September 27, 2003: Seven-Run 7th Flattens Fish

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Date: September 27, 2003
Mets starter: Jae Seo
Mets: 9
Marlins: 3
Winning pitcher: Jae Seo
Key player(s): Jason Phillips, Raul Gonzalez, Joe McEwing
Key play: McEwing’s single, Phillips’ single, Gonzalez’s triple

The Mets faced the Marlins on a Saturday night in Miami. The teams played the penultimate game of the regular season. The Mets scored seven runs in the seventh inning and came away with a 9-3 win over Florida.

Roger Cedeno tripled to lead off the top of the first. Joe McEwing drew a walk and Jason Phillips reached on a fielder’s choice ground ball to load the bases. Ty Wigginton hit a grounder to shortstop Mike Mordecai for a double play on which Cedeno came home. Marlins’ starter Mark Redman retired Raul Gonzalez on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Andy Fox. For the Mets, Jae Seo pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Following a scoreless second inning, Cedeno reached on an error by Mordecai to begin the top of the third. McEwing’s sacrifice bunt moved Cedeno to second base and Phillips went down on strikes. Wigginton hit a double to score Cedeno for a 2-0 Mets lead. Redman got Gonzalez to ground out to Fox and end the inning. Seo set down all three Florida batters in the bottom half and Redman struck out the side in a scoreless top of the fourth. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Mike Redmond doubled to left field. An ensuing single by Miguel Cabrera scored Redmond with the Marlins’ first run. On the play, Cabrera advanced to second on a throw to the plate. Seo caught Cabrera with a pickoff throw to shortstop McEwing for the inning’s second out. Seo then got Lenny Harris on a grounder to first baseman Phillips to close out the inning.

Redman hurled a perfect top of the fifth. Gerald Williams and Fox got back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom half. A sacrifice bunt by Redman followed and Juan Pierre was walked intentionally to load the bases. Mordecai reached on an error by second baseman Danny Garcia that allowed Williams to score the tying run. Seo then retired Redmond on a fly ball to center fielder Prentice Redman (no relation to Mark) to finish off the inning.

After a scoreless sixth, Prentice Redman drew a walk against Florida reliever Michael Tejera to open the top of the seventh. Prentice stole second base and pinch-hitter Jay Bell drew a walk. A sacrifice bunt by Matt Watson advanced the runners to second and third base. McEwing singled to score Redman and give the Mets a 3-2 lead. With Marlins’ reliever Nate Bump on the mound, McEwing stole second. Phillips singled to drive home pinch-runner Marco Scutaro and McEwing. Wigginton hit a double on which pinch-runner Jorge Velandia reached third base. Gonzalez then tripled to drive home Velandia and Wigginton to increase the Mets’ lead to 7-2.

Vance Wilson kept the onslaught going with a single that drove home Gonzalez. Garcia hit a pop-up to Fox for the inning’s second out. Bump hit Prentice Redman and Scutaro with pitches to load the bases and Florida’s Kevin Olsen came on to pitch with Watson at bat. Olsen completed a walk to Watson (charged to Bump) that forced home Wilson with the Mets’ seventh run of the inning. McEwing was called out on strikes for the third out. Mets’ reliever Orber Moreno then retired the Fish 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Olsen shut down the Mets in the top of the eighth inning. Moreno hurled a perfect bottom half and Marlins’ reliever Braden Looper pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Harris drew a one-out walk against the Mets’ Jaime Cerda. Harris went to second base on a wild pitch and pinch-hitter Todd Hollandsworth drew a walk. Williams flied out to left fielder Watson and a single by Fox plated Harris with the third run of the game for the Fish. Cerda then retired Ramon Castro on a game-ending ground ball to shortstop Velandia. The Mets had a victory over the National League’s wild card team (and eventual world champion) for their final win of the season.