Just in time for the New Year, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of topics related to the New York Mets (i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdowns with the number seven and work all the way to number one. This week's Seven in Seven list takes a look at the timeline of all time Mets great Mike Piazza. We will continue the countdown with number five, Mike Piazza's 2000 home run to cap a 10 run comeback against the Atlanta Braves.
5. Piazza Caps a Comeback
Date: June 30, 2000
The Buildup: Mike Piazza made many Mets fans happy by resigning with the team after the 1998 season for seven years and 91 million dollars. Piazza helped the team reach the playoffs in 1999, where they would fall to the division rival Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series. The 2000 season saw the Mets and Braves continue their heated rivalry, and the two teams played a three game set at the end of June at Shea. After splitting the first two games, Atlanta jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and extended it to 8-1 by the time the Mets came to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning. What would happen afterwards would become one of the most memorable comebacks in team history.
The Moment: When it looked as if the Mets were left for dead, the team began a furious comeback. After being down 8-2 with two outs in the inning, the Mets scored three more runs off of Atlanta relievers Don Wengert and Kerry Ligtenberg to cut the deficit to 8-5. Braves manager Bobby Cox chose not to use controversial reliever closer John Rocker, who had been dealing with a thumb injury and was hated by the Mets fans, and instead brought in veteran lefty Terry Mulholland to face outfielder Derek Bell with the bases loaded. Mulholland walked Bell to force in a run to cut the lead to 8-6. Edgardo Alfonzo then came to the plate and delivered a game tying two run single to tie the game at eight. With two men on and two men out, Piazza strode to the plate against Mulholland. Piazza would deliver an emphatic line drive down the left field line that banked off the padding in front of the foul pole for a three run homer to put the Mets up 11-8. Check out a video of the moment that nearly brought the house down below courtesy of YouTube.
In Hindsight: Piazza's homer capped a dramatic ten run comeback as the Mets defeated the Braves 11-8 that night. The home run is another shining example of Piazza's reputation as a clutch player with the Mets. The comeback also demonstrated the fight in that year's Mets, who were never out of any ball game.
Check back tomorrow as we reveal the next moment in Mike Piazza's Mets timeline!
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