October 2, 1999: Reed Fans 12 in Three-Hit Shutout

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Date: October 2, 1999
Mets starter: Rick Reed
Mets: 7
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Rick Reed
Key player(s): Rick Reed, Robin Ventura, Mike Piazza
Key play: Ventura’s double, Reed’s single, Piazza’s home run

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a season-closing weekend series. Rick Reed recorded twelve strikeouts and pitched a three-hitter in a 7-0 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Abraham Nunez doubled with one out in the top of the first inning. Reed fanned Brant Brown and Kevin Young for the second and third outs and Bucs’ starter Francisco Cordova set down the side in order in the bottom half. Rick struck out Chad Hermanson to end a perfect top of the second and Robin Ventura got a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Darryl Hamilton and Roger Cedeno drew consecutive walks to load the bases and Rey Ordonez went down on strikes. Cordova then retired Reed on a ground ball to third baseman Aramis Ramirez to close out the inning.

Reed struck out all three Pirates batters in the top of the third. Cordova yielded just a single to Edgardo Alfonzo in the bottom half and Nunez singled to open the top of the fourth. Brant Brown was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Rickey Henderson. Reed got both Young and Warren Morris on infield grounders to end the inning and Cordova hurled a perfect bottom half. Rick fanned Hermanson in setting down the Pirates 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. To begin the bottom of the inning, Ordonez hit a single and advanced to second base on Reed’s sacrifice bunt. Cordova then struck out Henderson and got Alfonzo on a pop-up to Ramirez for the inning’s final out.

Reed threw called third strikes past both Cordova and Nunez in pitching a perfect top of the sixth. Leading off the bottom half, John Olerud walked and moved to second base as Mike Piazza reached on an error by Ramirez. Ventura followed with a double to bring home Olerud with the first run of the game. Hamilton lined out to second baseman Morris and an intentional walk to Cedeno loaded the bases. Ordonez was retired on a line drive to first baseman Young, who followed up with an error that allowed Piazza to score for a 2-0 Mets lead. Cordova then retired Reed on a ground ball to Ramirez that finished off the inning.

Reed got Brant Brown and Young on called third strikes in a perfect top of the seventh. The Mets failed to score after loading the bases against Pittsburgh relievers Mike Garcia and Jimmy Anderson in the bottom half. Rick set down the side in order in the top of the eighth and Cedeno singled off the Pirates’ Mike Williams to open the bottom of the inning. Ordonez followed with a double to left field. Reed hit a single to drive home both Cedeno and Ordonez for a 4-0 Mets lead. Pinch-hitter Matt Franco drew a walk and Alfonzo hit a double play grounder to shortstop Nunez. Olerud singled to score Reed and a homer by Piazza extended the New York lead to seven runs. Williams then struck out Ventura to end the inning.

Adrian Brown singled for the Bucs’ third hit to open the top of the ninth. Martin followed with a double play ground ball to shortstop Ordonez. Reed then threw a called third strike past Nunez for his twelfth K and final out of the game. The Mets had a victory on Rick’s shutout that moved them into a tie with the Cincinnati Reds for the lead in the National League Wild Card race.