October 9, 1999: Game Four of the NLDS
|Date: October 9, 1999|
|Mets starter: Al Leiter|
|Winning pitcher: John Franco|
|Key player(s): Todd Pratt|
|Key play: Womack's error, Pratt's home run|
The Mets attempted to end the Division Series and avoid a return trip to Phoenix. It took extra innings, but they defeated the Diamondbacks, 4-3, on a dramatic game-winning home run by reserve catcher Todd Pratt. The Series was over and the Mets had won it.
Al Leiter got the start against Arizona's Brian Anderson. Both pitchers kept the game scoreless until the fourth inning, when Edgardo Alfonzo got Anderson for his third home run of the Series, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. The D'Backs answered in the fifth on a Greg Colbrunn game-tying homer, the first hit off Leiter.
A double by Benny Agbayani in the sixth scored Rickey Henderson for a 2-1 Mets' lead. Arizona jumped ahead in the eighth on Jay Bell's two-out, two-run double off reliever Armando Benitez, making the score 3-2 in favor of the Diamondbacks.
In the bottom of the eighth, John Olerud came up after a walk to Alfonzo. Olerud hit the ball to right field where Tony Womack (just repositioned from shortstop) made a two-base error to put runners at second and third. Roger Cedeno followed with a sacrifice fly to score Alfonzo with the tying run.
The tension was growing as the game entered the top of the tenth inning. John Franco came in to pitch for New York and retired the Arizona hitters in order. Pratt, filling in for the injured Mike Piazza, came to bat with one out in the bottom half of the inning - and became a most unlikely hero. Todd connected off reliever Matt Mantei for a home run over the center field wall to win the game and clinch the Series. The Mets were on their way to the National League Championship Series against the Braves.