Jul 28, 2021

Remembering Mets History (2001): Robin Ventura & Mike Piazza Have Back to Back Walk Off HRs

Saturday July 28th 2001: Bobby Valentines Mets were still reigning NL Champions but certainly not living up to the title.

At 48-57 the Mets were in fourth place 11 games behind the Atlanta Braves. A good crowd of 38,972 came out to support the Mets as they hosted the Philadelphia Phillies (57-47).

A matchup of Al Leiter going up against Omar Daal. Daal who led the NL with 19 losses in 200 would have his best year going 13-7 in 2001.

Starting Lineups

In the home 1st, New York got a double from Todd Zeile & then Mike Piazza walked. Jay Payton & Benny Agbayani both singled bringing home runs making it 2-0 Mets. In the 4th Agbayani led off with a solo HR, his fifth of the year. 

Leiter held the 3-0 lead until the 6th, Tomas Perez homered & Doug Glanville doubled home another run making 3-2.

In the 7th, Valentine brought in Jerrod Riggan to pitch. He gave up a one out double to Bobby Abreu & then Abreu stole third. Pat Burrell hit a line drive to right field, but Joe McEwing couldn't handle it, that allowed Abreu to score the tying run.

John Franco & Armando Benitez got the Mets to the 9th. A familiar face, Turk Wendell came on to pitch for the Phillies. He was greeted in the 9th by his old friend Robin Ventura, hitting a walk off HR. It was Venturas first walk off since the famous Grand slam single in the 1999 NLCS.

Sunday July 29th 2001: On this afternoon, the Phillies got another dose of Mets walk offs. The starters were Nelson Figueroa (not for the Mets) for the Phillies & Kevin Appier for New York. The Kevin Appier signing was a big disappointment as he went 11-10 with a 3,57 ERA in his one season with the Mets. He would go to Anaheim in the Mo Vaughn deal at the end of the season.

In the 1st, Desi Relaford singled and came home on Mike Piazza's double. It was big day for Piazza, as he would have three hits with three RBIs. Yesterdays hero Robin Ventura followed with an RBI single making it 2-0. Bobby Abreu's two run HR tied it up in the 4th.

In the 7th pinch hitter Lenny Harris walked & Desi Relaford singled once again, advancing Harris. Piazza grounded out but Harris scored the Mets third run. It was answered by a Scott Rolen two run HR off John Franco in the 8th, putting the Phils up 5-4.

In the 8th of this crazy game, Jay Payton led off with a base hit & Tsuyoshi Shinjo hit a two run HR gave the Mets a 5-4 lead. It was Shinjo's sixth HR of the year.

In the 9th Armando Benitez couldn't hold the lead once again, blowing the save op. He walked the lead off man Kevin Jordan & gave up a base hit to Johnny Estrada, advancing Jordan to third. Brian Hunter's sac fly scored Jordan tying it once again.

In the bottom of the 9th Mike Piazza finally ended the game hitting a walk off HR off reliever Rheal Cormier.

It was Piazza's 15th HR of the year. He would hit 36 HRs in 2001, in an eight year stretch where he hit 30 or more HRs each year, hitting 40 twice in that stretch.

 Piazza would have four walk off HRs in Mets career & six walk off game winning RBIs.

No comments: