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Clark Realizes 00 Is Mr. Met's

Tony Clark switched his uniform number from 00 to 52 before

the first game of yesterday's doubleheader against the Brewers and appeared to

change his luck, too. His pinch-hit, two-run homer in the ninth inning of Game

1 was his first home run since May 6, a stretch of 50 at-bats for the


But Clark didn't swap for the sake of his sagging fortunes. He did it in

deference to Mr. Met, the franchise mascot who wears No. 00 and sports a giant

baseball for a head. Clark, who was assigned the number upon his arrival in

spring training, didn't realize that Shea wasn't big enough for both of them to

share until he spoke with middle-school students from Queens on Wednesday.

"They asked me if it was my favorite number, and I said no," Clark said.

"Then they asked me if it was my lucky number, and I said no. Then they asked

me if there was any other reason why I had the same number as Mr. Met."

That's when it dawned on Clark that he was messing with an icon, and he

told equipment manager Charlie Samuels to make the switch.

"A lot of kids have expressed their opinion that there's only one

double-zero in their heart," Clark said.

Bacsik Back as Starter

The Mets announced Mike Bacsik will be Sunday's starting pitcher against

Seattle, his first meeting with the Mariners since they pummeled him two years

ago at Jacobs Field in his major-league debut for the Indians.

The date was Aug. 5, 2001, and it remains noteworthy because the Indians

became the first team in 76 years to overcome a 12-run deficit as they beat

Seattle, 15-14, in 11 innings. Bacsik relieved in the third and allowed eight

runs before retiring his first batter. By then, the Indians trailed 12-0.

"That became one of the most memorable games in baseball history," Bacsik

said yesterday. "Without me, there would have been no 12-run deficit."

Bacsik still pitched through the eighth inning as Cleveland clawed back to

14-11. The Indians didn't take the lead until Bacsik was removed. He's hoping

for better results this time, but Bacsik hasn't pitched since last Thursday

with Triple-A Norfolk, so there might be some rust.

"I'll be fresh," Bacsik joked.

Extra Bases

The Mets lost a doubleheader for the second time this season (also to the

Diamondbacks on April 27 at Shea). The last time the Brewers swept one on the

road was July 5, 1992 in Kansas City ... Vance Wilson was the first Mets

catcher to start both games of a doubleheader since Mike Piazza on Aug. 20,

1998 ... Jeromy Burnitz went 0-for-8 as his 11-game hitting streak ended ...

John Franco's sixth-inning appearance in the second game marked his 1,000th

game. He is only the eighth pitcher to reach that milestone.


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