Remembering Mets History: (2006) Mets Clinch NL Eastern Division

Monday
September 18, 2006:
 On this night Shea Stadium was filled with 46,729 fans hoping to see the Mets clinch their first NL Eastern Title since 1988.

 There had been two wild card births since then, but this was more special, after 18 yeas, finally a Divisional Title.

In 2006 the New York Mets took over first place on April 6th, they never lost possession of that spot & finished up 12 games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies. Coming into this game they were on a three-game losing streak.

Willie Randolph's Mets (91-58) hosted Joe Girardi's Florida Marlins, as 
Steve Trachsel (14-7) went to the mound, against Brad Moehler (7-8).



At the time, starting pitcher Steve Trachsel was the longest tenured Met, having been with the club since 2001, the year after the teams last pennant & post season appearance. 

Trachsel pitched into the 7th inning shutting out the Marlins, scattering just three hits. He walked just one & struck out three Marlins. 

In the Mets 3rd inning, Shawn Green was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Then, that night's hitting star, veteran Jose Valentin hit a two run HR making it 2-0 Mets. 


Valentin would homer again in the 5th inning, a solo shot making it 3-0 New York, as the Shea
fans went wild. Jose Valentin now had 17th HRs & 58 RBIs on the year.


Trivia: The Mets had signed Valentin in December 2005, he hoped to make the team as a utility player. The 36-year-old Valentin ended up having one of his best seasons, becoming the Mets primary second baseman, as they traded away Kaz Matsui & Anderson Hernandez never worked out. Valentin hit .271 with 18 HRs 24 doubles & 62 RBIs .

In the 6th inning, Carlos Beltran walked & advance on an infield error. Cliff Floyd then singled to right field, bringing in Carlos Beltran with the Mets fourth & final run.

Steve Trachsel earned his 15th win of the year (15-7) as relievers Guillermo Mota & Aaron Heilman (8th inning) led the way to closer, Billy Wagner who finished it out with a perfect 9th inning. 

The Marlins, Josh Willingham flew out to left fielder Cliff Floyd for the final out of the game & the Mets celebrated on the field in victory.





Quotes- Cliff Floyd: "I got that ball in my back pocket. For a small fee, I might give it up." 

In the joyful Mets clubhouse, the team celebrated with cigars & champagne. The lockers were covered so none of the fancy clothes got wet. 

Now as the current times ushered in a new era, the players wore goggles to protect their eyes from the burn of the bubbly.

Back on the field after the game, the two young faces of the current franchise, David Wright & Jose Reyes celebrated together & posed for pictures with the press in celebration.

There would be 13 more regular season games before the Mets opened up the post season, facing the LA Dodgers in the NLCS.




Comments

DyHrdMET said…
that was a fun night. i remember the Valentin homers and Trachsel's start. they were on the field, spraying champagne for a long time after the game ended. such a buzz during BP.

i posed a video and a couple of pics on RememberingShea.

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