Jun 22, 2021

Remembering Mets History (2000): Mets Batter Pirates in Nine Run Third Inning

Friday June 23rd, 2000: A large crowd of 39,849 gathered at Shea Stadium to see Bobby Valentine's second place Mets (39-31) host Gene Lamont's third place Pittsburgh Pirates (39-31). 

Bobby Valentine sent Bobby Jones to the hill against Pittsburgh's rookie, a young Bronson Arroyo.

Starting Lineups

In the 2nd inning, Todd Zeile & Jay Payton got aboard with hits. With two outs, Benny Agbayani was walked intentionally to get to Bobby Jones the pitcher. That strategy backfired as Bronson Arroyo balked, forcing in the Mets first run. It was the start of a bad day for Arroyo. 

In the top of the 3rd the Pirates got on the board with a Warren Morris sac fly.

In the home 3rd, the Mets blew it open with their biggest inning of the 2000 NL Pennant season. With one out Derek Bell walked & Eduardo Alfonzo singled. Mike Piazza then followed with his 21st HR of the season, a three run shot putting New York up 4-0. 

Trivia: Piazza would lead the Mets in HRs (38) RBIs (113) & tie Edgardo Alfonzo for best batting average on the club (.324). Certainly deserving of an MVP award but was slighted once again.
Next up Robin Ventura & Todd Zeile singled. Then Jay Payton singled, scoring Ventura making it 5-0 Mets. Benny Agbayani again, walked to load the bases. With Arroyo still on the mound, Melvin Mora doubled to cleared the bases, making it a 8-0 Mets lead. Derek Bell then singled as well to make it 9-0 Mets.

Arroyo finally was lifted after just 2.2 innings, he would get charged with ten runs (nine earned) nine hits & three walks, soaring his ERA over ten. 

Trivia: Arroyo was in his rookie year, he would have success winning a World Series in Boston & win 14 games of more five times, including three 15 plus win seasons in Cincinnati with the Reds (2008-2010).

Jeff Wallace took the mound & was greeted by Edgardo Alfonzo who singled scoring Bell, making it 10-1 New York. 

The Mets sent 13 men to the plate, belting out eight hits with nine runs in their biggest run production inning of the year. 

Everyone in the Mets starting lineup got a hit on the night (except the pitchers spot) Edgardo Alfonzo, Todd Ziele, Benny Agbayani & Jay Payton all had two hits each. Piazza & Mora leading the RBI department with three each.

Bobby Jones cruised to the victory, striking out eight Pirates; allowing only five hits through eight innings. The Mets Rich Rodriquez finished it up in the 9th. 

For Jones it was only his second victory of the season & his best outing up to that point as his ERA was still over eight. He would improve, ending up 11-6 for the 2000 NL Champion Mets that year.

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