April 11, 1999: Mets Relief Stifles Expos

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Date: April 11, 1999
Mets starter: Rick Reed
Mets: 6
Expos: 3
Winning pitcher: Allen Watson
Key player(s): Luis Lopez, John Olerud, Armando Benitez
Key play: Lopez’s two-run single, Olerud’s single

The Mets faced the Expos on a Sunday afternoon in Montreal. The teams played the finale of a four-game series. Four Mets relievers teamed up for three and one-third scoreless and hitless innings to finish off a 6-3 win.

Rickey Henderson drew a walk against Expos’ starter Carl Pavano to lead off the top of the first. Edgardo Alfonzo doubled to drive home Henderson and advanced to third base on John Olerud’s ground out to second baseman Jose Vidro. Bobby Bonilla walked and Pavano struck out both Robin Ventura and Brian McRae to end the inning. James Mouton drew a walk against the Mets’ Rick Reed to begin the bottom half. Orlando Merced singled to send Mouton to third and Vidro went down on strikes. Vladimir Guerrero hit a single to score Mouton and tie the game at 1-1. Reed then got Brad Fullmer to hit a ground ball to first baseman Olerud for an inning-ending double play.

Pavano yielded only a double to Luis Lopez in the top of the second. Michael Barrett got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Chris Widger was struck out and Mike Mordecai hit a double to bring home Barrett for a 2-1 Montreal lead. Pavano was retired on a line drive to shortstop Lopez. Mouton was hit by a pitch and Merced drew a walk to load the bases. Reed then got Vidro to fly out to right fielder Bonilla and finish off the inning.

After a scoreless third, Todd Pratt doubled to open the top of the fourth. Lopez went down on strikes and Reed hit a single to score Pratt, tying the game at 2-2. On his own hit, Reed was out at second base via a throw by left fielder Merced to Vidro. Henderson drew a walk and Alfonzo lined out to third baseman Barrett to end the inning. Mets’ reliever Allen Watson issued a walk to Widger to begin the bottom half. Widger went to second on Mordecai’s grounded out to second baseman Alfonzo and to third on a single by Pavano. Mouton followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Widger and put the Expos back on top by a run. Watson then got Merced to ground out to Alfonzo and end the inning.

Olerud hit a double to lead off the top of the fifth. Bonilla followed with a grounder on which Pavano threw to shortstop Mordecai for an out at second base on Olerud. Ventura flied out to center fielder Mouton and a single by McRae ensued. Pratt got hit by a pitch to load the bases and Pavano was replaced on the mound by Montreal reliever J. D. Smart. Lopez greeted Smart with a single that brought home Bonilla and McRae, giving the Mets a 4-3 lead. Watson grounded out to first baseman Fullmer to finish off the inning. Allen then gave up only a double to Fullmer in the bottom half.

Smart yielded just a double to Olerud in the top of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Shane Andrews got a two-out single against Watson in the bottom of the inning. Mets’ reliever Turk Wendell fanned Mouton for the inning’s third out and the Expos’ Mike Maddux pitched a scoreless top of the seventh. With two outs in the bottom half, Vladimir Guerrero reached second base on an error by Alfonzo. New York’s Dennis Cook then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Rondell White to close out the inning.

Henderson singled to open the top of the eighth. Alfonzo singled and advanced to third base on Olerud’s single that drove home Henderson. Pinch-hitter Matt Franco followed with a double play grounder to Vidro on which Alfonzo scored the Mets’ sixth run of the game. Maddux threw a called third strike past Ventura to end the inning and New York reliever Armando Benitez set down the side in order in the bottom half. Montreal’s Bobby Ayala then pitched a perfect top of the ninth.

Mets’ reliever John Franco retired Wilton Guerrero on a fly ball to center fielder McRae to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Mouton drew a walk and Merced flied out to left fielder Henderson. John Franco then got Vidro to hit a force play grounder to Lopez for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory to conclude the weekend series.