Remembering Mets History: (2000) Mets Clinch Wild Card Berth & Second Straight Post Season

Wednesday September 27th, 2000: The Mets entered tonight's game needing a win to guarantee them at least a tie for NL Wild Card spot. Bobby Valentine's Mets (89-68) had just five games left to play in the regular season, as they went for their 90th win.

Tonight, the Mets hosted their biggest rival of this era, Bobby Cox's first place Atlanta Braves (94-64). Bobby Cox sent Kevin Millwood (10-12) to the hill to face the Mets Rick Reed (10-5) in front of 48,858 wild & crazy Mets fans.




In the 1st, the Braves Andru Jones hit a solo HR putting Atlanta on the board first. Reed would
give up a hit in each of the next three innings, but then shut down hitless & scoreless the rest of the way to the 9th inning.

On the night, Reed would pitch eight innings, allowing the one run on four hits, with just one walk, while striking out seven Braves. Reed one of the steadiest Mets pitchers of that era won his 11th game, finishing the year at 11-5 with a 4.11 ERA.

In the bottom of the 4th inning, Timo Perez led off with a single. Then Kevin Millwood got wild & helped out the Mets walking three batters. His walk to Todd Zeile brought in the Mets first run. 
In the 5th, after Millwood retired the first two batters, Timo Perez tripled. Then Darryl Hamilton pinch hit for Derek Bell & singled to right, bringing in Perez with the go ahead run. Edgardo Alfonzo then blasted a two run HR, his 25th of the year, making it a 4-1 Mets lead, as the Shea fans went wild.

In the 6th, Robin Ventura led off with a base hit & advanced to second on Rick Reed's force play.
Jay Payton then singled to center scoring Ventura for a 5-1 lead. That was it for Millwood, as Scott Kamieniecki came into pitch.

In the 7th, Darryl Hamilton led off with a walk. Edgardo Alfonzo singled, but Mike Piazza grounded into a double play. Then with two outs, Robin Ventura doubled bringing in his 82nd run of the year & a 6-1 Mets lead.

In the 9th, Armando Benitez who never made anything go easily, gave up a leadoff HR to Andres Galarraga making it 6-2. He then struck out Bobby Bonilla, looking to a chorus of boo's to the Shea Faithful. 

Then Benitez gave up a single to Wally Joyner but then managed to strike out the next two batters ending the game as Keith Lockhart went down swinging.

The Mets celebrated & the fans cheered on their club.

Trivia: It was the ninth time the franchise had won ninety or more games.

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Thursday September 28th, 2000: The next night, Shea Stadium filled up with 52,184 eager & vocal Mets fans needing one win to capture the 2000 NL Wild Card title.

There were just four more games in the regular season, after this one with the Braves, the Mets would host the Montreal Expos in a three-game set. Tonight, Bobby Valentines Mets (90-68) sent the right-handed Bobby Jones (10-6) to the mound for the start, going up against four-time Cy Young Award winner, Greg Maddox (19-8) going for his twentieth win of the season.



The Braves picked up a run in the 2nd inning, with a Wally Joyner double, a force ply & Keith  Lockhart's sac fly. 

In the Mets 4th, Timo Perez walked, & Darryl Hamilton single. Jay Payton was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Lenny Harris got on with an infield single to short stop, scoring Perez with the Mets first run. 

Catcher, Todd Pratt then singled bringing in Harris & Payton, giving the Mets a 3-1 lead. In the 5th, Timo Perez drew his second walk & Darryl Hamilton collected his second single. A throwing error by Rafael Furcal led to the Mets fourth run.

In the top of the 6th, the Braves collected three base hits, with an RBI single from Bobby Bonilla Bobby Valetine came out & removed the right-handed Bobby Jones & replaced him with the left-handed Bobby Jones. He got Brian Jordan & Keith Lockhart on ground ball outs.

In the bottom of the inning, Todd Pratt reached with his second hit of the night, then Kurt Abbott hit his 6th HR of the year, a two-run shot off Terry Mulholland, making it a 6-2 game.

In the 7th, Jason Marquis came on to pitch for Atlanta, Edgardo Alfonzo reached on an error to start the inning. Jorge Valandia came on to pinch run.  

Lenny Harris walked, then Todd Pratt singled in Jorge Valendia. Matt Franco grounded into a force, as Lenny Harris scored capping the 8-2 Mets win.

The left-handed Bobby Jones came in to close it out in the 9th inning. 

The Mets went on to win their 91st game & clinch the NL Wild Card spot, making the post season for the second straight season. They also would win their last five games finishing the year at 94-68. 

They advanced to the post season, beating the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS & the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS to win the pennant. 

The Mets then advanced to the first subway World Series since 1956.

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