September 19, 1999: Mets Rebound to Overtake Phils

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Date: September 19, 1999
Mets starter: Kenny Rogers
Mets: 8
Phillies: 6
Winning pitcher: Octavio Dotel
Key player(s): John Olerud, Mike Piazza, Robin Ventura, Roger Cedeno
Key play: Mets’ home runs, Ventura’s single, Relaford’s error

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams concluded a three-game series in front of 51,560 fans on hand. After surrendering a four-run lead, the Mets came back quickly and emerged with an 8-6 win over Philadelphia.

Mets’ starter Kenny Rogers retired all six batters in the top of the first and second innings. The Phils’ Paul Byrd responded with a pair of scoreless bottom halves and Rogers set down the side in order again in the top of the third. With one out in the bottom half, Roger Cedeno got an infield single. Edgardo Alfonzo drew a walk and John Olerud hit a three-run homer. Mike Piazza followed with a home run to extend the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Byrd then threw a called third strike past Robin Ventura and got Darryl Hamilton on a fly ball to center fielder Doug Glanville for the inning’s final out.

Rogers retired the Phillies 1-2-3 again in the top of the fourth. Byrd hurled a perfect bottom half and Kevin Jordan hit a leadoff single in the top of the fifth. Rico Brogna slugged a two-run homer and a single by Bobby Estalella ensued. With Alex Arias at bat, Estalella was caught by Rogers’ pickoff throw and tagged out at second base by shortstop Rey Ordonez. Arias drew a walk and advanced to third on a double by Desi Relaford. Byrd grounded back to Rogers for the inning’s second out and Glanville was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ron Gant drew a walk to force home. A single by Bobby Abreu plated both Relaford and Glanville with Gant moving to third. Rogers was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Octavio Dotel, who committed a balk to bring home Gant for a 6-4 Philadelphia lead. Dotel then retired Jordan on a ground ball to Ordonez that ended the inning.

Roger Cedeno singled against Byrd to open the bottom of the fifth. Alfonzo was called out on strikes as Cedeno stole second base. Olerud hit a double to drive home Cedeno and a walk to Piazza followed. Ventura singled to score Olerud with the tying run and Phils’ reliever Cliff Politte retired Hamilton on a fly ball to Glanville. Benny Agbayani reached on shortstop Relaford’s error that allowed Piazza to score and put the Mets ahead, 7-6. Politte then got Ordonez to line out to Relaford and finish off the inning.

Dotel held the Phillies to a single by Estalella in the top of the sixth. With one out in the bottom half, Cedeno homered against Philadelphia’s Billy Brewer for the Mets’ eight run of the game. Alfonzo singled and Olerud went down on strikes. Brewer retired Piazza on a fly ball to Glanville to close out the inning and Torey Lovullo hit a single against the Mets’ Turk Wendell to lead off the top of the seventh. Lovullo advanced to second base on a single by Glanville and to third on Gant’s fly out to center fielder Hamilton. Dennis Cook came in to pitch for New York and got Abreu to pop out to third baseman Ventura. Jordan drew a walk to load the bases and Cook retired Brogna on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Alfonzo. Brewer then struck out all three Mets hitters in the bottom half.

Arias hit a one-out double against Cook in the top of the eighth inning. Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez got pinch-hitter Mike Lieberthal to fly out to left fielder Melvin Mora and a passed ball by catcher Piazza sent Arias to third base. Benitez threw a called third strike past Lovullo to end the inning and Philadelphia’s Joe Grahe hit Cedeno with a pitch with two outs in the bottom half. With Alfonzo at the plate, Cedeno was caught stealing on catcher Estalella’s throw to second baseman Lovullo for the inning’s third out.

Glanville flied out to Hamilton to begin the top of the ninth. Benitez followed up with a strikeout of Gant. Armando then fanned Abreu to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory to close out the series.