August 14, 1998: Mets Win Arizona Debut
|Date: August 14, 1998|
|Mets starter: Rick Reed|
|Winning pitcher: Rick Reed|
|Key player(s): Brian McRae, Tony Phillips, Lenny Harris|
|Key play: McRae’s home run in 4th, Phillips’ single in 5th, Harris’s throw in 7th|
The Mets faced the Diamondbacks on a Friday night in Phoenix. The teams started a three-game series in the Mets’ first game ever in Arizona. It was a successful desert debut for the Mets as they came away with a 3-2 win over the Snakes.
Following a scoreless first inning, Arizona starter Amaury Telemaco retired the side in order in the top of the second. Karim Garcia singled against the Mets’ Rick Reed with one out in the bottom half. Jay Bell flied out to left fielder Todd Hundley and a single by Tony Batista scored Garcia for a 1-0 D’Backs lead. Reed got Damian Miller on a fly ball to Hundley for the final out of the inning. Telemaco shut down the Mets in the top of the third. Reed then held the Snakes to a single by Bernard Gilkey in a scoreless bottom half.
John Olerud singled to lead off the top of the fourth inning. Mike Piazza was retired on a pop-up to shortstop Bell. Brian McRae followed with a home run to put the Mets ahead, 2-1. Hundley flied out to left fielder Gilkey and a pop-up by Carlos Baerga was caught by Telemaco to end the inning. Garcia homered to tie the game with one out in the bottom half. Reed then got Bell to ground out to shortstop Rey Ordonez and fanned Batista for the third out.
Ordonez began the top of the fifth inning with a single to center field. Rey advanced to second base on Reed’s sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch. Tony Phillips singled to right field to score Ordonez and give the Mets a one-run lead. Telemaco got Lenny Harris to fly out to Gilkey and retired Olerud on a pop-up to Bell that ended the inning. Reed then hurled a scoreless bottom half.
Telemaco and Reed each pitched a scoreless sixth inning. In the seventh, Telemaco set down the Mets 1-2-3 and Batista got a one-out single in the bottom half. On an ensuing single by Miller, right fielder Harris made a throw to third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo for an out on Batista. Pinch-hitter David Dellucci was hit by a pitch. Reed then got Andy Fox on an inning-ending pop-up to second baseman Baerga.
Diamondbacks’ reliever Aaron Small shut down the Mets in the top of the eighth. For New York, Dennis Cook pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning. Small set down the Mets in order in the top of the ninth and reliever Turk Wendell issued walks to Bell and Batista to start the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Andy Stankewicz hit a ground ball to Ordonez on which Bell was forced out at third base. Wendell then got pinch-hitter Hanley Frias to hit a grounder to Ordonez for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a victory in their first game in the state of Arizona.