#7 1999 NLDS Game 4 Walk-off
The 1999 season was important for the Mets because it was the first reappearance in the postseason since their untimely departure in 1988 and the following deconstruction of the team. The Mets built back up to a legitimate playoff contender and posed a threat once again.
Their first test was the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Mets quickly gained a 2-1 series lead with a chance to finish the series at She Stadium. However, a loss meant returning to the desert for a contentious and deciding game 5. The Mets wanted to get the deed done in Queens.
A game with a nice flow ensued, lasting a bit over three hours spanned across ten contentious innings. The eighth was the largest inning of all, as the Diamondbacks subverted the Mets 2-1 lead changing the score to 3-2 in favor of the team from the Southwest.
The Mets returned volley immediately with a run in the bottom half of the inning. The score remained even until the bottom of the tenth inning.
Todd Pratt the back-up catcher to the intimidating Mike Piazza, who totaled 167 plate appearances and three home runs in 1999, came to the plate. He unloaded on a flat-looking pitch in the upper part of the strike zone, producing a thunderous crack. The ball carried to dead center as if he was a pro-golfer perfectly striking his shot.
The ball carried rather quickly, due to the solid contact of Pratt. It was close, Steve Finnley raced to the wall attempting to beat the ball before it landed for a Mets victory and a series win. The outfielder got there just in time, reaching up, back against the metallic blue wall, yet he seemed perplexed.
When he peered into his glove it was empty and a bewildered look crossed his face. He realized that the Mets had advanced and he and his teammates had been eliminated. Most shocking of these occurrences is that the light-hitting, backup backstop had been the one to knock them out.
This may not have been a season draped in glory, as soon after the Mets would be eliminated by the Braves. Yet, it was a moment of pure, unadulterated joy for Mets fans. Fans that were desperate for winning, after the abysmal attempts following the late 80’s runs.