2000 Game Recap: Hampton Finally Picks Up First Mets Win

Don’t let the pitching line deceive you. This is exactly what the Mets thought they were getting with Mike Hampton. For this first time since putting on a Mets uniform, Hampton pitched like an ace, and he came away with his first win as a member of the Mets.

The Mets gave him some early breathing room in this game with a four run first. That inning featured an RBI double from Edgardo Alfonzo, RBI singles from Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile, and a sacrifice fly from Jay Payton. The Mets bats clearly came alive in Pittsburgh, and it appears they came along with the ride back home.

The Brewers did get two back in the second on a Raul Casanova RBI single, but Hampton would shut down the Brewers over the next five innings. Hampton was doing it all facing the minimum over those five innings as well as going 2-for-2 at the plate with a run and two walks.

The players around him was matching his pitching effort with an offensive onslaught. Alonzo had another RBI double, and Robin Ventura hit another grand salm. Jon Nunnally, who has been terrific in place of Rickey Henderson/Darryl Hamilton, had a sacrifice fly. Entering the top of the eighth, the Mets had a 10-2 lead.

At that point, Hampton’s pitch count was at a manageable 89, and he would get two quick outs to start the inning. Things started to turn against him with Marquis Grissom getting a single after a six pitch at-bat. Hampton at that point labored loading the bases, and he couldn’t quite get that last out.

After a bases loaded walk to Charlie Hayes and a two RBI single from Jose Hernandez, Bobby Valentine got his ace from the game. Rich Rodriguez got the Mets out of that jam. He’d get into some trouble in the ninth necessitating Armando Benitez come into the game to bail him out and record the save.

Overall, it was a 10-7 win for a Mets team now starting to get hot. The team who has struggled and played sloppy baseball has now won four of their last five, and they are back at .500. If they continue to hit like this and get starting pitching like this, they should get well past this mark in the very near future.

Game Notes: Rey Ordonez and Henderson were held out of this game due to injury concerns stemming from plays in Pittsburgh. Ventura is the active grand slam leader with 14.

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.