April 16, 2000: Mets Outlast Bucs
|Date: April 16, 2000|
|Mets starter: Bobby Jones|
|Winning pitcher: Pat Mahomes|
|Key player(s): Robin Ventura, Jon Nunnally, Mike Piazza|
|Key play: Mets’ doubles, Ventura’s and Nunnally’s home runs|
The Mets faced the Pirates on a Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. In a high-scoring contest, the Mets came away with a 12-9 win over the Bucs.
Rickey Henderson was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the first inning. Henderson advanced to second base on Derek Bell’s ground out to catcher Jason Kendall. Edgardo Alfonzo hit a ground ball on which Henderson was out via a throw by shortstop Pat Meares to third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Mike Piazza reached on Ramirez’s error and home run by Robin Ventura gave the Mets a 3-0 lead. Pirates’ starter Kris Benson then struck out Todd Zeile to end the inning.
Mets’ starter Bobby Jones hit Kendall with a pitch to begin the bottom of the first. Meares singled and Jones was replaced on the mound by New York reliever Pat Mahomes. Brian Giles greeted Mahomes with a double that drove home Kendall. John Vander Wal was walked intentionally to load the bases and Wil Cordero hit a single to score Meares. Warren Morris drew a walk to force home Giles with the tying run. Ramirez hit a force play grounder to shortstop Rey Ordonez to plate Vander Wal for a 4-3 Bucs lead. Mahomes then struck out both Adrian Brown and Benson to finish off the inning.
Ordonez got a one-out single in the top of the second. Mahomes hit a force play grounder to second baseman Morris and a two-run homer by Jon Nunnally put the Mets ahead, 5-4. Bell grounded out to Meares to end the inning and Kendall reached on an error by third baseman Ventura to begin the bottom half. Meares was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Bell. Kendall stole second base and Giles drew a walk. Mahomes then retired Vander Wal and Cordero on consecutive fly balls to left fielder Nunnally to finish off the inning.
Piazza got a one-out double against Benson in the top of the third. Ventura flied out to center fielder Brown and a double by Zeile brought home Piazza for a 6-4 Mets lead. Jay Payton drew a walk against Pittsburgh reliever Chris Peters. After a wild pitch that sent the runners to second and third base, Peters retired Ordonez on an inning-ending fly ball to Brown. Morris singled to open the bottom half. Mahomes retired the next two batters and Peters reached on Ordonez’s error. Kendall singled to score Morris and a walk to Meares loaded the bases. Giles hit a double to drive home Peters and Kendall, giving the Pirates a 7-6 lead. Trying to score on the hit, Meares was out at home via a throw by Nunnally to catcher Piazza to end the inning.
Nunnally drew a one-out walk against Peters in the top of the fourth. Jon stole second base and scored the tying run on a single by Bell. Alfonzo doubled to bring home Bell and an intentional walk to Piazza ensued. Ventura hit a single that plated Alfonzo for a 9-7 Mets lead. Zeile went down on strikes and Bucs’ reliever Marc Wilkins got Payton on a fly ball to Brown to finish off the inning. Mahomes then gave up only a double to Vander Wal in the bottom half.
Wilkins hurled a perfect top of the fifth. Mets’ reliever Turk Wendell set down the side in order in the bottom of the inning and Bell singled to lead off the top of the sixth. Alfonzo hit a single and Piazza singled to load the bases. Ventura followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Bell. Zeile popped out to Morris and a double by Payton scored Alfonzo, extending the Mets’ lead to 11-7. Ordonez was walked intentionally to reload the bases and Wilkins got Wendell on a force play ground ball to Meares that ended the inning. Giles slugged a solo home run with one out in the bottom half. Vander Wal grounded out to second baseman Alfonzo and a homer by Cordero reduced the Mets’ lead to 11-9. Morris singled and Wendell fanned Ramirez for the inning’s final out.
Pirates’ reliever Scott Sauerbeck pitched a perfect top of the seventh. The Mets’ Dennis Cook gave up just a single to Luis Sojo in the bottom half and Piazza doubled to open the top of the eighth. Ventura hit a double to bring home Piazza with the Mets’ twelfth run of the game. Zeile grounded out to Meares and a walk to Payton followed. Sauerbeck got Ordonez to line out to Morris, who threw to first baseman Vander Wal for an out on Payton and an inning-ending double play. Cook then shut down the Pirates in the bottom half.
Pittsburgh reliever Jason Christiansen struck out the side in a scoreless top of the ninth. The Mets’ Armando Benitez retired Kevin Young on a fly ball to left fielder Melvin Mora to start the bottom of the inning. Brown was called out on strikes. Benitez then got Sojo to pop out to Alfonzo and bring the game to an end. The Mets had emerged with a victory to close out the weekend series.