October 19, 2006: Game Seven of the NLCS
|Date: October 19, 2006|
|Mets starter: Oliver Perez|
|Winning pitcher: Randy Flores|
|Key player(s): Yadier Molina, Endy Chavez|
|Key play: Chavez's catch, Molina's home run|
A crowd of 56,357 packed Shea Stadium for the deciding game of the National League Championship Series. The Mets and Cardinals battled in a low-scoring duel for eight innings. In the end, the Mets were devastated as the Cardinals came away with a dramatic 3-1 victory to win the pennant.
Oliver Perez started for the Mets against the Cards' Jeff Suppan. Both pitched well, giving up one run each. Perez allowed only four hits to St. Louis in six innings pitched while Suppan surrendered only two hits to the Mets in seven innings. Although Suppan did issue five walks, none of them scored.
The Mets' run came in the first inning. After two were out, Carlos Beltran hit a double to left field and Carlos Delgado walked. David Wright then singled to drive in Beltran and give the Mets the lead. The Cards came back to tie it in the second on an infield out that scored Jim Edmonds.
In the top of the sixth inning, Edmonds was on first base with one out. Scott Rolen hit a fly ball to deep left field. Mets' left fielder Endy Chavez robbed Rolen of a home run, reaching over the wall to make the catch. Edmonds, scrambling back to first, was thrown out for a double play to end the inning. Chavez's catch is considered one of the best ever in post-season play.
The score was still tied, 1-1, in the top of the ninth. Aaron Heilman began the inning by striking out Edmonds for the first out. Rolen then singled to bring Yadier Molina to the plate with a runner on base. On Heilman's first pitch, Molina hit one over the left field wall to give St. Louis a two-run lead. The fans at Shea fell silent.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Mets had to face Cards' reliever Adam Wainwright. Jose Valentin led off the inning with a single and Chavez followed with another single. Cliff Floyd, pinch hitting for Heilman, then took a called third strike and Jose Reyes lined out to center field. With the Mets only an out away from defeat, Paul Lo Duca walked to load the bases and bring Carlos Beltran to the plate. Wainwright struck out Beltran on three pitches with Carlos never swinging the bat. The Mets' season had ended one game short of the World Series.
- This was the last post-season game ever played at Shea Stadium