April 7, 1999: Henderson Paces Mets in Shutout Win

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Date: April 7, 1999
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 6
Marlins: 0
Winning pitcher: Bobby Jones
Key player(s): Rickey Henderson, Robin Ventura, Bobby Jones
Key play: Henderson’s doubles and homers, Ventura’s two-run double

The Mets faced the Marlins on a Wednesday night in Florida. The teams played the closer of a three-game series to open the season. Rickey Henderson compiled twelve total bases and scored four runs in a 6-0 Mets win over the Fish.

Bobby Jones and Florida’s Jesus Sanchez each pitched two scoreless innings to begin the game. Leading off the top of the third, Henderson homered for a 1-0 Mets lead. Edgardo Alfonzo hit a double and advanced to third base on John Olerud’s ground out to first baseman Derrek Lee. Sanchez struck out Mike Piazza and got Bobby Bonilla on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Tim Hyers. Jones then held the Marlins to a single by Hyers in a scoreless bottom half.

Following a scoreless fourth inning, Jones singled to begin the top of the fifth. Bobby advanced to third base on a double by Henderson. Alfonzo hit a grounder on which third baseman Kevin Orie threw to catcher Jorge Fabregas for an out at home on Jones. With Olerud at the plate, Sanchez balked to move Henderson to third and Alfonzo to second. Olerud hit a sacrifice fly to score Henderson and an intentional walk to Piazza ensued. Sanchez retired Bonilla on a ground ball to Lee that ended the inning. Jones then limited the Fish to a single by Luis Castillo in the bottom half.

Marlins’ reliever Brian Edmondson hurled a scoreless top of the sixth. Jones pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and Henderson doubled to open the top of the seventh. An ensuing bunt single by Alfonzo sent Henderson to third base. Vic Darensbourg replaced Edmondson on the mound for the Fish and got Olerud to fly out to Hyers. Piazza singled against Florida reliever Antonio Alfonseca to drive home Henderson. Bonilla hit a fly ball to right fielder Bruce Aven for the inning’s second out. Robin Ventura followed with a double to plate Alfonzo and Piazza for a 5-0 Mets lead. Alfonseca threw a called third strike past Brian McRae to close out the inning. Jones then shut down the Marlins in the bottom half.

Rey Ordonez grounded out to Orie to lead off the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Roger Cedeno was retired on a grounder to second baseman Castillo. Henderson hit his second homer for the Mets’ sixth run of the game. Alfonseca got Alfonzo on an inning-ending fly ball to Hyers. Mets’ reliever Dennis Cook hurled a scoreless bottom half. Florida’s Matt Mantei then shut down the Mets in the top of the ninth.

To start the bottom of the ninth inning, Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez struck out pinch-hitter Dave Berg. Orie grounded back to Benitez and reliever John Franco gave up a single to Fabregas. Franco then got Aven to hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Ordonez for the final out of the game. The Mets had a shutout victory to end the season-opening series.