In a way, Anthony Recker, the catcher, deserved a save almost as much as Jose Valverde, the closer. Recker was able to spring to his feet, grab the ball and fire to second base in time to throw out Billy Hamilton, the pinch-running savant, with one out in the eighth inning Friday night.

That prevented the Reds from getting the tying run into scoring position and supported the solid setup work of Kyle Farnsworth.

It also was fate's way of saying it owed Recker one.

"I've actually faced him in the minor leagues and he's just as fast as he was then," said Recker, who entered in the seventh inning as part of a double switch.

Hamilton's speed is the stuff of baseball history. Two years ago, he stole 155 bases, breaking Vince Coleman's record for most steals in a minor-league season. "Honestly, I'd like to say I threw him out twice in two tries, but both times they called him safe,'' Recker said after the Mets' 4-3 win. "My shortstop told me that he was out both times, and I believe him."

This time, there was no doubt.

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Endy of the day

Eric Young Jr. remembers Endy Chavez's leaping catch at the Shea Stadium leftfield fence in the 2006 NLCS. He just didn't think of it until someone reminded him. Young's catch in the first inning wasn't as dramatic, but it was athletic and it turned out to be pivotal. He raced to the leftfield wall, leaped and robbed Brandon Phillips of a home run.

"I almost stumbled a little bit on the warning track, it was a little slippery, but I got my footing and I was able to get a jump on it," Young said. "My main concern was to keep my eye on the ball and watch it go into the glove . . . It gets me pumped up and I know the rest of the guys were pumped up, too. It was early in the game, but the difference in the game was one run."