October 6, 2001: Appier Fans 11 in Win Over Expos

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Date: October 6, 2001
Mets starter: Kevin Appier
Mets: 4
Expos: 0
Winning pitcher: Kevin Appier
Key player(s): Kevin Appier, Mike Piazza, Desi Relaford
Key play: Piazza’s single, Relaford’s double

The Mets faced the Expos on a Saturday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the penultimate game of the regular season. Kevin Appier recorded eleven strikeouts in eight innings pitched in a 4-0 Mets win over Montreal.

Appier and Expos’ starter Carl Pavano each fanned three batters in scoreless first and second innings. Kevin yielded just a single to Pavano in the top of the third and Timo Perez singled to lead off the bottom half. Edgardo Alfonzo hit a single and Mike Piazza singled to score Perez for a 1-0 Mets lead. Mark Johnson popped out to second baseman Geoff Blum and a strikeout of Desi Relaford followed. On the third strike, pinch-runner Joe McEwing was caught stealing by catcher Brian Schneider’s throw to third baseman Mike Mordecai for an inning-ending double play.

Appier struck out Mordecai to begin the top of the fourth. Vladimir Guerrero hit a single and Orlando Cabrera lined out to right fielder Alex Escobar. Guerrero stole second base and Lee Stevens drew a walk. Guerrero stole third and Blum was retired on a line drive to first baseman Jorge Toca to end the inning. Pavano gave up just a single to Rey Ordonez in the bottom half. Appier then struck out two Montreal hitters in a perfect top of the fifth.

Perez reached on Mordecai’s error to open the bottom of the fifth inning. A sacrifice bunt by McEwing advanced Timo to second base. Jason Phillips grounded out to shortstop Cabrera and a walk to Johnson ensued. Relaford hit a double that brought home Perez and Johnson, increasing the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Escobar popped out to first baseman Stevens to finish off the inning and Mordecai hit a one-out triple in the top of the sixth. Guerrero went down on strikes and Appier got Cabrera on a ground ball to shortstop Ordonez to close out the inning. With one out in the bottom half, pinch-hitter Lenny Harris and Appier got back-to-back singles. Pavano then got Perez to pop out to Stevens and retired McEwing on a fly ball to right fielder Guerrero for the inning’s third out.

Appier struck out the side in a scoreless top of the seventh. Johnson singled against Pavano with one out in the bottom half. Expos’ reliever Graeme Lloyd got Relaford to ground out to Mordecai and issued a walk to Escobar. Toca hit a single to drive home Johnson with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Lloyd then got Jorge Velandia on a force play grounder to Blum to finish off the inning.

Appier fanned pinch-hitter Terry Jones for his eleventh strikeout to start a scoreless top of the eighth. Montreal reliever Darwin Cubillan pitched a perfect bottom half and the Mets’ Jerrod Riggan retired Cabrera on a fly ball to center fielder Perez to begin the top of the ninth. Stevens went down on strikes. Riggan then got Blum to hit a ground ball to second baseman Relaford for the game’s final out. The Mets had a shutout victory with very solid pitching.