September 11, 2002: Leiter Shuts Out Braves

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Date: September 11, 2002
Mets starter: Al Leiter
Mets: 5
Braves: 0
Winning pitcher: Al Leiter
Key player(s): Al Leiter, Roger Cedeno, Rey Ordonez, Ty Wigginton
Key play: Mets’ RBI singles

The Mets faced the Braves in a doubleheader on a Wednesday evening. After dropping the opener of the twinbill at Turner Field, the Mets aimed for a split in the nightcap. Al Leiter pitched a complete game shutout in a 5-0 Mets win over Atlanta.

Braves’ starter Jason Marquis pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Leiter hurled a perfect bottom half and Jeromy Burnitz singled with one out in the top of the second. Ty Wigginton hit a single and Rey Ordonez singled to drive home Burnitz. A sacrifice bunt by Leiter advanced the runners to second and third base. Roger Cedeno followed with a single that scored both Wigginton and Ordonez for a 3-0 Mets lead. On his own hit, Cedeno moved to second via a throw to the plate. Marquis retired Timo Perez on a fly ball to center fielder Andruw Jones to end the inning. Leiter then struck out the side in a scoreless bottom half.

After a scoreless third, Burnitz doubled against Marquis to lead off the top of the fourth. Wigginton singled to bring home Burnitz and went to second on a throw. Ordonez was retired on a ground ball out to shortstop Rafael Furcal. Leiter grounded out to catcher Javy Lopez to send Wigginton to third base. Cedeno hit a single that brought home Wigginton and increased the Mets’ lead to five runs. Perez singled to advance Cedeno to third and Atlanta reliever Kerry Ligtenberg struck out Roberto Alomar to finish off the inning. Leiter then surrendered only a walk to Chipper Jones in the bottom half.

Ligtenberg set down the Mets in order in the top of the fifth. Julio Franco singled to begin the bottom of the inning. Javy Lopez hit a force play grounder to shortstop Ordonez and a foul pop-up by Jesse Garcia was caught by first baseman Wigginton. Pinch-hitter Vinny Castilla drew a walk and Furcal grounded out to second baseman Alomar to end the inning. Braves’ reliever Albie Lopez hurled a scoreless top of the sixth. Leiter then yielded just a single to Chipper Jones in the bottom half.

Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo got back-to-back singles with two outs in the top of the seventh. Albie Lopez struck out Burnitz to end the inning and Garcia got a two-out single in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Henry Blanco singled and Furcal was retired on an inning-ending pop-up to Wigginton, who singled against Braves’ reliever Kevin Gryboski to open the top of the eighth. Wigginton went to second base on Ordonez’s ground out to Furcal. Leiter reached on Furcal’s error and a walk to Cedeno loaded the bases. Perez followed with a ground ball on which second baseman Garcia threw to Javy Lopez for an out at home on Wigginton. Gryboski retired Alomar on an inning-ending grounder to first baseman Franco. Leiter then gave up only a single to Mark DeRosa in the bottom half.

Atlanta reliever Darren Holmes pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. Andruw Jones grounded out to Ordonez to begin the bottom of the inning. Franco was retired on a ground ball to Alomar. Leiter then got Javy Lopez to ground out to third baseman Alfonzo and end the game. The Mets had a victory on Al’s shutout and a split of the doubleheader.