Remembering Mets History (2000): Super Joe McEwing's Big Day
Sunday May 21st, 2000: In a rematch of the previous years' NLDS, Buck Showalter's Arizona Diamondbacks (27-16) who were riding high in first place, came to Shea Stadium to play Bobby Valentines third place Mets (24-20) in front of 38,826 fans.
The Mets super utility man Joe McEwing, would have one of his biggest days as a Met. The popular McEwing was brought in during the off season in a trade for veteran Jesse Orosco who had a brief tenure again with the Mets late in his career.
McEwing became a favorite weapon of Bobby Valentine as one of his super-subs. The Mets fans also loved McEwing earning him the name "Super Joe" McEwing for his versatility. McEwing would play seven different positions as a Mets player.
The reigning Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson who came into the game at 7-1 with a league leading 0.97 ERA took on the Mets Rick Reed who was 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA.
Both pitchers had tough days giving up five runs each, both getting to the 9th inning.
In the top of the 1st three straight singles led to Arizona's first run. In the bottom of the 1st, Joe McEwing led off for the Mets & he doubled to left field. Next Derek Bell doubled & McEwing came in with the Mets first run.
The Mets started out the game with three straight doubles as Edgardo Alfonzo added one to bring in Bell giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the 3rd Arizona scored with three straight doubles once again & a ground ball out by Steve Finley scored Luis Gonzalez as Arizona went ahead 3-2.
But in the bottom of the inning, Mike Piazza connected off Johnson for his 12th HR of the year, tying up the game. It was the first of four Mets HRs on the day.
In the top of the 6th, Rick Reed surrendered a two run HR to Travis Lee giving Arizona a 5-3 lead.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, McEwing who had already doubled twice off Randy Johnson connected for a one out solo HR to bring the Mets within a HR. It was one of just two HRs Joe would hit in the 2000 season.
Two batters later, Edgardo Alfonzo also homered to tie up the game at five, knocking out Randy Johnson.
In the top of the 8th, Arizona's Steve Finley homered off Mets reliever Dennis Cook putting Arizona ahead.
But in the bottom of the 8th, the Mets Robin Ventura added hit his 10th HR of the year, a solo shot off Mike Morgan to tie the game once again.
The game went to the 9th inning in the hands of relievers Turk Wendell & Byung Hyun Kim. Wendell got the D-backs in order in the top of the inning.
In the bottom of the 9th "Super Joe McEwing" struck again, this time drawing a leadoff walk. He then stole second base putting himself in scoring position. He soon scampered home with the game winning run after Derek Bell singled off Byung-Hyun Kim for the walk off.
On the day McEwing had three hits, two doubles, a HR a walk, with three Runs scored. He would spend five seasons with the Mets hitting 15 HRs with 107 RBIs scoring 131 runs in 502 games while batting .243.