September 19, 2002: Cedeno's Single in 12th Sweeps Cubs

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Date: September 19, 2002
Mets starter: Jason Middlebrook
Mets: 3
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Grant Roberts
Key player(s): Armando Benitez, Raul Gonzalez, Roger Cedeno
Key play: Benitez's strikeouts, Gonzalez’s double in 12th, Cedeno’s single in 12th

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Roger Cedeno singled home the winning run in the 12th inning for a 3-2 Mets victory that completed a series sweep over Chicago.

Jason Middlebrook and Cubs’ starter Matt Clement each pitched a scoreless first inning. In the top of the second, Middlebrook retired the first two batters and gave up a single to Kevin Orie. An ensuing single by Alex Gonzalez advanced Orie to third base. Joe Girardi singled to score Orie with the first run of the game. Middlebrook struck out Clement to end the inning. The Mets were then shut down by Clement in the bottom half.

After scoreless third and fourth innings, Middlebrook fanned Clement to begin the top of the fifth. Bobby Hill followed with a home run to increase the Chicago lead to 2-0. Middlebrook struck out Corey Patterson and Sammy Sosa to bring the inning to an end and Clement set down the Mets in order in the bottom half. A single by Fred McGriff opened the top of the sixth. Middlebrook then retired the next three Cubs batters to close out the inning.

Cedeno singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Roberto Alomar lined out to left fielder Moises Alou and a single by Mike Piazza followed. Mo Vaughn drew a walk to load the bases. Ty Wigginton hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Cedeno with the Mets’ first run. Clement struck out Jeromy Burnitz to end the inning. Mets’ relievers Scott Strickland and Mark Guthrie combined for a scoreless top of the seventh. Clement then limited the Mets to a leadoff single by Timo Perez in a scoreless bottom half.

For the Mets, David Weathers retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth inning. Chicago’s Joe Borowski pitched a scoreless bottom half. Weathers shut down the Cubs in the top of the ninth and Wigginton singled against Chicago reliever Antonio Alfonseca to lead off the bottom of the inning. An ensuing single by Burnitz moved pinch-runner Joe McEwing to third base. Perez hit a double play ground ball to shortstop Gonzalez on which McEwing came home to score the tying run. Alfonseca then fanned pinch-hitter Edgardo Alfonzo for the final out of the inning to send the game onward.

Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez struck out all three Cubs hitters in the top of the 10th inning. Alfonseca hurled a scoreless bottom half and pinch-hitter Mark Bellhorn drew a walk to begin the top of the 11th. Alou flied out to center fielder Perez and an error by second baseman McEwing of Orie’s grounder allowed Bellhorn to go to third base. Benitez got Gonzalez on a foul pop-up to third baseman Marco Scutaro and fanned pinch-hitter Chris Stynes for the inning’s third out. Chicago reliever Will Cunnane then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

For the Mets, relievers Jaime Cerda and Grant Roberts teamed up to pitch a scoreless top of the 12th inning. Raul Gonzalez doubled to open the bottom half. Cunnane retired Scutaro on a grounder to second baseman Hill that sent Gonzalez to third base. Cedeno hit a single to drive home Raul and end the game. The Mets had triumphed in extra innings to finish off a sweep of the series.