Remembering Mets History (2003) Mike Piazza Returns from Injury to Lead Mets with Five RBI's on Italian Night

 Wednesday August 13th, 2003- Italian Night at Shea: Mike Piazza had missed almost three months with a groin injury. It was an injury plagued season for Piazza he had already missed ten games at the start of the season & had to serve a four-game suspension for a Spring Training brawl. On May 17th he tried to avoid a pitch from the Giants Jason Schmidt in San Francisco, when he tore his groin. 

Tonight, he made his long missed, return in front of 31,759 fans celebrating Italian Heritage at Shea Stadium. Art Howe's Mets (50-69) were in last place with not much excitement on the season. 

On this evening they hosted Felipe Alou's first place San Francisco Giants. The Giants would lose the NLDS to the eventual World Champion Florida Marlins.

The Mets sent Steve Trachsel (10-7) to the mound to face Jerome Williams (5-2). Trachsel led the Mets staff that year with 16 wins (16-10) one game ahead of Al Leiter. His 3.78 ERA 33 starts two complete games & shut outs with 204 innings pitched, which all led the Mets pitching staff.

The Giants got a run in the 1st inning on a Marquis Grissom sac fly. In the 2nd the Mets Cliff
Floyd drew a walk, then consecutive singles from Jason Phillips & Timo Perez loaded the bases. Jerome Williams hit Jeromy Burnitz with a pitch scoring the Mets first run. It was the only run the anemic offense could muster.

In the 3rd, Jose Reyes singled & stole second. Mike Piazza stepped into big ovation & blasted a HR to left field, honoring his Italian Heritage on that evening giving the Mets a 3-1 lead. It was Piazza's 8th of the season. The Mets added another run when Timo Perez singled stole second & third, then was driven in by Ty Wigginton's double.

In the 4th, Roger Cedeno walked & advanced on Jose Reyes ground out. Piazza then stepped in & singled to centerfield bringing in his third run of the night & the Mets 5th knocking out Jerome Williams. The Mets pitcher, Steve Trachsel doubled in a run in the 5th inning making it a 6-1 Mets lead.

In the 7th, Timo Perez walked & Ty Wigginton doubled. With pitcher Matt Herges on the mound, Joe McEwing grounded out bringing in Perez. With one out Roger Cedeno walked & Jose Reyes singled to load the bases.

Piazza then singled, adding two more RBI's to his Five RBI night, leading the Mets to the 9-2 win. On the night he was 3-5 with a HR & the five RBIs.

Trachsel pitched into the 8th inning, allowing a pair of runs on eight hits, with four K's & two walks for his 11th victory.

Trivia: Piazza would play in only 68 games for the 5th place 2003 Mets (66-95) hitting 11 HRs with 13 doubles while batting .286.


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