April 17, 2001: Rusch and Wendell Blank Expos

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Date: April 17, 2001
Mets starter: Glendon Rusch
Mets: 4
Expos: 0
Winning pitcher: Glendon Rusch
Key player(s): Glendon Rusch, Turk Wendell, Todd Zeile
Key play: Zeile’s two-run homer

The Mets faced the Expos on a Tuesday night. The teams played the second of three games in a series at Shea Stadium. Glendon Rusch and Turk Wendell teamed up for a shutout in a 4-0 Mets win over Montreal.

Rusch and the Expos’ Chris Peters each pitched two scoreless innings to start the game. With one out in the top of the third, Jose Vidro singled to left field. Fernando Tatis was called out on strikes and Vladimir Guerrero reached on an error by Rusch. Lee Stevens hit a force play grounder to third baseman Robin Ventura for the inning’s final out and Rey Ordonez singled to open the bottom half. Rusch’s sacrifice bunt moved Ordonez to second base and Desi Relaford went down on strikes. Todd Zeile hit a home run to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. Peters then walked Mike Piazza and retired Jay Payton on a line drive to left fielder Tim Raines to end the inning.

Following a scoreless fourth, Raines hit a double to lead off the top of the fifth. Rusch set down the next three Montreal batters and Zeile got a one-out single in the bottom half. An ensuing single by Piazza sent Zeile to third base. Todd came home on Payton’s sacrifice fly for the Mets’ third run of the game. Peters retired Ventura on an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman Stevens. Rusch held the Expos to a double by Orlando Cabrera in the top of the sixth. Montreal reliever Mike Johnson then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Rusch shut down the Expos in the top of the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Mark Johnson singled against Montreal’s Scott Strickland to lead off the bottom half. Relaford got an infield single on which Strickland’s error allowed Johnson to reach third base. Strickland caught Relaford on a pickoff for the first out of the inning. Zeile followed with a single that scored Johnson with the Mets’ fourth run. Strickland then retired the next two New York hitters to close out the inning.

Mets’ reliever Turk Wendell and the Expos’ Graeme Lloyd each hurled a scoreless eighth. To begin the top of the ninth, Michael Barrett grounded out to second baseman Relaford. Geoff Blum flied out to right fielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo. Wendell then got Raines on a grounder to first baseman Zeile to end the game. The Mets had a victory on a combined shutout.