May 18, 2001: Leiter and Wendell Shut Out Dodgers

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Date: May 18, 2001
Mets starter: Al Leiter
Mets: 8
Dodgers: 0
Winning pitcher: Al Leiter
Key player(s): Al Leiter, Turk Wendell, Darren Bragg, Desi Relaford
Key play: Bragg’s single and double

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Al Leiter and Turk Wendell combined on a shutout in an 8-0 Mets win over Los Angeles.

After a pair of scoreless innings, Leiter shut down the Dodgers again in the top of the third. Desi Relaford singled to lead off the bottom half. Leiter went down on strikes and Relaford stole second base. Darren Bragg hit a single to score Relaford and moved to second on a wild pitch by Los Angeles starter Kevin Brown. Timo Perez grounded out to second baseman Mark Grudzielanek and a walk to Edgardo Alfonzo ensued. Brown then got Mike Piazza on a force play grounder to shortstop Jeff Reboulet to end the inning.

Leiter held the Dodgers to a double by Eric Karros in the top of the fourth. Robin Ventura hit a home run to begin the bottom of the inning. Tsuyoshi Shinjo singled and advanced to third base on an ensuing single by Todd Zeile. Relaford doubled to drive home Shinjo and send Zeile to third. Leiter flied out to center fielder Marquis Grissom and a passed ball by catcher Chad Kreuter allowed Zeile to score. Bragg was struck out and Perez followed with a single that plated Relaford for a 5-0 Mets lead. Alfonzo singled and moved to second on an error by right fielder Shawn Green. Brown then fanned Piazza for the inning’s final out.

Leiter and Los Angeles reliever Giovanni Carrara each hurled scoreless and hitless ball in the fifth and sixth innings. To open the top of the seventh, Wendell threw a called third strike past Green and retired Grissom on a ground ball to shortstop Relaford. Adrian Beltre singled and Kreuter fouled out to third baseman Ventura to end the inning. Carrara pitched a perfect bottom half on three fly balls to Green. Wendell then recorded a pair of strikeouts in retiring the side in order in the top of the eighth.

Ventura drew a walk against Dodgers’ reliever Gregg Olson to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. Shinjo hit a single and Zeile popped out to Grudzielanek. Relaford drew a walk to load the bases and Wendell went down on strikes. Bragg followed with a double that drove home Ventura, Shinjo and Relaford. Olson then got Perez to ground out to Grudzielanek and end the inning.

Gary Sheffield popped out to first baseman Zeile to start the top of the ninth. Karros flied out to right fielder Perez. Wendell then retired Green on a ground ball to second baseman Alfonzo for the game’s final out. The Mets had a combined shutout to begin the weekend series.