2000 Game Recap: Bobby Jones Finally Cruises In Mets Rout
When the Mets put up a nine spot in the third inning, you would normally assume the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates was all but over. However, the Mets bullpen has been leaky, and Bobby Jones, who returned from Triple-A to pitch today really has not been able to avoid the big inning all season.
Entering that bottom of the third, the game was actually tied 1-1.
In the second, Bronson Arroyo intentionally walked Benny Agbayani to load the bases to bring up Jones. The move backfired when Arroyo balked home Todd Zeile. The move eventually did work as Jones struck out to end the inning.
The Pirates got that run back in the top of the third. Pat Meares doubled and was sacrificed to second by Arroyo. Meares then scored on a Warren Morris sacrifice fly. That was as close as the Pirates would get all day.
The bottom of the third started innocently enough for Arroyo as Melvin Mora flew out to center. Then, as many rallies start, he walked Derek Bell. The flood gates soon opened. After an Edgardo Alfonzo single, Mike Piazza crushed a three homer. The Mets were far from done.
After the homer, the Mets hit three straight with the third from Jay Payton knocking in a run. For the second time in the game, Agbayani was intentionally walked. After Jones flew out, Mora hit a bases clearing double. He then scored on a Derek Bell RBI single. When Bell advanced on an error from Aramis Ramirez on the play, he then scored on an Alfonzo RBI single.
Alfonzo hit the RBI single off of Jeff Wallace who finally relieved Arroyo when the Mets were up 9-1. After that Alfonzo single, the Mets were up 10-1. Arguably, the game was not over given Jones’ performance this season. Then, something even more shocking than the nine run inning happened.
Jones was great.
After allowing that one run in the third, Jones was brilliant the rest of the way. He would not allow another run while he pitched eight strong innings. It was his longest outing since he pitched eight innings against the Houston Astros on September 16, 1998.
After that third inning, only two more Pirates would reach scoring position against Jones. His final line was an impressive 8.0 IP, 5 H, R, ER, BB, and 8 K. You could argue Jones hasn’t been this good since his 1997 All-Star season. Obviously, Jones would pick up the win.
Agbayani had a pair of RBI singles later in the game, and the Pirates scored a window dressing run with Aramis Ramirez hitting a ninth inning RBI single off of Rich Rodriguez in the ninth. All told, it was a 12-2 win, and it was an important one too as it seems, at least for one start, Jones’ work in Triple-A paid off.
Game Notes: In response to criticism over his usage of the bullpen, Bobby Valentine presented information detailing how he has used his relievers less than he had at this point last year. Mets were 7-for-14 with RISP.
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.