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2000 Game Recap: Leiter Just Can’t Lose

Once again this season, the Mets are struggling, and once again, they gave the ball to Al Leiter who got the win for the Mets. In eight starts for the Mets, Leiter is 5-0 with a 3.24 ERA. That includes today’s start against the Colorado Rockies where Leiter allowed two earned over eight innings on five hits and two walks. He would strike out nine Rockies en route to victory.

The two runs against Leiter came in the third. With two outs and a runner on second, Jeff Cirillo hit an RBI double, and he then scored on a Jeffrey Hammonds RBI single. After that, Leiter retired the next six batters he faced and 15 of the final 17 batters he faced. That allowed the Mets to overcome the 2-0 deficit.

The first run of the game featured two Mets who have a great opportunity ahead of them. Benny Agbayani started in left field for the second straight game since Rickey Henderson‘s release. He led off the bottom of the third with a single off Rolando Arrojo.

After a Rey Ordonez single and botched Leiter sacrifice bunt attempt, Joe McEwing stepped to the plate. McEwing has been leading off and playing center since Henderson’s release. He made an impact here driving home Agbayani on an infield single.

Unfortunately, after Derek Bell walked to load the bases, neither Edgardo Alfonzo or Mike Piazza was able to drive home the tying run. Alfonzo and Piazza would make up for that by starting a rally in the fifth.

With two outs, Alfonzo drew a walk, and Piazza singled. Both players would score on a Robin Ventura RBI double. With that, the Mets were ahead 3-2, and with the way Leiter was pitching, there was no chance the Rockies were going to get back into the game.

Speaking of players with an opportunity with Henderson gone, Jon Nunnally pinch hit for Leiter to start the eighth. McEwing sacrificed him over, and Nunnally scored on a Bell RBI single.

That gave John Franco two runs to work with in the ninth. He didn’t need that buffer as he retired the side to record his second save of the season. Overall, this was a good win for the Mets who hopefully have righted their ship after losing four of six to bad teams entering this game.

Game Notes: Henderson has signed with the Seattle Mariners. Bell is being considered to bat lead-off with Henderson gone. Armando Benitez was unavailable after pitching two innings yesterday.

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.

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