September 15, 1999: Mets Outlast Rockies

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Date: September 15, 1999
Mets starter: Orel Hershiser
Mets: 10
Rockies: 5
Winning pitcher: Turk Wendell
Key player(s): Benny Agbayani, Robin Ventura, Darryl Hamilton
Key play: Mets’ five runs in 8th and 9th

The Mets faced the Rockies on a Wednesday afternoon in Colorado. The teams combined for twenty-four hits in the finale of a three-game series. Five runs in the last two innings lifted the Mets to a 10-5 win.

Edgardo Alfonzo drew a walk against Rockies’ starter Brian Bohanon with one out in the top of the first. John Olerud doubled to score Alfonzo and advanced to third base on Mike Piazza’s ground out to second baseman Kurt Abbott. Bohanon struck out Robin Ventura to end the inning and Neifi Perez tripled against the Mets’ Orel Hershiser to begin the bottom half. Abbott hit a single to bring home Perez and tie the game. Larry Walker singled and Dante Bichette flied out to center fielder Shawon Dunston. Todd Helton was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Rickey Henderson, after which Abbott went to third. A wild pitch brought home Abbott for a 2-1 Colorado lead. Hershiser then walked Vinny Castilla and got Edgard Clemente on a ground ball to third baseman Ventura to close out the inning.

Dunston hit a leadoff double in the top of the second. Benny Agbayani went down on strikes and Dunston stole third base. Rey Ordonez doubled to drive home Dunston with the tying run. Hershiser grounded out to third baseman Castilla and a double by Henderson plated Ordonez to put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Bohanon threw a called third strike past Alfonzo for the inning’s third out. The Rockies then failed to score after loading the bases on three walks in the bottom half.

After a scoreless third, Dunston and Agbayani got back-to-back singles to begin the top of the fourth. A sacrifice bunt by Ordonez sent the runners to second and third base. Hershiser flied out to center fielder Clemente, who followed up with a throw to catcher Henry Blanco for an out at home on Dunston and an inning-ending double play. Bohanon got a one-out single in the bottom half. Perez flied out to right fielder Agbayani and a double by Abbott ensued. Walker singled to bring home Bohanon and Abbott, giving the Rockies a 4-3 lead. Hershiser then got Bichette to hit a force play grounder to shortstop Ordonez for the final out of the inning.

Bohanon shut down the Mets in the top of the fifth. Hershiser hurled a perfect bottom half and Ventura doubled to open the top of the sixth. Dunston’s sacrifice bunt advanced Ventura to third base and Agbayani homered for a 5-4 Mets lead. Bohanon retired Ordonez on a fly ball to right fielder Walker and fanned Hershiser to close out the inning. Orel then set down the Mountain Men in order in the bottom half.

Colorado reliever Jerry DiPoto surrendered only a walk to Alfonzo in the top of the seventh. Abbott doubled against the Mets’ Dennis Cook to lead off the bottom of the inning. Walker popped out to Ordonez and a fly ball by Bichette was caught by left fielder Melvin Mora. Helton drew a walk and Castilla singled against New York’s Turk Wendell to score Abbott for a 5-5 tie. Wendell then got Clemente to fly out to Agbayani and finish off the inning.

Ventura drew a walk to begin the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Darryl Hamilton followed with a triple to drive home Ventura with the go-ahead run. Agbayani hit a sacrifice fly to score Hamilton and extend the Mets’ lead to 7-5. Ordonez grounded out to DiPoto and a pop-up by pinch-hitter Bobby Bonilla was caught by Blanco to end the inning. Mets’ reliever John Franco threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter John Cangelosi to open the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Terry Shumpert hit a single and Perez flied out to center fielder Hamilton. Abbott singled and Walker drew a walk that loaded the bases. New York’s Armando Benitez then got Bichette on a force play ground ball to Ordonez to close out the inning.

Mora singled against Rockies’ reliever Mike DeJean to lead off the top of the ninth. Melvin stole second base and moved to third after Alfonzo’s fly out to Clemente. Olerud was given an intentional walk and went to third on Piazza’s single that drove home Mora. Ventura singled off Colorado’s Roberto Ramirez to plate Olerud and lengthen the Mets’ lead to 9-5. Hamilton hit a single to bring home Piazza with the tenth New York run of the game. Roger Cedeno was struck out and Ordonez walked to load the bases. Ramirez then retired Benitez on a line drive to Walker for the inning’s final out.

Helton went down on strikes to open the bottom of the ninth. Castilla singled for the game’s twenty-fourth hit and Clemente flied out to right fielder Cedeno. Benitez then got Ben Petrick to fly out to Mora and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a series-closing victory.