Bring on the Yankees!
"We know the fans are certainly into it," Glavine said. "There's a different level of excitement and electricity in the ballpark."
There was a sparse crowd of 26,607 at Shea Stadium for this one. Chris Woodward, Mike Cameron and David Wright homered, and the Mets (22-19) matched their season high of three games over .500 going into the weekend Subway Series.
Following an offseason overhaul, New York was swept by the Reds in a season-opening three-game series en route to an 0-5 start.
"That seems like ancient history," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.
But his players still were thinking about it.
"Any time you get swept by somebody, it certainly is on your mind the next time you play them," Glavine said. "There was definitely talk today about trying to get the sweep and finishing that part of the business, so to speak."
Glavine (3-4), who defeated St. Louis on Friday with seven-plus scoreless innings, had not won two starts in a row since a West Coast trip last year at Los Angeles (April 27) and San Diego (May 2).
"I was trying to be too much of a power guy," he said.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, handed a 4-0 lead after two, allowed two runs and nine hits in six innings to improve to 26-12 against the Reds.
He struggled with his changeup, but got Jason LaRue to hit into an inning-ending double play in the second after Adam Dunn's leadoff triple. He induced a 1-2-3 double play from Ryan Freel with the bases loaded in the fifth, when the Reds could have gotten back into the game but scored just one run.
"When you win, to me you don't nitpick about little things like hits," Randolph said. "As long as they don't hurt you, that's fine. They can get 20 as long as we win the game."
Cincinnati (14-26) lost its fourth straight and is 0-8-3 in its last 11 series. Woodward's second-inning homer off Eric Milton (2-5) marked the 17th straight game the Reds allowed a home run, matching the team record set from June 5-23, 2001. Danny Graves allowed two homers in a four-run eighth.
Cincinnati made four errors, its most since April 27, 2004, leading to a pair of unearned runs. Reds manager Dave Miley was ejected for arguing a close call at first base on Freel's double play.
After the game, Miley had just 25 words for reporters before halting interviews.
"Ugly. Embarrassing," he said. "You don't have the keys on your computer or typewriter to say what I want to say. That's all I have for you."
Sean Casey was just about the lone bright spot for Cincinnati, going 5-for-5 with a home run, a double and four RBI. Ken Griffey Jr. hit a two-run homer in the ninth, his sixth of the season.
Cincinnati is a no-tools team right now.
"It was pretty much an embarrassing game, an embarrassing series," said Casey, who matched his career best for hits. "It's getting old, losing like this. It's not only one facet of the game, we're really scuffling in all the phases right now."
Casey raised his average from .273 to .297. Piazza, down to .198 before a four-hit game against Philadelphia on May 5, lifted his from .219 to .242.
For Cincinnati, the key came in the fifth. The Reds loaded the bases with none out before Freel's comebacker. First base umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled that first baseman Miguel Cairo grabbed Piazza's high relay throw and came down on the bag in time for the out.
Miley came out to argue and was tossed.
"I've got a big glove," said Cairo, who didn't know whether Freel touched the bag first. "I just came down and he called, `Out!' "
Not much went right for the Reds.
Second baseman D'Angelo Jimenez made two errors, and third baseman Joe Randa and Graves had one each. Milton, who had slapped a single to left in the fifth after faking a bunt, singled sharply to left with two outs in the sixth only to have Jimenez thrown out at the plate by Cliff Floyd.
Floyd has been watching the Yankees on television during their West Coast trip, and hoped Seattle would stop the Yankees' winning streak at 10 Wednesday night.
"You want them to lose. You want them to be down a little bit," he said.
Still, he wasn't surprised by their rebound from an 11-19 start.
"It's amazing that anybody would even doubt those dudes," Floyd said.
- Mets RHP Pedro Martinez (4-1) had a cortisone shot in his right hip Tuesday and was pushed back in the rotation until Sunday against Carl Pavano (3-2), creating a matchup of pitchers in the 1997 trade that sent Martinez from Montreal to Boston. Victor Zambrano (2-3) will start Friday's opener against Kevin Brown (2-4) and Kris Benson (1-1) will pitch Saturday against Randy Johnson (4-2).
- The Reds pushed back struggling RHP Paul Wilson from their weekend rotation against Cleveland and will pitch RHPs Aaron Harang (2-2), Elizardo Ramirez (0-1) and Ramon Ortiz (1-2).