October 17, 1999: Game Five of the NLCS
|Date: October 17, 1999|
|Mets starter: Masato Yoshii|
|Winning pitcher: Octavio Dotel|
|Key player(s): Todd Pratt, Robin Ventura|
|Key play: Pratt's bases-loaded walk, Ventura's "single"|
Down three games to one, the Mets tried to keep their pennant hopes alive. It took 5 hours and 46 minutes, but they did come up with a 4-3 win in fifteen innings for their second win of the Series. Before it was over, fifteen pitchers got into the game for both sides.
The Mets got off to a good start against Braves' starter Greg Maddux. In the first inning, John Olerud, hero of the previous game, hit a two-run homer to give the Mets the lead. It was all the runs Maddux allowed over seven innings pitched.
Atlanta came back to tie it in the fourth against Masato Yoshii. Bret Boone and Chipper Jones led off the inning with back-to-back doubles, which were followed by a Brian Jordan single to score Jones. Yoshii was replaced by Orel Hershiser, who prevented further Atlanta scoring.
In the sixth inning, both teams loaded the bases. In the top half, the Braves had the sacks full with one out. Hershiser then got Maddux to hit into a double play to stop the threat. Maddux got his revenge in the bottom half, getting Rey Ordonez to hit into a twin-killing with three on base to end the inning. Atlanta had another bases-loaded chance in the seventh, but failed to score again.
The game went into extra innings. Entering the 15th, neither team had gotten a runner past second base in the previous seven innings. Finally, Atlanta's Keith Lockhart hit a two-out triple off Octavio Dotel (the Mets' ninth pitcher) to score Walt Weiss and give the Braves a 3-2 lead. The Mets appeared to be doomed.
Three outs from a title, the Braves had Kevin McGlinchy on the mound to nail it down. However, the Mets loaded the bases with one out when Todd Pratt came to bat. McGlinchy walked Pratt, forcing home Shawon Dunston with the tying run that allowed the Mets to escape extinction at that point.
Robin Ventura was the next batter. He hit a long drive to right-center field that cleared the wall, winning the game for the Mets. Ventura's jubilant teammates mobbed him between first and second base and prevented him from completing his home run trot. Because of this, Robin could only be credited with a single and one RBI. Still, it was enough to give the Mets a much needed victory and return the Series to Atlanta for another game.