2000 Game Recap: Kurt Abbott Ignites Mets Offense
For a while this looked like it was going to be a frustrating loss. After Edgardo Alfonzo and Mike Piazza hit back-to-back homers off of Scott Erickson in the first, Rick Reed, who returned to the mound after his oblique injury, struggled, and the Mets would fall behind 3-2 entering the bottom of the sixth.
Things could have been worse for the Mets. In the fourth, the Orioles had tied the score 2-2 on a Cal Ripken Jr. sacrifice fly with Ripken reaching safely on a Tyner error. Tyner made up for the error two batters later when Charles Johnson fouled out to left. Tyner made a strong throw home, and Piazza did a good job of getting the tag down to get the Mets out of the inning tied albeit not for long.
That’s when Kurt Abbott came off the bench, and he ignited the Mets offense with a lead-off triple, and he would score the tying run on a Jason Tyner sacrifice fly. After Derek Bell singled, he would be driven home by Alfonzo, who hit the Mets second triple of the inning.
Piazza and Robin Ventura were walked to load the bases, and Alberto Reyes came on to relieve Erickson. He wasn’t much of a relief allowing an RBI single to Todd Zeile and a sacrifice fly to Jay Payton. In that four run inning, the Mets grabbed a 6-3 lead, and the bats seemed rejuvenated as they would begin to route the Orioles.
In the seventh, it was again Abbott getting the Mets started; this time it was a lead-off double. After walks to Alfonzo and Piazza to load the bases, B.J. Ryan came into the game and walked Ventura to force home a run. Zeile hit a two RBI single, and Payton then singled to re-load the bases.
That lead the Orioles to go to Jose Mercedes, who was greeted with a Benny Agbayani two RBI single to push the Mets lead to 11-3. That would be the final score as the Mets bullpen did their job. The combination of Pat Mahomes, who picked up the win, Dennis Cook, and Rich Rodriguez (2.0 IP) combined to pitch four scoreless to secure the victory for the Mets.
All-in-all, this was a good win, and it is one where you feel good about the Mets. Even without his best stuff and some rust, Reed kept the Mets in the game. The combination of Alfonzo-Piazza-Ventura-Zeile had a hand in all of the rallies, and the team got contributions throughout their roster.
Game Notes: Yesterday’s game against the Orioles was rained out and will be played tomorrow. Bell is mired in a 4-for-49 (.082) slump. With Tyner up and playing outfield, the plan for the time being is to have Melvin Mora as the everyday SS.
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.