6 and 6 up to play. Even Mets, accustomed to the collapse of late seasons in recent years, could not succumb to such free fall. Fortunately, a New York victory or a Los Angeles Dodgers defeat guarantees two consecutive trips to the postseason.
But Mets, especially the general manager, wasn’t interested in settling in the wildcard berth, even if it was the most logical path to the playoffs.
“Our goal was to win the division,” said Steve Phillips. “Wildcards are fallbacks.” Phillips even said that if the “fallback” option was really their destiny, Mets shouldn’t engage in field celebrations.
New York will understand whether the hopes for those slim division titles will disappear or stay alive as the # 1 Atlanta Braves arrive in Queens. Re-engage Less than a week after the two clubs finished playing each other south.
Braves had to take only one in a three-game set at Shea Stadium and lock NL East again. And they did so at the opener, without wasting time or drama. After winning 7-1, the understated celebrations of Braves players and coaches were typical of the franchise that dominated the division for most of the decade.
As the previous faint hopes for the NL East crown disappeared, the Mets then quickly ended their suspense on securing wildcards, ending the regular season with five consecutive victories.
The Shea crowd was ready for its own celebration on September 27th, even if GM wasn’t. As the Dodgers won the night before, it gave Mets the opportunity to clinch on their own terms.
Atlanta didn’t make concessions easily and launched a top-notch lineup.But it did not prove a deterrent to the determined Mets and starters. Rick reed, Braves negotiated a relatively easy order following the first inning home run Andrew Jones..
New York has taken a few more steps to build a lead to 6-1. Armand BenitezHaving completed 41 saves on the team record in 2000, was honored to end the clinch in an unsaved situation.
House run by Andres Ragga There was little harm. Benitez closed Braves, somewhat following Phillips’ wishes, and the reaction was relatively suppressed. Mets was finally unleashed with champagne in the locker room.
“I think this team has silenced the suspicious person a bit.” Mike Piazza Said to New York Times.. “Hey? It was a bad month. Hopefully you can have a good month.”
From there, the team played easily for free. This is the same as a bright red summer performance.
Unlike Braves Manager Bobby Cox, Bobby Valentine Penciller in the Mets lineup with backups.Nevertheless, they go to the end Greg MadduxSend him to the clubhouse after a no-scoring drought and 5 innings.
Todd Pratt He led the game with an 8-2 break in Atlanta’s pitching and was 3-4 with 3 RBIs. Kurt Abbott He knocked on six home runs in the season and showed a rare pop to the bat. Bobby Jones I went to 8 and gave up only two runs. His last ERA was neither eye-catching nor pleasing, but he managed to set a record of 11-6.
After that, Mets disposed of his last regular season opponent, the Montreal Expo. Mike Hampton He won his 15th victory this year on September 29th and was greatly supported by 10 runs in the first two innings. This was followed by two late-game wins that acted as tune-ups in October.
All that was left was to decide on an opponent for the Mets Division Series. The Braves, Cardinals and Giants fought for the league’s best record and gained home field advantage through the NL playoffs.
Atlanta continued to play the starter, but nothing more. After losing the series in New York, they continued their home fight with the Colorado Rockies, dropping two out of three to end the regular season.
The Giants, on the other hand, won four of the last five and made the final tally of 97 wins. This is enough for NL’s top seed, which means Mets. right There is a rematch with the enemy in the NLCS.
New York ended at 94 — three wins less than in 1999, but much less worried about getting there. However, compared to last year’s arrival at the roller coaster playoffs, Mets had to do four consecutive Must Win games and three city trekks for about 50 hours, with a relatively gentle finish and a flight to the west. I challenged Sun. Francisco was a comfort. But for the Mets tall team, reaching the postseason wasn’t enough. A trip to the World Series is enough.