2000 Game Recap: A Giant Sweep

If we thought the Mets rebounded in Colorado after losing the final two games against the Reds to mar what was an otherwise perfect homestand, we might have been wrong. After leaving Colorado and facing what promises to be a better Giants team (at least from what we saw of them in April), the Mets just cannot beat these Giants.

For a moment, it did seem like the Mets had this one. Rick Reed was his typical brilliant self over the first seven innings. Aside from a Marvin Benard RBI double in the third, the Giants had real trouble getting to him. In fact, over those first seven innings, he had allowed just three hits. The one hit the Giants got between the fourth and seventh was erased on a double play.

Over those seven innings, the only thing which seemed to be an issue was whether the team would give him the run support he needed. Well, Reed would get that because Mike Piazza was back in the lineup. If there was any doubts after the collision in Colorado, Piazza is still Piazza.

With the Mets trailing 1-0 in the top of the sixth, Piazza launched a two run homer off of Kirk Rueter to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Really, Piazza did it all for the Mets today. He was 3-for-4 with a double, homer, and two RBI. He even stole a base. On a day when no Mets player could reach, he had three of the Mets four hits, and he was in scoring position three different times. With no one else in the lineup able to muster anything, Piazza was stranded.

Entering the eighth, Reed had retired six in a row, and he had faced the minimum from the fourth inning on. He was under 100 pitches, and Bobby Valentine trusted his real ace. Unfortunately, Reed was done getting himself immediately into trouble issuing a lead-off walk to Armando Rios. Runners were soon at the corners with no outs after a Rich Aurilia single.

Reed rebounded by striking out Ellis Burks, but he could not escape unscathed. Felipe Crespo hit a game tying RBI single, and Valentine would bring in Dennis Cook to face the left-handed Benard. In retrospect, this proved to be a huge mistake.

Cook quickly unraveled. First, he balked putting runners at second and third with one out. Then, he plunked Benard to load the bases. After he plunked Benard, the two got into a war of words. This led to the second time in this series the benches would clear. Ultimately, it would led to the fourth time in this series the Mets would lose to the Giants.

Armando Benitez entered the game, and he just couldn’t get it done. First, Bill Mueller hit a bases clearing triple to give the Giants a 5-2 lead. Later that inning, Jeff Kent hit a two run homer. On that note, Kent just killed his former team in this series.

Overall, this was a 7-2 loss and an ugly four game sweep. In the sweep, the Mets battled some very questionable umpiring. They were bullied by the Giants. Mostly, they beat themselves time and again. Now, they at least get to go back to the East Coast and right the ship against a bad Marlins team.

Game Notes: Rickey Henderson was back in the starting lineup after his meeting with Steve Phillips. He responded well by drawing three walks and scoring in front of that Piazza homer. Derek Bell made his first start in center for the Mets. He later moved to right field.

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.