May 23, 1999: Mets Come Back with Five-Run Ninth

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Date: May 23, 1999
Mets starter: Rick Reed
Mets: 5
Phillies: 4
Winning pitcher: Rigo Beltran
Key player(s): Robin Ventura, John Olerud
Key play: Ventura’s home run, Olerud’s two-run single

The Mets and Phillies played on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams completed a five-game series in front of 34,950 fans. The Mets scored five runs in the ninth inning for a 5-4 comeback win over Philadelphia.

Rick Reed and the Phils’ Curt Schilling each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. In the top of the third, Alex Arias got a one-out single and moved to second base on Schilling’s sacrifice bunt. A single by Doug Glanville scored Arias to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Kevin Jordan drew a walk and Scott Rolen singled to bring home Glanville. Reed retired Rico Brogna on a fly ball to left fielder Matt Franco for the third out of the inning. Schilling then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

In the top of the fourth, Ron Gant led off with a double to right field. Bobby Abreu grounded out to shortstop Luis Lopez and a double by Mike Lieberthal plated Gant with the third Philadelphia run. Reed got Arias to fly out to center fielder Brian McRae and struck out Schilling to end the inning. The Mets failed to score in the bottom half despite singles by John Olerud and Robin Ventura. Reed and Schilling then pitched scoreless ball in the fifth and sixth innings.

Lieberthal hit his second double of the game to begin the top of the seventh. Arias and Schilling followed with back-to-back ground outs to second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo. Glanville got an infield single to drive in Lieberthal from third for a 4-0 Phillies lead. Reed retired Jordan on a grounder to Alfonzo for the third out. Schilling then pitched a perfect bottom of the inning.

Mets’ reliever Rigo Beltran walked Rolen to start the top of the eighth inning. Beltran set down the next three Philadelphia batters. Schilling retired the Mets in order again in the bottom half. Beltran then pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.

Mike Piazza singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Ventura followed with a home run to cut the Phils’ lead to 4-2. With one out, Franco hit a single and Lopez was hit by a pitch. Pinch-hitter Jermaine Allensworth singled to score Franco from second base. Allensworth was forced out at second on Roger Cedeno’s grounder back to Schilling. Alfonzo was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.

With the Mets down to their last out, Olerud delivered a single to left field. Lopez and Cedeno came in to score the tying and winning runs. The Mets had an amazing come-from-behind victory. The miracle win put the Mets into the top spot in the National League Wild Card race.


  • The win for Beltran was his only one as a Met.