Apr 9, 2020

Remembering Mets History: (2001) Piazza Hit Two HRs As the Mets Raise the NL Champion Flag

April 9th 2001: The 2001 home Opener was a special one & a similar one to the more recent one in 2016. The New York Mets were raising the National League Champions flag high over Shea Stadium.

53,640 fans sold out Shea Stadium for the pre game festivities. The Mets home opener that day was up against non other than their NL Eastern rival Atlanta Braves.

Manager Bobby Valentine sent his newest pitcher Kevin Appier, acquired in the off season, to the hill against Bobby Cox's starter Kevin Millwood.

Starting Lineups

The scoring started early as the Braves B.J. Surhoff hit a solo HR to make it 1-0.

But the Mets answered in the bottom of the 2nd, as Todd Zeile walked & stole second base. Rey Ordonez then singled him in to tie it up at one.

The Mets had a big five run 5th inning, as Ordonez doubled & Darryl Hamilton reached on a base hit. Then run producers Edgardo Alfonzo & Robin Ventura both singled to bring in runs.

Then future Mets Hall of Famer; Mike Piazza delivered the big blow of the day, a three run HR to make it 6-1 Mets. The Shea crowd of course went wild.....

In the Mets 6th inning, Tsuyoshi Shinjo hit his first HR of the season as well, pleasing the crowd even more as this Opening Day was becoming a good time for all Met fans.

After former Met Rico Brogna homered in the top of the 7th, for Atlanta Mike Piazza added his second of the day. The two run shot drove in Robin Ventura with the Mets ninth run of the day. The Mets would win it 9-4.

Appier would pitch seven innings, taking the victory, allowing three runs on six hits. 

John Franco pitched a scoreless 8th & Armando Benitez closed it out after allowing a run in the 9th. Kevin Millwood allowed six earned runs & took the loss.

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