If Bobby Valentine wasn’t happy with the Mets acquiring Derek Bell in the offseason, watching him play, especially defense, Valentine surely must be reassessing his original opinion. Once again, it was Bell who was a key contributor for the Mets.
Heading into the seventh, the Mets were trailing 4-1 to the Brewers with the Mets lone run coming when Mike Piazza cleared the picnic area to lead-off the second inning. That homer had tied the score at 1-1. They would soon fall behind the Brewers.
For the first time this year, Al Leiter wasn’t sharp. In fact, he’d walk three and allow two homers. The first was a two run shot by James Mouton in the third. Charlie Hayes would hit a solo shot in the sixth giving the Brewers a 4-1 lead. For a while, that seemed like it would end the Mets winning streak.
Brewers starter Steve Woodard was sharp with the Piazza homer being one of just three hits he allowed over six innings. In fact, after that Piazza homer, Woodard retired the next 15 Mets who would face him. Then, Bell would coe to the plate to lead-off the seventh, and he would launch a homer to pull the Mets to within 4-2.
That homer seemed to ignite the Mets. Edgardo Alfonzo singled, and then Piazza walked. That chased Woodard from the game. The LOOGY Valerio De Los Santos did his job getting Robin Ventura to hit into a fielder’s choice with Piazza being forced out at second.
The Brewers then went to David Weathers to face Todd Zeile. Zeile greeted Weathers with an opposite field RBI single. On the play, Ventura tried to go first to third, and Jeromy Burnitz unleashed a throw which went into the stands allowing Ventura to score on the play to tie the game a 4-4.
That’s when the Mets bullpen, who had been home run happy to start the season, stepped up pitching four scoreless innings. The first two came from Pat Mahomes, who got some help from Bell making a sliding catch deep in the right field corner to rob Marquis Grissom of a hit. Dennis Cook and Turk Wendell walked a tightrope in their scoreless innings.
Cook beaned Burnitz, who stole second with two outs, but he would be stranded there. Wendell hit Ronnie Belliard to start off the 10th, and after a passed ball by Todd Pratt, who came into the game after the Mets pinch ran for Piazza in the ninth, Belliard was in scoring position with one out. Wendell settled in, and he kept Belliard there putting him in line for the win.
After missing an opportunity to score in the ninth and with one out in the 10th, Melvin Mora homered off the first pitch he saw from Curtis Leskanic to win the game. It was the Mets first walk-off win of 2000, and that homer completed the Mets first sweep of the season. Suddenly, this is a team getting key hits and are now two games over .500.
Game Notes: Darryl Hamilton will not be coming off the DL tomorrow meaning Benny Agbayani will stay with the ballclub. At the moment, no one has any idea when, or maybe if, Hamilton can play again this year. Rey Ordonez returned to the lineup. He was 0-for-4 at the plate.
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.