Remembering Mets History: (1999) Mets Beat the Cincinnati Reds In One Game Tie Breaker & Advance to the NLDS

Monday October 4, 1999:
Bobby Valentines 1999 Mets posted a
 96-66 record, the
team's best finish since they had won 100 games, back in 1988.  

This season they finished second to the Atlanta Braves & had tied with the Cincinnati Reds for the Wild Card spot.

The Mets lost home field advantage in a league coin toss & traveled to Cincinnati to play Jack McKeon's Reds (96-67) in the one game tie breaker to decide the NL Wild Card winner. 

New York entered the game with a three-game win streak and winning four of the last five games. This followed a seven-game losing streak from September 21st to September 28th, that almost finished off their season.

On the mound for the Mets ace Al Leiter would take the mound. Leiter would go 13-12 with a 4.23 ERA for the 1999 Mets. Tonight, would be his best game in his Mets career.  He would face the Reds Steve Parris (11-3).

For Al Leiter he stepped into the spotlight & threw a complete game two hit shutout winning his 13th game of the year. Along the way, Leiter struck out eight batters, while walking four.

It wasn’t until the 9th inning that the Reds were able to get more than one base runner on base.

The Mets struck right out of the box, leadoff batter, Rickey Henderson led off with a base hit. Then Edgardo Alfonzo hit his 27th HR of the year, a two-run blast off Reds starter, Steve Parris. 

In the top of the 3rd, with two outs, Edgardo Alfonzo drew a walk. John Olerud then doubled & Mike Piazza was walked intentionally.

Steve Parris was taken out as Jack McKeon brought in Denny Neagle. He issued a bases loaded walk to Robin Ventura making it 3-0 Mets.

In the top of the 5th inning, the Mets Rickey Henderson led off with a HR off Denny Neagle, it was Henderson's 12th HR of the year. It was now 4-0 Mets.

In the top of the 6th, Rey Ordonez walked & brought in when Edgardo Alfonzo doubled sealing the 5-0 Mets win. 

The victory secured the New York Mets the 1999 Wild Card spot & their first trip to the playoffs since 1988. 

Trivia: For the first time in Mets team history, the 1999 Mets had three players who drove in over 100 runs; Mike Piazza (124) Robin Ventura (120) & Eduardo Alfonzo (108).


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