May 25th 1999: Bobby Valentines Mets were in second place just one & 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves. The Mets were in Pittsburgh taking on Gene Lamont's fifth place Pirates.
With the Mets already ahead 1-0 in the 4th inning, Mike Piazza hit his 9th HR of the year, a solo HR off Kris Benson. Piazza would have three hits & drive in three runs on the day. It was the start of his club record tying 24 game hit streak.
Piazza had come in to the game already batting .302 when the hit streak began. The next night Piazza got one hit in the 5-2 win over the Pirates. From there the Mets came home to Shea Stadium, hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks. This was the worst stretch of the year for the '99 Wild Card winning Mets team, as the would lose eight in a row, all six on the home stand & two of three in the subway series at the Bronx.
Piazza remained steady he would have three straight games, where he collected two hits, all against Arizona. He then would get a hit in all five of the next games as well.
On Sunday June 6th, the Mets finally broke out of their slump. They shelled New York's Roger Clemens in the Sunday Night Baseball subway series finale'. In the 3rd inning already ahead 4-0, Piazza blasted a long two run HR off Clemens, his tenth of the season. The Mets rolled on to a 7-2 win behind Al Leiter. The Mets went on to win 12 of their next 14, with a stretch of six straight mixed in as well.
The next night on June 7th, Piazza drove in two runs & hit a solo HR off the Blue Jays Roy Halladay, in an inter league game with the Blue Jays at Citi Field. The Mets swept that series from Toronto & Piazza had a four game stretch where he collected two hits in each game. The next series brought the Boston Red Sox to Shea & the Sox snapped the four game win streak. Piazza provided all the Mets runs with a two run HR off Tom Gordon.
With Piazza's hit streak at 18 games, the Mets moved on to Cincinnati for series with the Reds, whom they play in a tie breaking playoff game to determine the wild card winner at the end of the season.
The Mets swept that series in the midst of their six game win streak, in the first game Piazza hit his 13th HR continuing the streak at 19. On the night the Mets had HRs from John Olerud, Edgardo Alfonzo & Ricky Henderson in the 11-3 win.
Piazza would collect a pair of hits in each of the next two games, including scoring what turned out to be the winning run on Robin Ventura's HR in St. Louis. In the next two games at Busch Stadium, Piazza hit HRs in both games. his 14th & 15th respectively. The Mets took two of three & the Piazza hitting streak was at 22 games as the Mets came back home to Shea.
On June 22nd 1999; the second place Mets (39-31) hosted the fifth place Florida Marlins. The Marlin pitchers held Piazza down without a hit until the 8th inning. In the bottom of the 8th, Piazza led off against pitcher; Vic Darensbourg. Piazza blasted his 16th HR, a long shot down the left field line. The streak reached 24 games, tying the Mets club record set by Hubie Brooks in 1984. On June 23rd Piazza was held hitless by the Florida Marlins in a 6-3 Mets win, officially ending the streak at 24.
The record still stands today, 17 years later. In 2007 David Wright joined Piazza & Brooks with a 24 game hit streak of his own.
The next night Piazza was finally stopped at 23 games, the Marlin pitchers Brian Meadows & Mike Mantei shut him down for an 0-4 night.
During the hit streak Piazza collected 37 hits, raising his average to .326. He hit eight HRs & drove in 18 runs. The Mets as a team went 14-10.