston, whom, incidentally, the Mariners had traded for Johnson in 1989. Langston ended up on the seat of his pants at homeplate failing to tag out Luis Sojo who came all the way around after clearing the bases with a ball that got by the Angels first baseman, J. T. Snow, rattled around underneath California's bullpen bench, and resulted in a hurried and errant cut-off throw from Langston. The Mariners won the tiebreaker game 9-1 and clinched their first-ever trip to the playoffs. The Mariners had won 25 of their last 36 games.

The Mariners lost the first two games of the 1995 American League Division Series against the New York Yankees, but managed to win the next two at home and force a decisive Game 5. Down 5-4 in the bottom of the 11th inning, the most memorable moment in Mariners history took place. Edgar Martínez hit a game-winning double off Yankee ace Jack McDowell, scoring Joey Cora and Griffey to win the game 6-5 and advance to the American League Championship Series. "The Double", as Martinez's clutch hit has since been called by Mariners fans, is credited as being "the moment that saved baseball in Seattle" by generating newly refreshed interest in the team and making a new, baseball-only stadium possible.

Although the Mariners' championship run was halted in the ALCS by another up-and-coming club, Mike Hargrove's Cleveland Indians, who won the series 4 games to 2, 1995 is remembered as "The Magical Season" and "The Miracle Mariners of 1995" with "The Double" still considered by many the greatest moment in Mariners history.

In 1996, the Mariners, led by Griffey, rookie shortstop Alex Rodriguez, and sluggers Jay Buhner and Edgar Martínez, won a then-team record 85 games, but missed the playoffs. The offense set the all-time record for most home runs by a team in a season, but ultimately the Mariners' inconsistent pitching, exacerbated by a midseason injury to Randy Johnson, doomed the team.

The Mariners won a division title again in 1997, but were defeated in the 1997 American League Division Series 3 games to 1 by the Baltimore Orioles. They were again hurt by a lack of pitching depth to complement the strong offense, which was led by Griffey, who won the MVP award, a first for both him and the Mariners.

In 1998 and 1999, the Mariners had losing records due primarily to their lack of pitching depth. Randy Johnson was traded at the 1998 July non-waiver trading deadline to the Houston Astros after GM Woody Woodard publicly stated he did not intend on offering Johnson (who was a free agent following the 1998 season) a long-term contract. Johnson subsequently requested to be traded. He had been inconsistent during the first half of the season; some fans and press thought he had been trying to force a trade through malaise. Strong pitching from aces Jeff Fassero and Jamie Moyer was not enough to fully offset the loss, and the bullpen's struggles continued. Midway through the 1999 season, the Mariners moved to SAFECO Field. After the 1999 season, Ken Griffey, Jr. requested and attained a trade to the Cincinnati Reds, leaving Alex Rodriguez as the face of the franchise at the beginning of the high-expectation Safeco Field era, which was during the years 2000-03.

2000 was a return to respectability for the Mariners. They finished half a game behind Oakland Athletics in the AL West, as they played only 161 games. The tiebreaking rules had already awarded the division crown to Oakland, so the rained out 162nd game was not made up, and the Mariners were declared wild card winners. While Ken Griffey, Jr. was no longer patrolling center or anchoring the middle of the batting order, his replacement, Mike Cameron, was noted for his solid hitting and exceptional glovework (he would go on to win two Gold Gloves with the team). Alex Rodriguez replaced Junior as the face of the franchise in 2000. Edgar Martínez continued his steady hitting in the cleanup spot, putting up a career high in homers. Both finished in the top six in MVP voting. A key addition to the team occurred when the Mariners signed the one-time AL Batting Champion John Olerud, a Washington State University graduate, to play first base. Olerud would enjoy some of his best seasons in Seattle, and played a huge part in the team's success the following year. Jamie Moyer, Freddy Garcia, and Aaron Sele anchored what was easily the most successful rotation in Seattle since the departure of Randy Johnson. Closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, previously a star for the Japanese Yokohama BayStars, won the AL Rookie of the Year award. Stolen base king and former MVP Rickey Henderson was acquired midseason and filled longtime needs in left field and in the leadoff slot. The Mariners swept the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS, but lost to the New York Yankees in six games in the ALCS.

The following offseason was one of the most significant in Mariners history, as Rodríguez was up for free agency. Ultimately, Rodríguez was lost to the Texas Rangers for what was then the richest contract ever in professional sports. However, the Mariners were able to weather the loss by adding Japanese superstar Ichiro Suzuki and slick fielding, power hitting second base veteran Bret Boone.

In 2001, the addition of Ichiro and a career season by Boone helped the Mariners to tie the record for most wins in the modern era. This was despite the loss of A-Rod, who would be greeted on his return to Safeco with Monopoly money dropped by unusually irate Seattle fans, and on subsequent returns by incessant booing. The 2001 Mariners led the major leagues in winning percentage all season long, easily winning the American League West division championship, breaking the 1998 Yankees American League single-season record of 114 wins, and matching the Major League Baseball record for single-season wins of 116 set by the Chicago Cubs in 1906. At the end of the season, Ichiro won the AL MVP, AL Rookie of the Year, and one of three outfield Gold Glove Awards, becoming the first player since the 1975 Boston Red Sox's Fred Lynn to win all three in the same season. He also became the charismatic, if enigmatic, face of the team. He has been the subject of several books (including one released in the summer of 2001 that consists solely of his zen-like quotations).

The Mariners pulled off a come-from-behind 3-2 series win over the Cleveland Indians in the Division Series to advance to the American League Championship Series to have a rematch with the New York Yankees, but once again succumbed to the Yankees for the second year in a row in the ALCS, 4 games to 1. The Mariners also hosted the All-Star Game that year, and had a league-leading and team record eight All-Stars: RF Ichiro Suzuki, DH Edgar Martínez, CF Mike Cameron, 2B Bret Boone, 1B John Olerud, and pitchers Freddy Garcia, Kazuhiro Sasaki, and Jeff Nelson.

The Mariners started the 2002 season hot (they were on pace to win 100+ games again well into the summer), but they missed out on the playoffs. This was widely attributed to their failure to find a substantial contributor at the trade deadline and hot streaks by the Anaheim Angels and Oakland Athletics in the later months of the season. Ultimately, the Angels won the World Series as the Mariners won 93 games, which was still the second best total in their history. At the end of the season, manager Lou Piniella left the Mariners to manage his hometown Tampa Bay Devil Rays, reportedly due to his anger with management; Piniella believed that management was more concerned with the bottom line than acquiring quality players.

The Mariners signed Bob Melvin to be their new manager. The local press speculated that a first year manager (especially someone more even-tempered than the fiery Piniella) would be easier for the front office and ownership to control.

The Mariners again got off to an excellent start in the 2003 season. They contended all season long and reached the same record as in 2002, but were again beaten to the playoffs by their division rival Oakland Athletics, highlighted by a six-game losing streak in late August that saw their lead evaporate, which they would never recover. Their failure to make the playoffs was again blamed on management's inability to bring in a bat at the trading deadline and the aging roster's decline. Notably, the debate was started by pitcher Jeff Nelson, who was himself traded after criticizing the front office's deadline inactivity. General manager Pat Gillick became a consultant midway through the offseason to make room for new GM Bill Bavasi.

With the exception of the 1998 and 1999 seasons, the Mariners had been annual challengers for the AL West title from 1995 through 2003. The 2004 season, however, saw the fall of the Mariners from contention. With an aging roster, the Mariners went into the All-Star Break with a 9-game losing streak, and a 32-54 season record (.372) 17 games behind the first-place Texas Rangers. After the All-Star break, unable to ignore the dreadful state of their team, the Mariners gave the team a complete overhaul, trading Freddy García to the Chicago White Sox for Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed, and Mike Morse and moving aging and struggling players away from center stage (most notably, releasing Gold Glover and fan favorite John Olerud) and inserting over a dozen minor league call-ups into the 25-man roster. The season's end was enlivened by Ichiro breaking George Sisler's single season record of 257 hits (finishing with 262) and by events honoring the retirement of Mariner icon Edgar Martínez. Just days after the end of the season, the Mariners fired manager Bob Melvin. On October 20, 2004, the Mariners announced the signing of Mike Hargrove, who had led the Cleveland Indians past the Mariners in the 1995 ALCS, as their new manager. In the offseason, the Mariners and Bavasi surprised fans and the local press by signing two premier free agents, third baseman Adrián Beltré and first baseman Richie Sexson, ending some accusations from fans that the organization was only willing to make piecemeal signings and trades.

On November 26, 2004, the owner of the Mariners changed: Hiroshi Yamauchi sold his 54 % stake to Nintendo of America.

Despite several personnel changes and free-agent signings after the 2004 season, the team stayed at the bottom of the divisional standings throughout the 2005 season and finished in last place, though they improved their record by six games compared to the previous year. The brightest spot of the season was the emergence of 19-year-old Venezuelan pitching prospect Félix Hernández, who became the youngest major leaguer to debut since Jose Rijo entered the league with the New York Yankees in 1984. Sexson also played very well, hitting 39 home runs and 121 RBI. Stars Ichiro and Beltre, however, did not reach their high levels of offensive production from 2004, and 2B Bret Boone was released before the All-Star break. Along with Hernandez, two rookie middle infielders became part of the Mariners' long term plans: Cuban defector and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and Venezuelan second baseman and former top prospect José López became the next season's starters. However, the Mariners' rotation beyond Hernandez and the aging Jamie Moyer was poor, and the Mariners suffered the embarrassment of having the most suspendees under MLB's new drug testing policy, notably pitcher Ryan Franklin and IF/OF Mike Morse. During the 2005–2006 off-season, Ichiro spoke out and criticized the team's attitude, pointing out its lack of leadership and manager Hargrove's failure to harness players.

The Mariners began the 2005–2006 off-season by signing star Japanese catcher Kenji Johjima to a 3-year deal and left-handed starter Jarrod Washburn (formerly of division rival Los Angeles) to a 4-year deal. Designated hitter Carl Everett and outfielder Matt Lawton also joined the team, although both would finish the season out of baseball. The Mariners entered the All-Star Break 2.5 games out of first place in the AL West with a 43-46 record. Despite remaining in contention within the AL West through July, a disastrous 0-11 road trip in mid-August signaled the end of the Mariners' playoff hopes, leaving them in last place, where they would finish the season. Pitcher Jamie Moyer was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for a pair of minor league prospects, and weeks later bench coach Ron Hassey and administrative coach Dan Rohn—whom many viewed as a prime candidate to replace Hargrove as manager—were removed from their positions with the team. At season's end, the Mariners had only narrowly avoided losing 90 games for the third consecutive year. While the team entered the 2006–2007 off-season with some young talent in key positions, many questions remained as to the consistency of their offense and, more importantly, the strength of their starting pitching staff.

The 2007 season began with a sense of muted optimism. While the team had a busy off-season in terms of changes to the roster, fans questioned player transactions that moved young, potential-filled players (Rafael Soriano, Chris Snelling) in favor of veterans who have suffered injuries in recent seasons (José Guillén, José Vidro, Horacio Ramírez) or who have achieved mediocre success in the past with other clubs (Miguel Batista, Jeff Weaver). These transactions followed CEO Howard Lincoln's remarks at the completion of the 2006 campaign that GM Bill Bavasi and manager Mike Hargrove were on his "hot seat" and needed to produce more wins in 2007. Further magnifying the need to win was outfielder Ichiro Suzuki's suggestion at the beginning of spring training that he may have an interest in testing free-agency waters when his contract is completed at the end of the season if the Mariners continue to struggle on the field.

After two and a half seasons with the Mariners and while guiding the team to a 44–33 record in the 2007 season, Mike Hargrove unexpectedly announced before the July 1, 2007 game against the Toronto Blue Jays that the game would be his last as the Mariners' manager. Hargrove said that he could no longer provide the commitment from himself that he was expecting of his players and coaches. Bench coach John McLaren was announced as Hargrove's replacement. On July 13, Ichiro Suzuki signed a 5-year, 90-million-dollar contract with the Mariners that will extend to 2012. With minor league prospect Adam Jones playing well and a fairly consistent offense and pitching staff, the 2007 Mariners were back in contention in the AL West and AL Wild Card races. However, a 3–15 stretch late in the season effectively ended the Mariners' 2007 playoff hopes. The Mariners were mathematically eliminated from contention on September 24. One highlight during this stretch, however, was the home run that gave Ichiro Suzuki 200 hits for his seventh consecutive 200-hit season; Ichiro is only the third player in MLB history with seven consecutive 200-hit seasons, and the first to do it in his first seven seasons.

Heading into the 2008 season, the Mariners hoped to capitalize on their 2007 success by bolstering their roster to position themselves to once again challenge the Angels for the AL West championship. They dramatically transformed their pitching staff, adding free agent Carlos Silva and trading a package of players led by George Sherrill and Adam Jones to the Baltimore Orioles on February 8 for Erik Bedard. Other additions included outfielder Brad Wilkerson and infielder Miguel Cairo, as well as a new coaching staff under McLaren featuring former MLB managers Jim Riggleman, Sam Perlozzo, Lee Elia, and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre. Also added to the major league coaching staff was bullpen coach Norm Charlton, a member of the 1995, 1997, and 2001 AL West title teams, as well as Eddie Rodriguez, previously manager of the Mariners' Class AA minor league affiliate. Hitting coach Jeff Pentland remained as the only coach hired under Hargrove.

Despite their offseason additions, the 2008 Mariners featured one of the league's worst offenses. In April, the club attempted to solve some of its offensive woes by designating Wilkerson and pinch hitter Greg Norton for assignment. The offensive struggles, in concert with defensive lapses and inconsistent pitching from both the bullpen and the starting rotation, led the team to last place by the end of April despite an Opening Day payroll of nearly $117 million. On June 8, the Mariners held the worst record in baseball with a .349 winning percentage, and were on pace for 105 losses and the worst record in team history. Hitting coach Pentland was fired on June 9 and was replaced by Lee Elia, who was previously the Mariners' hitting instructor from 1993-1997. Following a 1–5 homestand, general manager Bill Bavasi was dismissed on June 16 and replaced by Lee Pelekoudas on an interim basis. Pelekoudas has held various front office positions with the Mariners since 1980, most recently as vice president/assistant general manager. The purge continued on June 19, when John McLaren was dismissed from his position and replaced by bench coach Jim Riggleman. Personnel moves of that sort were not limited to coaches and front office personnel in 2008, as Richie Sexson and Jose Vidro were released in July and August, respectively. On September 1st, the Mariners were the first team in baseball mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. They finished the season with 101 losses, only one fewer than the MLB-worst Washington Nationals.

2008 did have a handful of noteworthy achievements, however: On June 23, pitcher Félix Hernández hit a grand slam off of the New York Mets' Johan Santana, becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to hit a home run, as well as the first AL pitcher to hit a grand slam since 1971 (and the first ever in modern Interleague play). On September 1, third baseman Adrián Beltré became the fourth Mariner to hit for the cycle. Beltré's cycle came hours after Stephen Drew of the Arizona Diamondbacks hit for the cycle, marking the second time in MLB history – and the first since 1920 – that two players accomplished the feat on the same day. On September 17, Ichiro tied Willie Keeler's record of 8 consecutive 200-hit seasons, matching a mark that has stood since 1901.

On October 22, the Mariners announced the hiring of Jack Zduriencik, formerly scouting director of the Milwaukee Brewers, as their general manager. On November 18, the team named Oakland Athletics bench coach Don Wakamatsu as its new field manager. Zduriencik immediately got to work adjusting the roster, including orchestrating a 3-way, 12-player trade that sent fan favorite closer J.J. Putz to the New York Mets but netted prospect Mike Carp, outfielders Endy Chavez from New York and Franklin Gutierrez from the Cleveland Indians. Wakamatsu, meanwhile, dismissed the entire coaching staff that had worked under McLaren/Riggleman and replaced them with an entirely new staff.

In January 2009 the Mariners unveiled their new slogan, "A New Day, A New Way", to help promote the team's new rebuilding philosophy.

On February 18, 2009, the Mariners signed former team member and fan favorite Ken Griffey Jr. to a one-year deal worth $2 million plus up to a additional $4 million based on incentives.

The team mainly plays spring training games in the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. They share the complex and stadium with the San Diego Padres.

This is a partial list listing the past ten completed regular seasons. For the full season records, see here.

First team of 2008 to officially be eliminated from the 2008 playoffs. Worst record since 1983, which was the last time they had lost over 100 games in a season.

First team in MLB history to lose 100 games with a $100 million payroll.

The following inducted members of the Baseball Hall of Fame spent part of their careers with the Mariners. None are depicted on their plaques wearing a Mariners cap insignia.

Additionally, in 2008, longtime Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus was honored with the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award. Though not officially considered an inducted member of the Hall of Fame, Niehaus was honored in the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and is permanently recognized in the Hall's "Scribes & Mikemen" exhibit.

The Seattle Mariners have not retired any uniform numbers. Official team policy states that number retirement is reserved for players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame who played for at least five years with the Mariners, or career Mariners players who narrowly miss election.

Despite not officially retiring any numbers, the team has not reissued the numbers 11 (Edgar Martínez), 14 (Lou Piniella), or 19 (Jay Buhner) to any uniformed staff since the last player to have worn the number left the team. Number 51, worn by Randy Johnson, was withheld from players from 1998 until 2001, when it was awarded to Ichiro Suzuki upon his request after wearing it for his entire career in Japan. 24 was not issued from the time Ken Griffey, Jr. left the team after the 1999 season until it was re-issued to him when he returned in 2009.

Number 00 is presumed off-limits, as it has been worn by the Mariner Moose since 1997 (outfielder Jeffrey Leonard was the last player to don 00 for the M's, in 1990). From 1990–1996, the Moose wore the last 2 digits of the year of the current season.

Jackie Robinson's number, 42, was retired throughout Major League Baseball on April 15, 1997.

In 2009, KIRO-AM 710 (ESPN Radio) returns to carrying Mariners contests after an absence of six seasons where games had been on KOMO 1000 AM, as they had carried Mariners contests and related programming from 1985 until 2002 beforehand. From the teams' founding from 1977 until 1984, the Mariners were broadcast on KVI 570 AM.

Television rights are held by FSN Northwest. In years past, Mariners games have also appeared in Seattle on over-the-air networks flagshipped by KING-TV, KIRO-TV, KTZZ-TV, and KSTW-TV as well as Prime Sports Northwest (the precursor to FSN Northwest).

Some Mariners games are also available on Canadian television, due to an agreement between FSN Northwest and Rogers Sportsnet. Selected games on FSN Northwest are simulcast on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific, which is the Rogers Sportsnet feed available to viewers in the network's Pacific region (i.e., British Columbia and the Yukon). Digital cable and satellite TV subscribers receive all four Rogers Sportsnet regional feeds, meaning that they are also able to view the games, regardless of their region of residence.

The Mariners broadcast team currently features Dave Niehaus and Rick Rizzs- back for their 32nd and 23rd seasons with the club, respectively- as well as veteran broadcaster Dave Sims and former infielder Mike Blowers. For the first three innings of each game, Niehaus works the television broadcast with Blowers, and Rizzs and Sims handle radio duties; after the third inning, Niehaus and Sims trade places. Former catcher Dave Valle continues to co-host the post-game show on the Mariners' radio network.

Spanish-language radio broadcast duties are handled by Alex Rivera on play-by-play and former second baseman Julio Cruz.

Tom Hutyler is the Mariners' public address announcer, and has worked in that capacity since 1987.

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2008 New York Mets season

The 2008 New York Mets season was the franchise's 47th season. The Mets finished the season with an 89–73 record, second place in the National League East, three games behind the Philadelphia Phillies, and one game worse than the wild card winners, the Milwaukee Brewers. The Mets were eliminated from postseason play on their last day of the regular season for the second straight year.

2008 was the Mets' 45th and final year at Shea Stadium. They will move to Citi Field in 2009, which is being completed behind Shea Stadium.

After dropping 12 out of their final 17 games of the 2007 season to lose the National League East to the Philadelphia Phillies on their last day of the regular season, the Mets front office was expected to make big moves in the offseason to give hope for the next season.

Needing to make a decision within five days after the Mets' last game, Tom Glavine declined his $13 million player option. He eventually signed with his former team, the Atlanta Braves, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $8 million on November 18.

On October 31, the Mets took care of two of their own potential free agents. Left fielder Moisés Alou's option year on his contract was picked up for $7.5 million despite Alou only playing in 87 games due to a left quadriceps injury. He did, however, lead the Mets with a .341 batting average and seven outfield assists. Alou also set a franchise record with a 30-game hitting streak after he came off the disabled list. Utility player Damion Easley was re-signed for one year at $950,000. He was on the disabled list two separate times due to a left quadriceps strain on May 11 and a left ankle sprain which ended his season on August 18.

When the free agency period began, the Mets first looked to catcher Yorvit Torrealba to replace 2007 starter Paul Lo Duca. After agreeing to the structure of a three-year contract worth $14.4 million with Torrealba, the Mets suddenly changed their minds on November 17 and retracted the offer, seemingly because of Torrealba's sore shoulder, as the Mets only needed to see the results of Torrealba's physical to officially complete the deal. Lo Duca never appeared to be the first choice for the Mets, so they continued their search for a starter from another team rather than re-sign Lo Duca, who went on to sign with the Nationals.

After the Torrealba deal fell through, the Mets focused on one of their own free agents. On November 18, second baseman Luis Castillo agree to a four-year $25 million contract. The Mets explored the possibility of signing David Eckstein to start at second base, but determined his contract demands were too lofty.

On November 20, the Mets traded relief pitcher Guillermo Mota away to the Milwaukee Brewers for catcher Johnny Estrada. This trade ended up just being a salary dump, as Estrada, who was arbitration-eligible, was not offered a new contract, therefore becoming a free agent. The Mets wanted to be rid of Mota and his $3.2 million salary because he pitched to a 5.72 ERA in 2007 after being suspended for 50 games for steroid use.

In response to the Mets' need for a starting catcher, General Manager Omar Minaya made his first significant trade of the offseason on December 1, acquiring catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church from the Nationals for outfielder Lastings Milledge. Once considered the Mets top prospect, Milledge had fallen out of favor with players and management due to his on- and off-field antics. Minaya made the trade to acquire two players who, in his mind, would be starters for the Mets.

The Mets made a small move on January 5, 2008 to shore up their outfield depth, acquiring Angel Pagán from the Chicago Cubs for two minor-league players, outfielder Corey Coles and pitcher Ryan Meyers. Pagán was a fourth-round draft pick by the Mets in 1999, and he was sent to the Cubs on January 25, 2006 for cash.

The Mets' biggest trade of the offseason would come on January 29, when they agreed to a trade for two-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins. Minaya agreed to trade outfielder Carlos Gómez and pitchers Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra to the Twins. Three days later, to complete the trade, Santana agreed to a contract extension worth $137.5 million over the course of six years, with an option worth an extra $19.5 million for 2014, which can be triggered by performance. This contract is a record amount for a Major League Baseball pitcher.

Starting pitcher Óliver Pérez's arbitration case was settled on February 22 and scored a win for Pérez, as the Mets found out they would have to pay him $6.5 million for the 2008 season. This gave Pérez a raise of over $4 million and was $1.775 million more than the Mets offered to pay him.

Another player signed during the offseason was relief pitcher Duaner Sánchez. Sánchez missed all of 2007 due to a broken bone in his left shoulder suffered during a taxi accident in 2006, but the Mets hoped he could still return to be an important part of the bullpen, signing him to a one-year deal at $850,000.

Players who made it to the Mets in 2008 after being signed to minor-league contracts include pitcher Tony Armas, Jr., catcher Robinson Cancel, and utility player Fernando Tatis.

The Mets entered spring training with questions about their pitching staff due to injury and age. Duaner Sánchez was still recovering from his shoulder injury, and older starters Pedro Martínez and Orlando Hernández were coming off of seasons when they missed significant time due to injury. Martínez made it to Opening Day healthy, but Sánchez and Hernández opened the regular season on the disabled list.

During spring training, the team suffered several injuries to players that they had pegged to play with the Mets when the season opened on March 31. On March 1, Ryan Church collided with Marlon Anderson while trying to catch a fly ball, leaving Church with a concussion and Anderson with a bruised sternum. Ramón Castro aggravated his right hamstring injury on March 16, ending up with a sprain. It was more severe than first thought, keeping Castro out of play through the beginning of the season. Carlos Beltrán and Luis Castillo were late to start playing because they were both still recovering from offseason knee surgery, while Moisés Alou was held out of action because of hernia surgery. Other players suffered minor injuries that held them out of many exhibition games, but they returned before the first game that counted.

John Maine had the strongest spring training performance from the pitching staff, leading all National League pitchers with a 1.53 ERA. Maine went 3–1 over 29⅓ innings, with 33 strikeouts and five walks. Angel Pagán was a surprising force on offense, batting .329 to win the starting left field competition that was open due to Alou's injury.

Coming out of spring training, the Mets set their starting rotation with Johan Santana, Martínez, Maine, Óliver Pérez, and Mike Pelfrey in place of Hernández. The bullpen consisted of Billy Wagner, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano, Scott Schoeneweis, Matt Wise, and Joe Smith, who beat Brian Stokes for a spot on the roster. Brian Schneider, Carlos Delgado, Castillo, José Reyes, David Wright, Pagán, Beltrán, and Church started in the field. Anderson, Damion Easley, and Endy Chávez were set as the bench players, joined by Brady Clark and Raul Casanova due to Alou's and Castro's injuries. These decisions caused Rubén Gotay to lose his spot on the roster after playing in 98 games in 2007, so the Mets placed him on waivers, where he was claimed by the Atlanta Braves on March 28.

The weakest part of the Mets team was their bullpen, which struggled throughout the season. If all the games played by the Mets ended after the 8th inning the team would have won the NL East by 12 games. This is typically seen as a poor excuse for the Mets' terrible performance in 2008.

As of September 28, 2008.

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Jamey Carroll

Jamey Carroll at bat.jpg

Jamey Blake Carroll (born February 18, 1974) is a Major League Baseball infielder for the Cleveland Indians.

Carroll was born in Evansville, Indiana. In 1992, he graduated from Castle High School in Newburgh, Indiana. His jersey is now on permanent display in his high school. He later attended and graduated from the University of Evansville.

He had his jersey No. 3 retired by the Ottawa Lynx of the Triple-A International League in August 2003.

Drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 14th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball amateur draft, Carroll would make his Major League Baseball debut with the Montreal Expos on September 11, 2002.

On October 3, 2004, Carroll scored the last ever run for the Montreal Expos franchise, as they were later relocated to Washington, D.C. Carroll was also the on-deck batter when Endy Chávez made the final out in Expos history at Shea Stadium.

He finished the 2006 season with a .300 batting average, 5 home runs, 36 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. Carroll also hit particularly well at Coors Field, finishing with a .375 clip in Denver compared to the .220 mark he amassed on the road. He played third base, shortstop, and second base, seeing by far the most action at second, where he appeared 109 times and made 102 starts. He committed just three errors as a second baseman, five overall.

In August 2007, Carroll hit his first career Grand Slam as a pinch hitter against Chicago Cubs' pitcher Rich Hill in the sixth inning. The Rockies won that game, 15-2, as Carroll finished the game 1-2 with 2 runs and 5 runs batted in.

Carroll won the 2007 Wild card for the Rockies on October 1, 2007 with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Matt Holliday, to give the Rockies a 9-8 13 inning victory over the Padres.

In December 2007, Carroll was traded to the Cleveland Indians for minor league pitcher, Sean Smith.

On February 28th, 2008, Carroll's wife Kim gave birth to fraternal twins. Cole Patrick weighed in at 6 lbs, 15 oz, while Mackenzie Joyce was 5 lbs 9 oz, when they were born in Viera, Florida.

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2006 National League Championship Series

The 2006 National League Championship Series (NLCS), the second round of the 2006 National League playoffs, began on October 12 and ended on October 19; it was scheduled to begin on October 11, but was postponed a day because of inclement weather. The St. Louis Cardinals upset the heavily-favored New York Mets in seven games to advance to the 2006 World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

The Cardinals and Mets took the series to the limit, reaching the ninth inning of Game 7 tied at 1–1, but the Cardinals benefited from Yadier Molina's two-run home run in the ninth to win the game, 3–1, and earn their second pennant in three years. St. Louis captured the 17th NL pennant in club history, placing them one behind the New York/San Francisco Giants and the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers for the most in the league after 1900. The Cardinals were making their third consecutive appearance in the NLCS; manager Tony La Russa, who led St. Louis to the 2004 pennant and previously won AL titles with the Oakland Athletics from 1988–90, became the first manager in history to win multiple pennants in both leagues.

The Mets had defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers three games to none in the NL Division Series, while the Cardinals had defeated the San Diego Padres three games to one. The Mets had home-field advantage due to their better record in the regular season (the Mets were 97–65, the Cardinals 83–78). The Mets and Cardinals previously met in the 2000 NLCS, which the Mets won in five games.

On a game pushed back a day by rain, both pitchers pitched magnificently. Tom Glavine earned the win with seven innings of shutout baseball. The only two runs came from a two-run homer by Carlos Beltrán off losing pitcher Jeff Weaver. Weaver pitched 5.2 shutout innings before giving up a single to Paul Lo Duca and then the home run by Beltrán. Glavine was aided by his defense, as the Mets turned two double plays. In the third inning, with runners on first and second, third baseman David Wright caught a line drive off the bat of David Eckstein and threw to second to double up Yadier Molina. In the following inning, Juan Encarnación flied out to shallow center to Beltrán, who threw to first on the run, doubling up Albert Pujols, who went 0-for-3 with a walk. Left fielder Endy Chávez also made an excellent diving play on a flare hit by Ronnie Belliard. He replaced Cliff Floyd, who left in the second inning when he reaggravated his injured Achilles tendon. Following the game, Albert Pujols was critical of Glavine's performance, saying that the Cards would have dominated him if they were on their "A" game.

In an exciting back-and-forth game, the Cardinals erased three deficits en route to a 9-6 victory. In the first inning, Carlos Delgado hit a three-run home run and added another home run in the fifth, both off the Cardinals' ace, Chris Carpenter. Yadier Molina then drove in two runs with a double in the second inning. José Reyes and Paul Lo Duca added an RBI each, but Scott Spiezio, who started the game at third base in place of an injured Scott Rolen, had two hits and three RBIs, including a two-run triple on an 0-2 pitch in the seventh inning to tie the game, 6-6. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Julio Franco pinch-hit for Met pitcher Aaron Heilman, which made obvious that lefty closer Billy Wagner was coming into the game in the top of the ninth inning. Left fielder Chris Duncan, a lefty hitter, was due to lead off the top of the ninth. So, Duncan was pulled in favor of So Taguchi, a right-handed-hitting outfielder who was a better defensive option than Duncan. Taguchi led off the top of the ninth with a solo homer off Mets closer Billy Wagner to put the Cardinals ahead, 7-6. St. Louis would never look back, adding two more insurance runs.

In St. Louis for the first of three games, St. Louis starter Jeff Suppan pitched eight scoreless innings and helped his own cause with a homer as the Cardinals defeated the Mets, 5-0. Scott Spiezio hit a two-run triple (his second two-run triple in as many games) in the bottom of the first inning to put the Cardinals ahead, 2-0. St. Louis would add three more runs in the second to finish the scoring for the game. Met reliever Darren Oliver pitched six shutout innings to give the bullpen a rest after Met starter Steve Trachsel would only last one inning before being pulled after getting hit by a line drive off the bat of Preston Wilson, leaving with a bruised thigh. After the game, the Mets had not scored in 12 consecutive innings, making it 14 before scoring in the third inning of Game 4. On an interesting note, Jeff Suppan has only two career home runs, both of which have been hit off Steve Trachsel. His first career home run was hit on September 10, 2005.

Game 4 was a pivotal game for the Mets, who were staring down a potential three-games-to-one deficit. They sent young Oliver Pérez, who was picked up at the trade deadline from the Pittsburgh Pirates, to face the Cardinals' own young starter, Anthony Reyes. In a game that would see an NLCS-tying record seven home runs, the Cardinals grabbed an early lead in the bottom of the second on a Yadier Molina single. It seemed to be a repeat of the night before, but in the top of the third the Mets belted two home runs, one on Carlos Beltrán's second of the series and sixth against the Cardinals in NLCS play, and another on David Wright's first hit of the series and first homer of the playoffs. Perez couldn't hold the resulting 2-1 lead for long, allowing a two-out RBI triple to Juan Encarnacion that tied the game. The game would stay tied until the top of the fifth inning when Paul Lo Duca reached on an error by Cardinal second baseman Ronnie Belliard. Beltran managed a walk, and then Carlos Delgado blasted an opposite field three-run homer, his third of the series, to make it 5-2. David Eckstein pulled the Cards back in the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff homer. But, in the top of the sixth, the Mets blew the game open. José Reyes and Lo Duca hit back-to-back singles, and Beltran walked to load the bases. Delgado then hit a ground-rule double to drive in two, and then Wright walked. Shawn Green singled to drive in one run and José Valentín, who, at that point, was only 3-for-20 in the playoffs, shot a bases-clearing double down the left field line to make it 11-3. The Cards got solo home runs from Edmonds and Molina to make it an 11-5 game, but Mets manager Willie Randolph then pulled starter Perez and bought in submarine pitcher Chad Bradford to limit the damage. Beltran would tie the NLCS record of seven home runs with another in the seventh en route to a final score of 12–5. Beltran also tied Babe Ruth for the all-time postseason record of home runs against the Cardinals hitting a total of seven home runs. He hit four home runs against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 National League Championship Series while playing for the Houston Astros.

With their ace in the hole, and after Game 5 was pushed back a day by rain, giving their starter now four days' normal rest instead of three days' short rest, the New York Mets sought a 3–2 lead in the NLCS. However, pitcher Tom Glavine could not stifle the Cardinals' offense. After the Mets jumped out to a 2–0 lead, the next half-inning Albert Pujols struck for his first home run and RBI of the series to cut the Mets' lead in half. After tying the score in the bottom of fourth inning and later taking the lead in the fifth by virtue of a Preston Wilson double, the Cardinals increased their lead thanks to a pinch-hit solo blast by rookie Chris Duncan that made the final score 4-2, Cardinals. Powered by a strong pitching effort by Jeff Weaver and his bullpen cohorts, St. Louis brought New York back to earth after the Cardinals' disastrous Game 4 performance. This win moved the Cardinals within one win of their second National League pennant in three years.

Facing elimination, the Mets' John Maine stood on the mound for his biggest start of his career at that point. He allowed no runs in 5⅓ innings, earning the win for the Mets. José Reyes hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first, giving the Mets a lead that would never be relinquished. Reyes became the first Met to lead off with a home run in the 1st inning of a postseason game since Mets' former outfielder Lenny Dykstra in Game 3 of the 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox. The Cardinals stranded several runners against Maine. In the top of the first inning, with runners on second and third and one out, Maine struck out Jim Edmonds. After hitting Juan Encarnación with a pitch to load the bases, Scott Rolen flew out. In the top of the third, with a runner on second and nobody out, Maine struck out Scott Spiezio and intentionally walked Albert Pujols. Edmonds then flew out and Maine struck out Encarnación to finish the job. Shawn Green hit an RBI single in the fourth and Paul Lo Duca added two more with an RBI hit in the seventh. Billy Wagner came on in the ninth and made things interesting, giving up a two-RBI double to So Taguchi before retiring David Eckstein to end the game.

In the decisive Game 7, the Mets sent Game 4 winner Oliver Pérez to the mound against Jeff Suppan. The Mets jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when David Wright drove in Carlos Beltrán in the first with a bloop single into right field. The Cardinals tied the game in the second when Ronnie Belliard hit a sacrifice bunt that scored Jim Edmonds from third. In the fifth, with runners on first and second and two gone, Albert Pujols came up to the plate. Even with Chad Bradford warming up in the bullpen, Willie Randolph decided to stay with Pérez. He got Pujols to pop out. Pérez ran into some more trouble in the sixth with a runner on and one out, when Scott Rolen hit a long fly ball to left field.

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the sixth, José Valentín and Chávez failed to get the go-ahead run in.

With the score 1–1 in the top of the ninth, Yadier Molina hit a deep fly off Aaron Heilman, in the same general direction as the one Rolen hit in the sixth. This one was too high to allow Chávez to make another circus catch, and it went for a two-run home run, giving the Cardinals a 3–1 lead with only three outs in the bottom of the ninth separating them from a pennant. However, the Mets would not go quietly. Rookie closer Adam Wainwright yielded singles to Valentín and Chávez leading off the ninth. After getting a strikeout and a flyout, Wainwright walked Paul Lo Duca to bring up Carlos Beltrán with the bases loaded and two men out. All involved, including the capacity crowd at Shea, were acutely aware of Beltran's history against the Cardinals, and the tension mounted accordingly. Down 0-2 to the rookie Wainwright, Beltran looked at a called strike three, a curveball on the outside corner at the knees, and the ballgame was over. The Cardinals had won their record 17th National League pennant.

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Fourth outfielder

In baseball, a fourth outfielder is a backup outfielder, who does not have the hitting skills to regularly play in the corner outfield, but does not have the fielding skills to play center field. Often fourth outfielders are outfield prospects, who have not settled on one outfield position when they first arrived in the Major Leagues. Fourth outfielders may also be platoon players, such as Endy Chavez of the Seattle Mariners or Gabe Kapler of the Tampa Bay Rays.

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Source : Wikipedia