10/04/06 9:00 PM ET
Chess Match: Skippers affect outcome
Managerial decisions played a key role in Game 1 at Shea
By Jim Street / MLB.com
Managers made some decisions that worked splendidly, and others that didn't pan out at all.
Among the major ones made in Game 1:
The situation: With runners on first and second bases in the seventh inning and right-hander Brad Penny pitching in relief, left-handed hitting Carlos Delgado came to bat for the Mets.
The decision: Manager Grady Little already had used Mark Hendrickson, his only left-handed reliever because of a freak accident that knocked dependable lefty Joe Beimel out of the Division Series, so he stayed with the hard-throwing Penny.
The outcome: Delgado, 3-for-3 in the game, grounded a single into left field, driving in the go-ahead run in what became a decisive two-run rally.
The situation: The Dodgers had runners on first and second bases with one out in the fifth inning against Mets starter John Maine.
The decision: Although Maine needed just two more outs to qualify for the win, manager Willie Randolph elected to replace the rookie with left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano to face left-handed-hitting Kenny Lofton.
The outcome: Feliciano struck out Lofton for the second out and right-hander Chad Bradford came in to retire Nomar Garciaparra, protecting a 2-1 lead.
The situation: Trailing by two runs in the seventh inning, the Dodgers had Wilson Betemit on third base and Rafael Furcal on first with two outs.
The decision: The Mets didn't pay enough attention to Furcal and he promptly swiped second base without a throw, putting the tying run in scoring position.
The outcome: Garciaparra doubled to left field, scoring both runners to tie the game.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.