September 29, 2002: Mets Beat Braves in Season Finale
|Date: September 29, 2002|
|Mets starter: Steve Trachsel|
|Winning pitcher: Steve Trachsel|
|Key player(s): Mo Vaughn, Mike Piazza, Ty Wigginton|
|Key play: Vaughn’s and Piazza’s home runs, Wigginton’s two-run double|
The Mets faced the Braves on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the final game of the regular season. The Mets ended a six-game losing streak with a 6-1 win over Atlanta.
The Braves failed to score after loading the bases against Mets’ starter Steve Trachsel in the top of the first inning. Roger Cedeno singled off the Braves’ Jason Marquis to open the bottom half. A sacrifice bunt by Roberto Alomar advanced Cedeno to second base. Mike Piazza followed with a single to score Cedeno for a 1-0 Mets lead. Marquis then struck out Mo Vaughn and retired Edgardo Alfonzo on a fly ball to center fielder Andruw Jones to end the inning.
Trachsel gave up only a single to Henry Blanco in the top of the second. Marquis pitched a scoreless bottom half and Gary Sheffield hit a one-out single in the top of the second. Chipper Jones popped out to shortstop Joe McEwing and a single by Andruw Jones advanced Sheffield to third base. Trachsel got Keith Lockhart on a foul pop-up to third baseman Alfonzo to end the inning. Atlanta reliever Darren Holmes then set down the side in order in the bottom half.
Blanco hit a one-out double in the top of the fourth. Julio Franco went down on strikes and Mark DeRosa singled to drive home Blanco. DeRosa stole second base and Matt Franco was retired on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Timo Perez. With one out in the bottom half, Vaughn hit a home run against the Braves’ Mike Remlinger to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Remlinger then struck out Alfonzo and retired Jeromy Burnitz on a fly ball to left fielder Matt Franco that finished off the inning.
Trachsel retired the Braves 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Perez singled against Atlanta reliever Damian Moss to lead off the bottom half. McEwing reached on first baseman Julio Franco’s error. With pinch-hitter Brady Clark at bat, Perez was caught by catcher Blanco’s pickoff throw to shortstop DeRosa. Clark hit a force play grounder to second baseman Lockhart and a single by Cedeno ensued. Pinch-hitter Ty Wigginton doubled to drive home Clark and Cedeno, increasing the Mets’ lead to 4-1. Piazza followed with a homer for two more New York runs. Moss then threw a called third strike past Vaughn for the inning’s final out.
Mets’ reliever Steve Reed yielded only a single to Blanco in the top of the sixth. Pinch-hitter John Valentin singled against the Braves’ Kevin Gryboski to begin the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Raul Gonzalez hit a double play ground ball to DeRosa and a walk to pinch-hitter Esix Snead followed. Snead stole second base and Gryboski got McEwing on an inning-ending grounder to third baseman Marcus Giles. For the Mets’ reliever Mark Guthrie pitched a scoreless top of the seventh. Atlanta’s Kerry Ligtenberg then gave up just a double to Wigginton in the bottom half.
Mets’ reliever David Weathers hurled a scoreless top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Jason Phillips singled against the Braves’ Tim Spooneybarger to lead off the bottom of the inning. Spooneybarger followed up with strikeouts of both Valentin and Gonzalez. Atlanta’s Joey Dawley (in his major league debut) threw a called third strike past Snead to close out the inning. New York reliever Armando Benitez retired Julio Franco and DeRosa on fly balls to right fielder Gonzalez to start the top of the ninth. Benitez then got Matt Franco to ground out to first baseman Valentin and end the game. The Mets had a victory to conclude the season.
- This was Valentin’s final game of his 11-season major league career