June 25, 2000: Hampton's Shutout Gives Mets Sweep
|Date: June 25, 2000|
|Mets starter: Mike Hampton|
|Winning pitcher: Mike Hampton|
|Key player(s): Mike Hampton, Derek Bell, Jay Payton, Mike Piazza|
|Key play: Payton’s single, Bell’s two-run single, Piazza’s double|
The Mets faced the Pirates on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Mike Hampton pitched a shutout as the Mets defeated Pittsburgh, 9-0, for a sweep of the series.
Following a scoreless first inning, Hampton yielded only a double by Aramis Ramirez in the top of the second. Robin Ventura doubled against Pirates’ starter Kris Benson to begin the bottom half. A wild pitch advanced Ventura to third base and Todd Zeile went down on strikes. Jay Payton singled to score Ventura and give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Payton moved to second on Benson’s errant pickoff throw and Joe McEwing grounded out to third baseman Ramirez. Benson then got Hampton to pop out to second baseman Mike Benjamin and end the inning.
Hampton and Benson each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. Mike shut down the Bucs again in the top of the sixth and Melvin Mora singled to lead off the bottom half. Derek Bell hit a single to send Mora to third base and Edgardo Alfonzo walked to load the bases. Mike Piazza was retired on a foul pop-up to first baseman Kevin Young. Ventura drew a walk to force home Mora and a sacrifice fly by Zeile plated Bell for a 3-0 Mets lead. Benson then retired Payton on a fly ball to right fielder John Vander Wal that closed out the inning.
Hampton set down all three Pittsburgh batters in the top of the seventh. McEwing singled against Benson to open the bottom half. Hampton was struck out and Mora hit a single to advance McEwing to third base. With Bell at bat, Melvin stole second. Bell followed with a single that brought home both McEwing and Mora. Alfonzo hit a double against Pirates’ reliever Josias Manzanillo. Piazza doubled to drive home Bell and Alfonzo, extending the Mets’ lead to seven runs. Ventura hit a single to score Piazza for an 8-0 New York lead. Manzanillo then recorded force outs on the next two batters to finish off the inning.
Hampton hurled a perfect top of the eighth. With two outs in the bottom half, Mora homered against Bucs’ reliever Mike Williams for the Mets’ ninth run. Williams retired Todd Pratt on a fly ball to Vander Wal to end the inning and Brian Giles popped out to shortstop Mora to begin the top of the ninth. Young was retired on a line drive to left fielder Jason Tyner. Hampton then got Vander Wal to ground out to second baseman McEwing and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory on Mike’s shutout to conclude a three-game series sweep.