July 25, 2000: Rusch Leads Shutout of Expos

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Date: July 25, 2000
Mets starter: Glendon Rusch
Mets: 5
Expos: 0
Winning pitcher: Glendon Rusch
Key player(s): Glendon Rusch, Mike Piazza
Key play: Piazza’s RBI singles

The Mets faced the Expos on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series in front of 41,028 fans on hand. Glendon Rusch and a pair of relievers teamed up for a shutout as the Mets blanked Montreal, 5-0.

Rusch struck out the side in a scoreless top of the first inning. Lenny Harris hit a single to lead off the bottom half. Derek Bell singled and a force play grounder by Edgardo Alfonzo advanced Harris to third base. Mike Piazza singled to score Harris with the first run of the game. Todd Zeile grounded out to first baseman Fernando Seguignol. Expos’ starter Dustin Hermanson then retired Jay Payton on a ground ball to third baseman Geoff Blum to end the inning.

Rusch pitched a perfect top of the second. To begin the bottom of the inning, Benny Agbayani drew a walk and moved to second base on a bunt single by Melvin Mora. Rusch’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third. Harris grounded out to second baseman Jose Vidro to drive home Agbayani. Hermanson fanned Bell for the third out of the inning and drew a walk to open the top of the third. Rusch set down the next three Montreal batters to close out the inning. In the bottom half, Piazza got a one-out single and Zeile drew a walk. Payton flied out to right fielder Vladimir Guerrero and a single by Agbayani ensued. Trying to score on the hit, Piazza was out at home via a throw by left fielder Peter Bergerson to catcher Chris Widger to finish off the inning.

Rusch held the Expos to a single by Seguignol in a scoreless top of the fourth. Glendon drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the inning. Harris popped out to shortstop Tomas de la Rosa and back-to-back singles by Bell and Alfonzo loaded the bases. Piazza singled to drive home Rusch and an ensuing walk to Zeile forced home Bell for a 4-0 Mets lead. Hermanson then got Payton to hit a force play grounder to Blum for the inning’s final out.

Consecutive walks to Bergeron and pinch-hitter Wilton Guerrero began the top of the fifth inning. Milton Bradley singled to load the bases. Vidro hit a grounder on which first baseman Zeile threw to catcher Piazza for a force out at home on Bergeron. Blum followed with a line drive to shortstop Mora, who threw to second baseman Alfonzo to double up Bradley and end the inning. Montreal reliever Julio Santana then retired the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Rusch and Santana each hurled a scoreless sixth. Glendon set down the Expos 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh and Payton got a one-out single against Montreal’s Guillermo Mota in the bottom of the inning. Agbayani flied out to Bergeron and a double by Mora plated Payton with the Mets’ fifth run. Expos’ reliever Scott Forster struck out pinch-hitter Mike Kinkade to end the inning and Vidro doubled against the Mets’ Dennis Cook with one out in the top of the eighth. Blum went down on strikes and Vladimir Guerrero reached on a wild pitch third strike. Cook retired Widger on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Payton. Montreal reliever Steve Kline then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Seguignol singled against Mets’ reliever Pat Mahomes to start the top of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Andy Tracy went down on strikes and Bergeron flied out to Payton. Mahomes then got pinch-hitter Michael Barrett to fly out to left fielder Joe McEwing and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a shutout victory to begin the series.