Todd Zeile

“Don’t Just Believe, Know” Can Become “Ya Gotta Believe!”

Back in 1973, Tug McGraw got himself in a little bit of hot water with New York Mets Chairman of the Board when he responded to the pep talk with the “Ya Gotta Believe!” chant. It irked Grant, who was a renown miser, but here’s the key thing with McGraw – he backed it up.

At that point, McGraw was having a career worst year. From July 11 until the end of the season, McGraw made 28 appearances pitching an astounding 69.1 innings.

Over that stretch, McGraw was 5-2 with 14 saves, a 2.21 ERA, and a 1.067 WHIP. He would pitch 3.0 innings on the final game of the season earning the save as the Mets won the division by a game.

McGraw went forth and backed it up with a terrific postseason. In fact, it was probably one of the finest postseason performances from a Mets reliever. Overall, he was 1-0 with two saves and a 1.98 ERA.

While his earlier jeering battle cry fell flat and irked the Mets front office, his backing it up made it a well known and beloved Mets battle cry.

This is a similar situation Pete Alonso now finds himself.

The Philadelphia Phillies just swept the Mets knocking them from first place to third. It’s part of a maddening 1-9 stretch which has seen the Mets fall to just one game over .500 as this team looks like they’re going to completely fall apart.

Making this all the worse was the most recent loss was a complete hit two hit shut out at the hands of former Met (who wanted to remain a Met) Zack Wheeler. Fans have not been this dejected all season.

The very last thing Mets fans wanted was some Pollyanna pep talk from the fan favorite telling everyone everyone is fine. Well, that’s what they got from Alonso:

This feel exceedingly flat. That goes double with Alonso going 0-for-11 in the series with five strikeouts. One of those strikeouts came in the ninth when he represented the go-ahead run.

Really, Alonso has been terrible of late. Over his last 16 games, he’s hit .140/.269/.316. His not hitting has coincided with the Mets collapse.

Todd Zeile was irked by the comments. He wanted to see more accountability and a more honest assessment of the situation. This echoed Mets fan sentiment. Being honest, it was a very mild account of how fans felt.

There’s a problem with the sentiment from Zeile and others. They were expecting Alonso to be someone he’s not. What we got from Alonso was who he is.

Alonso is where he is due to the belief he has in himself. He’s the player he is because his focus isn’t just on process, but more to the point, not getting too low. He’s the living embodiment of McGraw’s mantra.

Now, it’s really up to Alonso to back it up just like McGraw did. If he takes off and the Mets do win this division, fans will have a much different reaction to the comment.

If the Mets win the division, “Don’t Just Believe, Know” will become a fitting sequel to “Ya Gotta Believe!”

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Sweep Braves?

With the weather, the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves only played one game of the weekend series. With the Mets winning, they swept all the games they did play:

1. You just can’t beat the Mets at Citi Field. So far, they’re 15-5, and that’s even with a Triple-A roster.

2. The Braves are an incredibly flawed team, and there’s only so much Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña can do.

3. The Mets are starting to get healthy with Taijuan Walker back. They also have Seth Lugo and Pete Alonso ready to be activated any day now.

4. Lugo presents an interesting dilemma for the Mets as they robbed Peter to pay Paul by opening up roster spots. Lugo coming off the 60 day IL means someone has to come off the 40 man roster.

5. In past years, the Mets really didn’t have enough players for an everyday lineup, and now, we’re worrying about the backups to the backups. Things really are different.

6. Walker picked right up where he left off, which is to say, he was very good.

7. Mets were cautious with both Walker and Jacob deGrom in their returns from the IL. Again, it’s nice to see things are different around here.

8. One of the biggest changes we see are rain outs. Steve Cohen is making the calls sooner preventing fans from having to unnecessarily make the trek.

9. A side point here is we’ve seen Mets players get injured and seasons get turned sideways with players playing in poor conditions as the Wilpons push to get another gate.

10. James McCann needs to be commended. He got pushed to first due to his own play, Tomas Nido‘s play, and injuries. He responded to the challenge by playing great.

11. Seeing McCann at first, and seeing his bat come alive again, you do wonder if he can play third. After all, it is a shift Todd Zeile (permanently) and Gary Carter (as a sub) have successfully made.

12. Seeing how McCann has played of late, there’s nothing wrong with the McCann/Nido platoon. In fact, it’s a good plan to get the most out of them and the starters.

13. Its a very small sample size, but Billy McKinney looks really good. He could well be someone who more than adequately fills in that 4th/5th OF role.

14. It’ll be something people overlook when they talk about how disappointing Dominic Smith has been, and he has, but he’s been playing hurt at a time when the Mets needed him.

15. Maybe it’s due to overwork, regression to the mean, or something else, but Miguel Castro is starting to look like the enigma he was with the Baltimore Orioles again.

16. Jason Bay got a much longer leash than Francisco Lindor has when it’s come to the booing.

17. On Lindor, this team is winning with pitching and defense, and he’s on the forefront of that. It’s something to remember when the Mets are healthy and debating putting in the full can’t field lineup.

18. By every objective measure, Jonathan Villar has been a below average player, but man, he finds a way to make an impact on a game.

19. The fact Kevin Pillar is going to be one of the first players back is a minor miracle given the injury he suffered and a testament to how tough he is.

20. The May games are over, and the Mets are in first place. They have the largest division lead while they’re getting healthy. Let’s hope this is enough to stave off the usual June swoon.

Francisco Lindor Rat/Raccoon Story Genius

There is not one soul on the planet who believes Francisco Lindor‘s explanation about what happened. Really, no one believes there was a dispute between him and Jeff McNeil over whether they saw a rat or a raccoon in the clubhouse.

We know there was some sort of an altercation. Well, we at least expect there’s one. What really happened is only known by the Mets team.

Yes, it’s the job of the reporters to ask questions and get to the bottom of things. However, their reaction was been way over the top. Instead of bemusement, we saw a charge led by Todd Zeile where they were personally insulted.

Of course, they didn’t with Jeff Wilpon when he stood in the way of Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Jed Lowrie, and countless others with their career threatening and altering injuries. The same goes for creating an environment of harassment with Mickey Callaway, other employees, and his own actions. Who knows what other heinous acts went unreported.

That’s partially besides the point. The media gets to cover what they want to cover. Then again, teams and players in turn get to dictate how to respond to inquiries. There are several options including ignoring the questions, boilerplate answers, and as we saw with Lindor, having some fun with it.

And, the Mets did have fun with it. We saw McNeil have fun saying it was a possum. We also saw tweets from players like Marcus Stroman, Dominic Smith, and Tomas Nido.

Instead of the incident between Lindor and McNeil dividing them and the team, we saw it become a moment which brought the team together. We got a sense of that from Stroman.

It’s also something which has galvanized the fanbase. Mets fans are very protective of their players, and they’re all the moreso when they believe their players are being unfairly maligned.

The raccoon is also a fun angle reminiscent of the rally raccoon. For that matter, Mets fans always enjoy a good animal story whether it’s the black cat or Yoenis Cespedes‘ rally parakeet.

Whatever the case, Lindor took what could’ve been a divisive moment, and he made it absurd. From there, the players and fans rallied together. His ability to do that may very well pay dividends now and in the future.

You Can Wear 21 But Can’t Wear The First Responder Caps

This week, MLB made the fitting tribute of allowing Puerto Rican players and Neil Walker to wear 21 in tribute of Roberto Clemente. It’s a departure from the norm, but it’s a necessary one because there are people and events so important, we need to honor them.

It’s why Major League Baseball players wear 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. It’s why the Houston Astros wore caps last year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. It’s why MLB has special caps for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, and other days of the year.

Actually no, those are a cash grab. That’s what brings us to the Mets not wearing the first responder caps.

Not since Al Leiter wore a cap for each of the first responders on the one year anniversary of 9/11 have players been permitted to wear the caps. Truth be told, the Mets weren’t allowed to wear them in 2001, but Todd Zeile led his teammates in defying that order.

We know the great lengths MLB has gone to stop it. That includes sending operatives in to collect the caps pregame. Even when David Wright purportedly tried to hide a cap to wear it on the field, they found it and confiscated it.

The reason this is happening is MLB hasn’t found a way to market the caps for profit. Make no mistake, MLB loves making profits off tragedy and crisis. After all, they’re selling you officially licensed face masks during this pandemic.

That’s well within their rights. No one is going to tell them to not make money. After all, they’re a business.

On that note, doing the right thing here and allowing players to wear caps honoring first responders doesn’t cost anything. If anything, it helps get attention for the sport. That’s not too dissimilar from MLB already does when they and the Mets will promote the Mike Piazza home run today.

As an aside, the Wilpons selling that jersey for a profit is another indication of why they needed to be gone. Fortunately, they will be soon.

Overall, MLB did right by Clemente and Robinson. They honored the moon landing. They need to now allow the first responder caps because Pete Alonso getting everyone cleats doesn’t cut it.

If anything, it highlights how everyone but MLB seems to get the importance of remembering 9/11 and the impact that event has had on New Yorkers to this day.

2000 Game Recap: Hampton Goes The Distance

When you have a tired and beleaguered bullpen, and your team has had to go to the whip to pull out some games, what you desperately need is for a starting pitcher to step up and get you innings. Mike Hampton did more than that in going the distance for the second time this season.

In fact, it was a complete game shut out where he set a season high with nine strikeouts.

After the fifth inning, Hampton would not allow another hit, and he would limit the Pirates to just five hits total. With him pitching this way, the win was assured. The question was just how badly the Mets would beat the Pirates. It was a rout.

The game winning RBI was a Jay Payton RBI single in the second scoring Robin Ventura, who had led off the inning with a double off Kris Benson. It would stay close through five-and-a-half until the Mets offense battered a tiring Benson.

In the sixth, the Mets loaded the bases with no outs. Ventura would walk to force home the first run, and Todd Zeile would hit a sacrifice fly to increase the Mets lead to 3-0. The Mets then put the game away in the seventh.

Joe McEwing led off the inning with a single, and he went to third on a Melvin Mora single. Mora then stole second, and he would come home to score with McEwing on a Derek Bell RBI single. The Mets weren’t done there. Edgardo Alfonzo and Mike Piazza hit back-to-back doubles to increase the Mets lead to 7-0. It was 8-0 after a Ventura RBI single.

Mora would cap off the Mets scoring with a solo homer in the eighth. That was the capper for a great game from Mora. He was 4-for-5 with three runs, a double, homer, RBI, and a stolen base. If not for Hampton going to the distance, he would have been the star of the game.

Game Notes: With Hampton complaining about the city traffic, there are some who are concerned about the Mets chances to re-sign him. Mora seems to be winning the shortstop job. He has a five game hitting streak, and he is hitting .281 this month.

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.

2000 Game Recap: Mets Offense Picks Up Reed And Flailing Bullpen

For a moment, it had seemed Rick Reed turned the corner, had been past the injuries, and is now the pitcher he was early on in the season. That didn’t seem the case today as the Pirates roughed him up. Over the three innings he lasted, he allowed homers to John Vander Wal and Kevin Young.

In total, he allowed four runs in three innings, and he slogged through with 75 pitches. With the pitch count an ineffectiveness, he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the third.

While Jason Tyner didn’t get a hit, Melvin Mora would get a rally started with a bunt single. Later that inning, Derek Bell and Edgardo Alfonzo would hit a pair of RBI doubles. Combined with Robin Ventura‘s solo homer in the second, the Mets pulled themselves to within 4-3. It was going to be one of those games.

Pat Mahomes came in for Reed, and he was just okay. Over his three innings, he allowed two runs, which came on a Bruce Aven two RBI double in the fifth. After Ventura got one of those runs back in the sixth with his second solo homer of the game, Dennis Cook came in and was as bad as he’s been all season.

Cook allowed a leadoff homer to Brian Giles to start the seventh. Aven would double off of Cook, and later in the inning, Abraham Nunez would hit a two out RBI single giving the Pirates an 8-4 lead. With the way the Mets bullpen has been pitching, that lead seemed safe enough even for the Pirates.

That was until the bottom of the seventh when Mike Piazza jolted the Mets. After a Bell lead-off single, Alfonzo drew a walk. Both would score on a Piazza RBI double. Nunez would give back the run he knocked in when his error allowed Jay Payton to reach and Piazza to score.

The Mets were now withing 8-7, and Bobby Valentine wasn’t taking any chances with his leaky bullpen anymore. With the game on the line, he only trusted John Franco and Armando Benitez the rest of the way. The two would combine to shut the Pirates out over the final two innings and allow the Mets to take the lead.

After Bell drew a one out walk, he was knocked home on a game tying Alfonzo double. After Piazza struck out, Ventura was intentionally walked. Alfonzo and Ventura would come home to score on a go-ahead Todd Zeile RBI double.

When Benitez set the Pirates down in order in the ninth, the Mets turned what could have been a very troublesome game into a good come from behind win. As we see, their bullpen still needs a lot of help, but you will take wins like these whenever they come along.

Game Notes: It may be public posturing, but Steve Phillips has indicated he’s comfortable going forward with Melvin Mora and Kurt Abbott at SS the rest of the way. Before Reed’s short start here, the Mets had quality starts in eight of the last nine games. Piazza has a 13 game hitting streak.

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.

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.

2000 Game Recap: Mets Homers Provide Enough Cushion For Leaky Bullpen

Well, in this three game series, it appears as if getting a 2-0 lead was a death knell. To that end, it seems fortunate Glendon Rusch walked the first batter of the game before allowing RBI singles to Bobby Abreu and Mike Lieberthal to give the Mets a 2-0 deficit before they ever came up to the plate.

The Mets got one of those runs back when Derek Bell hit a homer off of Cliff Politte in the bottom of the first. It was a much needed hit for Bell who was mired in a real 12-for-88 stretch (.136) at the same time Benny Agbayani and Jay Payton have taken off at the plate.

Just like the Mets did in the first two games of this series, after scoring their first run of the game, their offense went dormant. After Bell’s homer, Politte would retire the next eight Mets in a row. The Mets would get things started again in the fourth when they loaded the bases with two outs, but Todd Zeile struck out to end the inning.

The Mets couldn’t cash in on rallies in this game, but the one thing they were able to do was hit the long ball. In the fifth, Melvin Mora tied the game on a solo homer, and then in the sixth, Payton hit a two run homer to give the Mets a 4-1 lead.

During this time, Rusch had settled in and gone to work after that tough 36 pitch first inning. In the fourth, he got out of jam with runners on first and second with two outs by getting Politte to pop out. In the seventh, he fought through a Robin Ventura error allowing the lead-off batter to reach. Through it all, Rusch pitched seven strong innings allowing just the two earned runs from the first inning while allowing seven hits and one walk. He would also strike out seven.

Rusch was lifted for the pinch hitter Lenny Harris, who hit a one out double. He’d come around to score later that inning on a two out RBI single by Bell. Little did we know it at the time, but the Mets would need that run.

While the Mets bullpen has been leaky of late, Turk Wendell has been good. He had not allowed a run over his last three appearances, and he had allowed runs once over his last eight appearances. Today, he was not good at all, and he nearly blew the game.

The top of the eighth started with a Scott Rolen homer. After that, Wendell walked Lieberthal, and Lieberthal went to second on a Todd Pratt passed ball. Pat Burrell, who at least didn’t homer today, reached safely on Ventura’s second error of the game. Kevin Jordan hit a sacrifice fly pulling the Phillies to within 5-4. Fortunately, Wendell retired Kevin Sefcik to get out of the inning.

Things were not nearly as eventful in the ninth. Beginning his second inning of work, Wendell retired Doug Glanville and Ron Gant. Bobby Valentine then brought in Dennis Cook to get the left-handed Abreu to end the game. With that, Cook had his first save of the season, and the Mets avoided the sweep.

Game Notes: After his time working on things in Triple-A, Bobby Jones is slated to make his next start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Darryl Hamilton will start his rehab assignment next week. Armando Benitez called Mets fans dumb for booing John Franco yesterday, and he accused Mets fans of only wanting to see the bad. With his two errors today, Ventura passed his error total for all of last season.

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.

2000 Game Recap: Rookie Pat Burrell Becoming A Mets Killer

Starting with Mike Piazza hitting a first inning two run homer off of Curt Schilling scoring Edgardo Alfonzo to give the Mets a 2-0 lead, this game had a bit of an ugly deja vu feeling to their frustrating loss to the Phillies yesterday.

Part of that deja vu was Pat Burrell being the Phillies big bat leading the assault. The other part was a ninth inning meltdown by the Mets bullpen.

After two, the Mets had a 3-0 lead with Jason Tyner hitting an RBI ground out scoring Jay Payton in the second. Al Leiter would surrender that 3-0 lead in the third with two of the three runs being unearned.

With one out, Robin Ventura made a rare error allowing Doug Glanville to reach safely. After that, the Phillies would load the bases. Mike Lieberthal hit a two run double, and then Kevin Jordan hit a sacrifice fly tying the game at 3-3.

After the score was tied, Schilling had begun making quick work of the Mets lineup. Starting with the second inning, Schilling retired nine in a row. After Schilling retired Tyner to lead off the fifth, Leiter and Melvin Mora would hit a back-to-back singles, but the Mets could not push a run across.

That immediately came back to haunt the Mets with Burrell leading off the sixth with a homer. In the seventh, it was Ron Gant homering against Leiter to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead. When Scott Rolen followed the Gant homer with a single, Bobby Valentine lifted Leiter for Turk Wendell.

You could argue Leiter deserved better on the day. Through his 6.1 innings, he had allowed five runs with only three of them earned. He would walk three while striking out seven. However, that third inning rally was exacerbated by Leiter, and he didn’t get the big out he needed.

Fortunately for Leiter, the Mets would get him off the hook. Chris Brock came out of the Phillies bullpen in the eighth, and he was greeted immediately with back-to-back singles by Derek Bell and Alfonzo. After Alfonzo stole second and Piazza struck out, there was runners on second and third with one out. Ventura delivered and atoned for the two unearned runs resulting from his error with a two RBI single tying the game.

The Mets had the chance to take the lead but squandered it. Todd Zeile followed Ventura’s RBI single with a single of his own. The rally ended there as Payton struck out, and Tyner grounded out to end the inning. Much like in the sixth, the Mets would immediately regret wasting this chance.

John Franco had nothing. He was pitching for the second straight game and third time over a four day span. Perhaps, he was just tired. Whatever the case, he imploded.

After a Gant double, there were runners on second and third with no outs. After Franco struck out Scott Rolen, Lieberthal, who is a Mets killer, was walked to load the bases and set up a potential double play. That double play never happened.

Franco walked Jordan to force home a run. Then, Valentine brought in Benitez to pitch to Burrell. Benitez was tired himself. He had pitched over an inning yesterday and threw 33 pitches. On the fifth pitch to Burrell, Burrell got Benitez again this time hitting a grand slam to put the Phillies up 10-5.

With the Mets going down 1-2-3 in the ninth, they yet again had wasted a good pitching performance, and they were unable to overcome the failures of Benitez. Worse yet, it seems as if the rookie Pat Burrell is starting to become a Mets killer.

Game Notes: Piazza is currently riding an 11 game hitting streak. Rey Ordonez has been officially ruled out for the rest of the year leaving the Mets to ride with Melvin Mora and Kurt Abbott at shortstop until they decided to obtain one in a trade.

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.

2000 Game Recap: Hampton’s Gritty Performance Spoiled

Look, Armando Benitez was going to blow a save sooner or later. With how dominant he has been on this recent stretch, you knew it was going to happen sooner or later. He’s allowed these hiccups, but ultimately, he’s not the biggest reason the Mets lost this game. Far from it.

The Mets seemed like they were primed to crush the Phillies. In the first, Edgardo Alfonzo hit a two out single against Paul Byrd, and then Mike Piazza hit a two run homer giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. After that homer, the Mets did nothing.

Byrd came into this game with a 7.86 ERA, and he had allowed 4+ runs in five of his nine starts. In two of his last four starts, he allowed 6+. However, today, after allowing that two run homer to Piazza, the Mets would muster just four more hits and one walk over the ensuing five innings.

That included a blown opportunity in the sixth. Robin Ventura hit a two out single putting runners at the corners with two outs, but Todd Zeile was unable to capitalize on the opportunity as he grounded out to end the inning.

Still, the Mets would have the lead as Mike Hampton, who finally pitched without a rain delay, was brilliant. Through the first six innings, he shut out the Phillies limiting them to two hits. Now, that doesn’t mean the Phillies didn’t get their chances. They certainly did with Hampton walking six batters.

That meant he needed to do a few Houdini acts. In the first, he walked two batters, but he got around that by picking Ron Gant off first and getting Mike Lieberthal to hit into an inning ending double play. Again, in the third, Hampton walked two, and he would retire Lieberthal to end the jam. It would not be until the seventh when the Phillies got to Hampton.

In the seventh, the Phillies rally started with Kevin Sefcik and Alex Arias leading off the inning with back-to-back singles. After Desi Relaford sacrificed them over, Doug Glanville pulled the Phillies to within 2-1 by hitting a sacrifice fly. Hampton got out of the inning retiring Gant.

After John Franco pitched a scoreless eighth, Benitez took the mound looking to record his 17th save of the season and extend his scoreless inning streak past 17.0 innings. That all ended when Pat Burrell led off the top of the ninth with a solo homer.

Benitez got out of that inning without allowing another base runner, but he would not be so lucky in the 10th. After the Mets went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Glanville led off the inning with a double. Benitez seemed to shake it off striking out the next two batters. That’s when Liebererthal, who had failed twice earlier in the game, came through with an RBI single to give the Phillies their first lead in the game.

After the Mets went down 1-2-3 in the 10th, they would suffer a very frustrating 3-2 loss. The Phillies just had Benitez’s number today, but at the end of the day, you really have to pin this on a Mets offense who could not score any runs over nine innings against a very suspect Phillies pitching staff.

Game Notes: Curt Schilling said he would be willing to accept a trade to either the Mets or the Yankees.

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.