2000 Game Recap: Rick Reed Makes Most Of Moribund Mets Offense
Well, it appears Bobby Valentine isn’t messing around. After Rickey Henderson refused to run out a ball and Darryl Hamilton limped around the outfield, both players were out of the lineup. With respect to Hamilton, it is clearly a physical issue as he was placed on the disabled list, but with Henderson, it seems to be more than that.
This means Jon Nunnally and Jay Payton received the first opportunity to show they can be everyday players for a team with World Series aspirations. Nunnally first showed his mettle by drawing a lead-off walk against Darren Dreifort.
That walk sparked a rally for the Mets bats which have been quiet to start the season. After his lead-off walk, Derek Bell struck out, and Edgardo Alfonzo walked. That set the stage for Mike Piazza who hit an RBI double to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead. After Piazza, Robin Ventura hit an RBI ground out expanding that lead to 2-0.
For a moment, it seemed like Valentine’s bold decision making sparked this team, and they picked up where they left off at the end of the series against the Padres. Instead, the Mets bats once again went COMPLETELY quiet. After Piazza’s double, the Mets would have just one more hit, and they couldn’t push another run across even with Dreifort walking eight over five innings.
While the downside is the Mets offense continued to do nothing, the bright side is Rick Reed had another brilliant outing to start the season.
Over 7.2 innings, Reed allowed four hits and one walk. The Dodgers lone run to score in the game was off a Gary Sheffield fourth inning homer. There was some threat the Dodgers could build from there with Shawn Green following the homer with a double, but he’d get Eric Karros to ground out to end the jam.
The Dodgers would threaten again in the fifth with Adrian Beltre and Jose Vizcaino hitting back-to-back one out singles. Beltre would advance to third on a fly ball, and Vizcaino would steal second to set up second and third with two outs. Reed got out of the jam by striking out Todd Hollandsworth. It was one of seven strikeouts on the day for Reed.
With Piazza having made the last out of the seventh, and with Valentine always trying to find some spots to get his catcher some rest when he can, Todd Pratt entered the game with two outs in the eighth as part of a double switch which saw Armando Benitez come into the game for the four out save.
Benitez was up to the task getting four of the five Dodgers he faced out. That saved Valentine of some double guessing with his star player on the bench and out of the game in a one run game at a time when the Mets offense has not been able to do anything at the plate.
Regardless of the continued concerns you may have about this offense, a win is a win. More than that, you see the Mets are not willing to go down watching players like Henderson not doing everything he can do to help this team win. There was a clear message delivered, and the Mets answered with a win. We’ll see what happens from there.
Game Notes: With Hamilton being placed on the DL, it appears Benny Agbayani will no longer be sent down to the minors when Glendon Rusch is activated. Al Leiter is dealing with an issue leading to Pat Mahomes being slated to make an emergency start tomorrow.
Editor’s Note: With there being no games to begin the season, this site will follow the 2000 season and post recaps as if those games happened in real time. If nothing else, it is better to remember this pennant winning season and revisit some of the overlooked games than it is to dwell on the complete lack of baseball.