August 22, 1999: Mets Rally to Beat Cardinals
|Date: August 22, 1999|
|Mets starter: Octavio Dotel|
|Winning pitcher: Armando Benitez|
|Key player(s): John Olerud, Rickey Henderson, Edgardo Alfonzo|
|Key play: Olerud's grand slam, Henderson's double, Alfonzo's single|
The Mets and Cardinals played a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. In the first game, the Mets were behind by five runs before making a big comeback. They came out with an 8-7 triumph with two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Cardinals scored three times in the top of the first against Mets' starter Octavio Dotel. A leadoff home run by Joe McEwing and a one-out homer by Mark McGwire gave St. Louis a 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, Willie McGee singled to drive home Ray Lankford for another Redbird run. McGee added an RBI single in the third to score Fernando Tatis and increase the Cards' lead to 4-0.
Rickey Henderson singled off St. Louis starter Darren Oliver to begin the bottom of the fourth inning. After stealing second base, Henderson came home on a single by John Olerud for the Mets' first run of the game. Dotel followed up by shutting down St. Louis in the fifth and Jeff Tam pitched a perfect top of the sixth. Meanwhile, Oliver held the Mets to a double by Shawon Dunston in the fifth and pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth.
McGwire hit his second homer to lead off the top of the seventh for St. Louis. Tam retired the next three batters and gave up a homer to Alberto Castillo to begin the top of the eighth. Jeff then set down three straight Cardinal hitters as the Mets found themselves trailing, 6-1.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Rey Ordonez led off with a double. Henderson drew a one-out walk and Rich Croushore came in to relieve Oliver for St. Louis. Croushore walked Edgardo Alfonzo to load the bases as Olerud stepped up to the plate. John clouted a grand slam to reduce the Mets' deficit to 6-5. Mike Piazza followed with another homer to tie the game for New York. The Cardinals then retook the lead against Armando Benitez when J. D. Drew scored on Tatis's force play grounder in the top of the ninth.
Cards' reliever Ricky Bottalico walked Ordonez and pinch-hitter Matt Franco with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Henderson hit an ensuing double to bring home Ordonez and tie the game at 7-7. Alfonzo then singled to score Franco with the winning run. The Mets had a dramatic comeback victory to start the twinbill.