Willis' first 8 career starts compared to other big names:
-- Compiled by ESPN Research
Willis pitched a one-hitter to win his fifth straight as the
Florida Marlins beat the Mets 1-0 Monday night behind a homer by
Ivan Rodriguez.Willis (6-1) allowed only a clean line-drive single to left by
Ty Wigginton with one out in the fourth to win his fifth straight
start."He has a funky delivery. His arm angle helps him and his pitch
location was very good,'' New York outfielder Jeromy Burnitz said of the rookie.The demonstrative 21-year-old with a high leg kick has allowed
four earned runs in his last five starts. He drew a standing
ovation as he came out for the ninth inning and was hugged by
Rodriguez after the final out."I'm definitely going to enjoy this one," Willis said.
"They're in our division, so whatever win we can get in our
division is big."
AP Photo/Alan Diaz
What's Willis' secret? He's got a "funky delivery", one Met says.
Willis outlasted veteran Tom Glavine, who allowed just five
hits, including Rodriguez's homer, in seven innings."I was hoping to keep making pitches and hope that his youth
and enthusiasm would cause him to make a mistake," Glavine said.Marlins manager Jack McKeon said Willis seemed relaxed in the
ninth despite the close game."In a 1-0 game the pressure can mount on a youngster," McKeon
said. "I was praying in the dugout."Willis struck out eight and walked one. Wigginton was the only
batter to reach against Willis, also drawing a walk with two outs
in the first."You get an adrenaline rush, but you don't want to get too
aggressive because then you end up going out of your windup, out of
your mechanics and that's when you make mistakes," Willis said.Willis credited Alex Gonzalez with making several good plays at
shortstop, including a sliding stab in the second that saved a hit."He's amazing over there. It's a blessing to have him," Willis
said.After beating Anaheim behind Steve Trachsel's one-hitter on
Sunday, the Mets flew cross country and were no match for Willis.Rodriguez's homer in the fourth inning off Glavine (5-7) gave
the Marlins the only run they needed to win for the fifth time in
seven games.Glavine missed his last scheduled start with a sore left elbow.
He has lost five of six decisions but said he felt good after
Monday's game."So much of what happened tonight was positive, but
unfortunately we get judged by one thing, and that was not good,"
Glavine said.Glavine ran into trouble in the seventh when he allowed singles
by Juan Encarnacion and Derrek Lee before retiring the next three
hitters to get out of the jam."Tommy pitched a great game," Mets manager Art Howe said. "He
just made one mistake. I'm happy with the fact he came back healthy
and his ball was fine."
Mets OF Jeromy Burnitz went hitless and is four hits shy of
1,000 of his career. ... Glavine is 15-13 in 32 career appearances
against the Marlins. ... The Marlins are 10-4 when Brian Banks
starts in left field. ... Lee, a 6-foot-6 first baseman, stole his 14th base of the season. ... The Marlins and Mets play six more
times in the next 10 days. The Mets lead the all-time series 82-61.