Remembering Mets History (1999): NLDS Game #1 - Fonzie's Grand Slam Wins It
The 1999 New York Mets (97-66) won the NL Wild Card spot under manager Bobby Valentine. The Mets had beaten the Cincinnati Reds the previous day to determine the wild card winner in a tie breaker, winner take all contest.
It was the club's first playoff appearance since 1988, eleven years earlier.
The Mets opponents in the Division Series was the first place Western Division Champion; Arizona Diamondbacks (100-62) headed by manager Buck Showalter.
Game One of the series opened up at "the BOB" in front of 49,584. The Mets sent Masato Yoshi (12-8 / 4.40 ERA) to the mound against that year's Cy Young Award winner; Randy Johnson (17-9 / with the league's best 2.48 ERA & 364 Ks).
|New York Mets||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|1||Rickey Henderson||LF||1||Tony Womack||RF|
|2||Edgardo Alfonzo||2B||2||Jay Bell||2B|
|3||John Olerud||1B||3||Luis Gonzalez||LF|
|4||Mike Piazza||C||4||Matt Williams||3B|
|5||Benny Agbayani||RF||5||Erubiel Durazo||1B|
|6||Robin Ventura||3B||6||Steve Finley||CF|
|7||Shawon Dunston||CF||7||Hanley Frias||SS|
|8||Rey Ordonez||SS||8||Kelly Stinnett||C|
|9||Masato Yoshii||P||9||Randy Johnson|
In the 1st inning, Edgardo Alfonzo put the Mets on the board with a solo HR. In the top of the 3rd, Rickey Henderson led off with a walk & John Olerud delivered with a two run HR, making it 3-0 Mets.
Arizona scored a run in the 3rd on a Jay Bell sac fly. In the 4th inning, the Mets Robin Ventura doubled, then centerfielder, Shawon Dunston scraped out an infield single, but Ventura was not able to score, that put two men on.
Kaz Matsui grounded out still stranding Ventura on third. Rey Ordonez then bunted & Ventura did score this time on the sacrifice. It was now 4-1 New York.
The Diamondbacks came back with HRs from Erubiel Durazo & Luis Gonzales, both off of Masato Yoshi. After the Gonzales HR, Bobby Valentine pulled his starter & brought in Dennis Cook.
Cook went to the 7th inning, holding down Arizona with no runs & one hit. Turk Wendell & Armando Benitez held them down the rest of the way, each pitching scoreless, hitless innings.
In the visiting 9th, Robin Ventura singled. Roger Cedeno popped out & then Rey Ordonez singled to left field.
Melvin Mora then drew a walk & with the bases loaded Randy Johnson hit the showers. Reliever Bobby Chouinard came on & after getting Rickey Henderson to ground out, he gave up a big blow.
Edgardo Alfonzo blasted a grand slam HR, putting the Mets up for good 8-4, taking the first game of the series.