Remembering Mets History: (1999) Orel Hershiser & Armando Benitez Combine On A Two Hitter

Thursday September 9th, 1999: It was always a big deal when Orel Hershiser returned to Los Angeles to pitch & tonight was no exception. This game meant more to Hershiser & his new team the New York Mets. 

Bobby Valentine's Mets (86-55) were on top of the Wild Card race & just three games in back of the Atlanta Braves in the standings in the NL East. Tonight 33,954 came to Dodger Stadium, as Davey Johnson's fourth place Dodgers (65-75) hosted the Mets. Hershiser (12-10) went up against Kevin Brown (16-6).

New York Mets       Los Angeles Dodgers
1Rickey HendersonLF1Eric Young2B
2Edgardo Alfonzo2B2Mark GrudzielanekSS
3John Olerud1B3Gary SheffieldLF
4Mike PiazzaC4Eric Karros1B
5Robin Ventura3B5Todd HundleyC
6Darryl HamiltonCF6Raul MondesiRF
7Roger CedenoRF7Devon WhiteCF
8Rey OrdonezSS8Adrian Beltre3B
9Orel HershiserP9Kevin BrownP

In the bottom of the 1st, Hershiser served up a solo HR to Gary Sheffield making it 1-0. In the 4th he allowed a single to Mark Grudzielanek and that was it. Hershiser didn't allow another hit or base runner the rest of the way. He would go eight innings, allowing two hits with no walks & one strike out, mastering the Dodger hitters.

Kevin Brown, one of the leagues top pitchers that year held the Mets scoreless until the 6th inning. After John Olerud reached on an error, Mike Piazza hit a two run HR to put New York ahead for good. The Mets added a run in the 9th, on a Jay Payton RBI double. Armando Benitez came on in the 9th for his 19th save, closing out the combined two hitter. 

Hershiser was a key part of the 1999 Wild Card Mets pitching staff going 13-12 with 179 innings pitched posting a 4.58 ERA at the age of 40. 

In the post season he made three relief appearances allowing no runs on just one hit in 5.1 innings of work, most ntable in Robin Ventura's Grand Slam single NLCS Game #5 win over the Atlanta Braves.


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