July 24, 1999: Dotel and Two Homers Lead Mets Past Cubs
|Date: July 24, 1999|
|Mets starter: Octavio Dotel|
|Winning pitcher: Octavio Dotel|
|Key player(s): Octavio Dotel, Edgardo Alfonzo, Robin Ventura|
|Key play: Alfonzo’s and Ventura’s home runs|
The Mets faced the Cubs on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. Octavio Dotel and two home runs led the way to a 2-1 Mets win over Chicago.
Dotel and the Cubs’ Steve Trachsel each started the game with a pair of scoreless innings pitched. With one out in the top of the third, Sammy Sosa homered for a 1-0 Chicago lead. Mark Grace popped out to second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo and a fly ball by Glenallen Hill was caught by center fielder Brian McRae for the third out of the inning. Trachsel then gave up just a single to Alfonzo in the bottom half.
Dotel set down the Cubs in order in the top of the fourth. Trachsel hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning and Octavio retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Alfonzo hit a two-out homer in the bottom half to tie the game. John Olerud drew a walk and Trachsel struck out Mike Piazza to end the inning. With one out in the top of the sixth, Grace singled to center field. Hill lined out to McRae and a double by Jose Hernandez ensued. Dotel then fanned Benito Santiago for the inning’s final out.
Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Robin Ventura homered to put the Mets ahead by a run. McRae and Benny Agbayani drew back-to-back walks and Rey Ordonez flied out to center fielder Curtis Goodwin. Dotel went down on strikes and Trachsel retired Roger Cedeno on an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman Grace. Dotel pitched a perfect top of the seventh. Chicago relievers Kyle Farnsworth and Felix Heredia then combined for a scoreless bottom half.
Mickey Morandini hit a leadoff double in the top of the eighth inning. Dotel struck out Sosa and Mets’ reliever Dennis Cook retired Grace on a fly ball to right fielder Cedeno. Hill drew a walk and Cook fanned Hernandez to finish off the inning. Heredia then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.
Pinch-hitter Manny Alexander singled against Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez to open the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitters Jeff Reed and Gary Gaetti both went down on strikes. Benitez then got Jeff Blauser to fly out to Cedeno and end the game. The Mets had a victory with solid pitching and a pair of homers.