06/28/07 12:13 AM ET
Cards drop rain-shortened game to Mets
Reyes takes the loss, his 10th of the year, despite a solid outing
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
In fact, he'd be wise to avoid the lottery, the slots or the track. The way he's going, even a scratch-off ticket might be a stretch. Reyes, plain and simple, just has no luck.
Winless heading into Wednesday's start, Reyes left a soggy Shea Stadium wondering what could have been. This time he pitched well -- brilliantly, even, after a rocky first inning. But this one ended like just the others, heaped with the frustration of another loss.
By the time the pouring rain stunted his outing after five increasingly strong innings against the Mets, Reyes stood at 0-10, his record becoming less and less an accurate barometer of his skills. And now he's found a new reason for his troubles: a two-hour thunderstorm that halted Wednesday's game after 5 1/2 innings and handed the Cardinals an abbreviated 2-0 loss.
"It's just my luck, I guess, right now," Reyes said. "I guess now it's just kind of biting me."
It bit him in the first inning, and that's all that wound up mattering. Reyes left a fastball -- not a terrible pitch, down in the zone -- a bit more over the plate than he wanted, and David Wright mashed it over the wall in right-center for a two-run homer.
Game over. That was the extent of the offense for both sides, Reyes shutting down the Mets the rest of the way and Tom Glavine allowing the Cards even less. It was a classic pitching duel -- for Reyes, starting four batters too late -- stripped of what could have been an interesting homestretch.
Just when Reyes appeared to be settling in for good, the rains came, forcing the grounds crew to roll out the tarp for what became an almost two-hour delay. The rain slowly faded to a drizzle before roaring back at around 10 p.m. CT, forcing umpires to call the game.
It wouldn't have mattered much to Reyes, who would have been hard-pressed to re-enter the game after a delay of that length. But that certainly can't soothe the pain of an outing that had all the makings of his long-anticipated first win.
After Wright's home run, Reyes was nothing short of spectacular. He didn't allow another hit through four more innings, finishing with two walks and three strikeouts. The one time he did find trouble -- plunking the leadoff batter and walking the second man to open the fifth inning -- he mowed down three straight Mets to resume command.
Reyes' velocity has admittedly been down, but he's learning to battle through nights when he doesn't have his best stuff. On Wednesday he didn't, yet he still managed one of his best outings of the year.
But none of it mattered.
"He pitched better than we hit," said manager Tony La Russa. "He deserved better."
The problem, as La Russa hinted, came not from Reyes but from the man opposing him. Glavine allowed an infield hit and two walks in the first two innings before retiring 13 straight Cardinals to polish off the night. He needed just 81 pitches to cruise through six innings, making sure that Reyes wouldn't win no matter how good he was.
"He's done it almost 300 times," La Russa said. "Great command, great deception, good movement, great pitcher."
He's done it 297 times, to be exact, not that the Cardinals are counting. They just wanted a win -- not only for themselves but for Reyes.
As frustrating as it is for Reyes -- and it assuredly eats at the young right-hander -- it's just as bad for the Cards, who haven't been able to capitalize on the hurler's good days. There's no doubt that with a little luck, Reyes wouldn't be 0-10. And if he wasn't, Wednesday's rainy result might not have seemed quite so dreary.
"It leaves a bad taste in your mouth," said shortstop Aaron Miles. "The fact that we had three more cracks at [Glavine], in a two-run ballgame, that's the story. He pitched good, but the weather got us today."
Those three cracks went quickly in the top of the sixth, with Reyes, So Taguchi and Ryan Ludwick retired in order. Then the only cracks were those of lightning overhead.
The framework is there. Now Reyes just needs the results.
"This thing will pass," he said. "Hopefully, down the road, I can just look back on this, and just hope that it doesn't happen again."
Anthony DiComo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.