July 22, 1998: Three Runs in 9th Beat Brewers

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Date: July 22, 1998
Mets starter: Bill Pulsipher
Mets: 7
Brewers: 5
Winning pitcher: Dennis Cook
Key player(s): Edgardo Alfonzo, Rey Ordonez, Luis Lopez, John Olerud
Key play: Ordonez’s triple and single, Olerud’s home run, Alfonzo’s double

The Mets faced the Brewers in a Wednesday doubleheader. The teams played a two-hour and 56-minute opening game of the twinbill at County Stadium. The Mets scored three runs in the ninth inning for a 7-5 win over Milwaukee.

Brewers’ starter Brad Woodall pitched a perfect top of the first inning. To begin the bottom half, Fernando Vina drew a walk and advanced to third base on a single by Mark Loretta. Jeff Cirillo singled to score Vina with the first run of the game. John Jaha was called out on strikes and Marquis Grissom singled to drive home Loretta. An ensuing infield single by Marc Newfield plated Cirillo for a 3-0 Milwaukee lead. Mets’ starter Bill Pulsipher then struck out Darrin Jackson and got Bobby Hughes on a force play ground ball to shortstop Rey Ordonez that ended the inning.

Woodall issued three consecutive walks to load the bases in the top of the second. Luis Lopez followed with a double play grounder to third baseman Cirillo on which Todd Pratt came home from third. Ordonez tripled to score Butch Huskey with the Mets’ second run and Pulsipher was retired on a bunt back to Woodall to close out the inning. Bill set down the side in order in the bottom half and Woodall hurled a 1-2-3 top of the third. Pulsipher then held the Brewers to a single by Grissom in the bottom half.

The Mets failed to score in the top of the fourth. Jackson got a bunt single to open the bottom of the inning. Hughes lined out to first baseman John Olerud and a sacrifice bunt by Woodall advanced Jackson to second. Vina drew a walk and Loretta singled to score Jackson. Cirillo followed with an infield single to bring home Vina and increase the Brewers’ lead to 5-2. Pulsipher then fanned Jaha for the inning’s final out.

Woodall and Mets’ reliever Turk Wendell each pitched a scoreless fifth inning. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Olerud homered for the Mets’ third run of the game. Woodall struck out Pratt to end the inning and Wendell shut down the Brewers in the bottom half. Lopez hit a two-out double in the top of the seventh. An ensuing single by Ordonez brought home Lopez and cut the Milwaukee lead to 5-4. Pinch-hitter Mike Piazza was given an intentional walk and Brewers’ reliever Chad Fox got Brian McRae with an inning-ending strikeout. For New York, reliever Jeff Tam pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Fox shut down the Mets in the top of the eighth. Tam and reliever Dennis Cook combined for a scoreless bottom of the inning. To start the top of the ninth, Milwaukee’s Bob Wickman retired Bernard Gilkey on a fly ball to right fielder Jeromy Burnitz. Lopez singled and moved to third base on a single by pinch-hitter Todd Hundley. Lenny Harris hit a force play grounder to shortstop Jose Valentin to drive home Lopez and tie the game at 5-5. McRae hit an infield single to send Harris to second. Edgardo Alfonzo followed with a double that plated Harris and McRae for a two-run Mets lead. Wickman then issued an intentional walk to Olerud and got Pratt on a force play grounder to Valentin that finished off the inning.

Mets’ reliever John Franco got Loretta to line out to second baseman Carlos Baerga to open the bottom of the ninth. Cirillo grounded out to third baseman Alfonzo and a pair of New York errors allowed Valentin to reach second base. Grissom got an infield single and Burnitz drew a walk to load the bases. Franco then threw a called third strike past Jackson to end the game. The Mets had come away with a Game One victory.