Apr 16, 2020

Remembering Mets History (2000): NL Champion Mets Have Season Best Win Streak At Nine Games

The 2000 NL Champion Mets had their first big win streak early on in April. They were finishing up a series in Pittsburgh, getting ready to come home for a ten game homestand. 

They had started out the season with a two game series in Japan, returning to the US to continue play four days later. The tired jet jagged club started out the season at 5-7 up to this point. 

Sunday April 16th, 2000: The Mets closed out this three game set with Gene Lamont's Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadoum. Today all the bats started to wake up. The club scored 12 runs on 15 hits with Robin Ventura leading the way.

In the 1st inning, Ventura started out his big day with a three run HR off non other than future Met, Kris Benson. The three run HR was Ventura's second long ball of the year.  The Pirates got right back, knocking Bobby Jones out of the game with a four run 2nd, Pat Mahomes came in for relief. 

Mahomes would take the Mets to the 5th inning, pitching four innings, allowing two earned runs (five overall) but it was enough to earn his first win of the year, as the Mets offense gave good support. 

Short time Met Jon Nunnaly (from Kansas City), who replaced Rickey Henderson in left early in the game, hit one of his two Mets career HRs. Edgardo Alfonzo, Todd Zeile, Jay Payton & Derek Bell all drove in a run, but it was Ventura who had six RBIs on the day who was the offensive hero. Ventura collected a HR, a double a single & a sac fly on the day, leading to a 12-9 win over the Pirates.

Tuesday April 18th, 2000: A good crowd of 17, 905 came out to Shea to see Bobby Valentine's Mets  start a three game set against Davey Lopes' Milwaukee Brewers. The Mets Mike Hampton took on Jamie Navarro. Neither pitcher fared well, as the Mets jumped on Navarro in the 1st inning. 

Joe Nunally led off with a double & stole third. Edgardo Alfonzo doubled & Mike Piazza singled, making it a quick 2-0 Mets. After Robin Ventura walked, Todd Zeile singled to score Piazza & Jay Payton added a sac fly making it 4-0.

In the top of the 2nd, Mike Hampton issued three walks which resulted in a Raul Casanova two run single, making it 4-2. 

In the 4th, the Mets pitcher Hampton, singled & advanced on a wild pitch. Derek Bell then walked. Edgardo Alfonzo doubled scoring Hampton. 

Next Mike Piazza walked to load the bases for Robin Ventura. Ventura who is tied for fifth All Time with 18 grand slams, delivered one here, his grand slam way out in right field gave the Mets a commanding 9-2 lead. Joe Nunnaly's sac fly in the 5th gave them the 5th & final run of the 10-7 win.

Mike Hampton, allowed 5 runs in 7.2 innings of work with 6 walks & 6 six hits, but still earned his first Mets victory.

Wednesday April 19th, 2000: Tonight a crowd of 18,001 came out to see Rick Reed take on Jason Bere, who started out the year at 2-0 with an ERA under two. 

Tonight was a classic Rick Reed win, seven innings one run, one walk & seven hits allowed while striking out six. Reed had a great start to the 2000 season, as he was now 2-0 with an ERA of 0.91.

In the 1st, the Mets got two lead off hits from Rickey Henderson & Derek Bell. Mike Piazza grounded out but Henderson scored. In the 2nd, Bell added an RBI single & Edgardo Alfonzo a sac fly giving the Mets all they needed in the 3-1 win. Armando Benitez collected his 6th save.

Thursday April 20th, 2000: The Mets went for the sweep tonight, as Al Leiter went up against the Brewers' Steve Woodward.

Jeromy Burnitz gave the Brewers their first run with a sac fly in the 1st inning. The Mets answered as Mike Piazza hit his 4th HR of the season to lead off the 2nd. The Brewers would get HRs from James Mouton & Charlie Hayes to take a 4-1 lead.

In the 7th, the Mets came back. Derek Bell led off with a HR. Alfonzo singled & Piazza walked.  Woodward was taken out of the game, soon David Weathers was in. Todd Zeile singled to right field scoring both runners to tie the game.

The game remained tied, as a solid Mets bullpen of Pat Mahomes (two innings) Dennis Cook (one inning) & Turk Wendell (one inning) got the Mets to the bottom of the 10th inning. 

It was here where Melvin Mora hit a walk off HR, his first of the year giving the Mets the 5-4 win & series sweep. Turk Wendell got his first win.

Saturday April 21st, 2000: After a rain out Friday, Saturday was a double header, as the Mets hosted Don Baylor's Chicago Cubs. This rainy afternoon matinee at Shea, saw Glendon Rusch take on Jon Leiber. (Leiber would win 20 games the next year for Chicago).

Both starters gave fine performances that day, with the Mets getting a ground out run early on, with 1-0 lead going to the home 6th. 

It was then that Derek Bell led off with a double. Robin Ventura was intentionally walked. Todd Pratt grounded out, scoring Bell. Matt Franco then singled through the short stop scoring Ventura making it 3-0.

In the  top of the 7th, Mark Grace & Shane Andrews both hit solo HRs off Rusch, as he exited with a 3-2 lead. The Mets then had a big 8th inning off relievers Ruben Quevedo & Brian Williams. 

Todd Pratt, Melvin Mora & Mike Piazza all reached on walks. Then as Williams came in to pitch, he was greeted with back to back doubles from Benny Agbayani & Derek Bell, the Mets went on to a 8-3 win. 

In the night cap, the Mets Dennis Springer went up against Kyle Farnsworth.

In the Mets home 1st, Derek Bell & Mike Piazza singled. Todd Zeile then drew a walk. Benny Agbayani singled  to left making it 2-0. The score stayed that way until the 5th, when the Cubs got an RBI hit from Jeff Huson. Then in the 6th, Sammy Sosa & Henry Rodriguez both got aboard with hits, Jeff Reed then blasted a double to give Chicago a 3-2 lead, knocking out Springer.

But the Mets came right back in the bottom frame. Robin Ventura led off with his 4th HR of the year. Zeile doubled, Agbayani walked & Kurt Abbott got an infield single to load the bases. Kyle Farnsworth was relieved by a future Met, journeyman, Mark Guthrie. Rey Ordonez collected an RBI single to center. 

The Mets pitcher, Dennis Cook sacrificed & Melvin Mora hit a fly ball to left scoring Abbott. Guthrie had more trouble when he walked Derek Bell & infield error on Mike Piazza's grounder led to another run, making it 7-3 New York.

The Mets took a 7-4 lead into the 9th, when Armando Benitez went for the save. In typical Benitez fashion, it wasn't easy. After getting the first two outs, Sammy Sosa singled. Henry Rodriguez followed with a two run HR, making it 7-6. (Rodriguez would hit twenty or more HRs in five straight seasons, with two of the being 30+ HR seasons).  

But the Benitez got Tarrik Brock to go down on strikes to end the game, giving the Mets the double header sweep. They now had a six game win streak going as well.

Sunday April 24th 2000: As the Mets went for the series sweep, a good crowd of 27. 560 came to Shea & were treated to a big day. The Mets made it their biggest run production day of the 2000 season. The Mets would score more than ten runs 24 times during the year but todays 15 runs were the most they put up in any game in their NL pennant season.

Mike Hampton would have an easy time with his second win of the year, going seven innings allowing five runs (three earned) striking out just three & walking four.

In the bottom of the 1st, Edgardo Alfonzo & Mike Piazza hit back to back HRs to make it 2-0. The Cubs tied it after a Joe Girardi double &  Sammy Sosa HR.

The Mets then had a huge 4th inning, sending 12 men to the plate & putting up seven runs. Robin Ventura led off with a double. After Todd Zeile lined out, the Mets beat up on former Mets pitcher, Kevin Tapani. 

Jay Payton, Rey Ordonez & Hampton all collected RBI hits one after the other. A Cub error off the bat of Robin Ventura led to the 7th run as the Mets took a 10-3 lead.

In the 5th, Cubs reliever Ruben Quevedo gave up a walk to Rey Ordonez, a single to Rickey Henderson, an RBI single to Derek Bell & a bases clearing double to Mike Piazza. The Cubs brought in Brian Williams, who served up a double to Robin Ventura making it 15-3.

Monday April 24th, 2000: A familiar face was at Shea, but in the visiting dug out, as former Mets manager Davey Johnson brought his LA Dodgers to town. The Dodgers would win 86 games & finish second in 2000. Johnson would get ejected from this game after disputing a close play at third base involving Melvin Mora.

After the big offensive explosion yesterday, this game was all about pitching. The Dodgers Darren Dreifort shut out the Mets for six innings, scattering just five hits along the way. In the 7th Terry Adams came on to pitch, shutting down the Mets until the 9th.

For the Mets, Pat Mahomes shut out the Dodgers into the 6th inning, giving up just two hits, in a fine performance. Turk Wendell pitched two scoreless innings & Armando Benitez a scoreless 9th.

In the bottom of the 9th, Robin Ventura led off with a double. Bobby Valentine, sent Melvin Mora in to pinch run. Short Time Met Jon Nunnally drew a walk. After recording the next two outs, Matt Franco delivered again for the Mets. 

A weak little line drive up the middle infield, was all Nunnally needed to score the winning run. Franco would have three walk off hits in the 1999-2000 seasons. The Mets 1-0 win gave them an eight game win streak.

Tuesday April 25th, 2000: Bobby Valentines Mets now 13-7 tied for first place with their nemesis, the  Atlanta Braves. Tonight the Mets opened up a three game homestand against Jack McKeon's Cincinnati Reds. 

The Mets had beaten the Reds in a one game playoff to advance to the NLCS the previous year. The man who shut the Reds down in that game, Al Leiter started for the Mets today against Rob Bell.

In the 2nd, Mike Piazza & Robin Ventura had back to back doubles making it 1-0.  It was Ventura's 15th RBI & 5th double of the season. In the 3rd Ventura homered, his 5th of the year. Edgardo Alfonzo had also hit a HR in the inning, his 3rd of the year, making it 4-1 Mets.

Leiter would get knocked out in the 6th inning, after giving up the lead. Turk Wendell came on to pitch, earning the win, as the Mets supported him in the bottom of the inning. Wendell was one of the best Mets right handed relievers ever. 

Derek Bell led off with a HR off Scott Sullivan. Alfonzo singled & Piazza doubled knocking out Sullivan, who gave way to reliever, Scott Williamson. 

Once again in the midst of things was short time Met, Jon Nunnally. Nunnally drew a bases loaded walk, bringing in Alfonzo in what turned out to be the winning run.

John Franco & Armando Benitez held the Reds the rest of the way, sealing the win, as Mets completed a nine game win streak.

Trivia: The Mets nine game win streak was their longest of the 2000 season. The Mets scored 66 runs in that stretch and reached first place. Robin Ventura hit 4 HRs & drove in 14 runs in that stretch.

The Mets went on to win the 2000 NL pennant in a very memorable season.

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