On October 24, 2000, the New York Mets picked up their first and only win in the World Series since 1986. They wouldn’t win another until 2015.
The 2000 World Series between the New York Mets and New York Yankees was a throwback to the days when the latter would routinely play the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers in the MLB finals. Ever since the Giants and Dodgers moved to California and baseball continued to add teams, the chances of a true Subway Series were much more difficult.
In what ended up as the final championship for the Joe Torre’s Yankees teams, the Mets were faced with a nearly impossible task. The Yankees disposed of the Atlanta Braves twice already and took care of business versus the San Diego Padres in their other trip during this five-year span. In 2000, they didn’t have to travel far to take on their opponent.
The Mets dropped the first two games at Yankee Stadium. In Game Three, they had a chance to host the Bronx Bombers at City Field.
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The day was October 24, 2000. Bedazzled, Drunken Master II, and Pay It Forward were all released in the theater days earlier. Over in the WWE, Kurt Angle had just beaten The Rock for his first ever WWE Championship Title.
On the mound for the Mets, Rick Reed delivered six productive innings of two-run ball. He managed to strike out eight Yankees, leaving the game with the score tied at two.
The Mets were the first to score in this one. Future Yankee Robin Ventura led off the second inning with a home run against future Met Orlando Hernandez. In the third, David Justice hit a double off of Reed to tie the game. Somewhat coincidentally, it was Justice who the Yankees traded to the Mets for Ventura.
Both teams were held scoreless in the seventh. The trend continued in the top of the eighth with John Franco getting a big double play off the bat of Jorge Posada. A Glenallen Hill flyball two batters later ended the inning.
In what looked like a potential extra-inning affair, the Mets got their opportunity to bat in the bottom of the eighth with the heart of the order. Ventura, the team’s cleanup hitter in this lineup, began with a strikeout against El Duque who was still in the game. It looked like the Yankees’ starter would continue to stay in the game, possibly getting through the frame with ease.
Zeile had other plans. He singled on a 3-2 pitch. Benny Agbayani then stepped to the plate where he sent a double to left field. Jay Payton continued the barrage with a single, putting runners on the corner for Bubba Trammel to drive in an insurance run on a sacrifice fly.
With a two run lead, the Mets asked Armando Benitez to get them the final three outs. Things didn’t start out so well. Chuck Knoblauch began the inning with a single. Were we about to see a classic Benitez meltdown?
Knoblauch moved up to second base on defensive indifference, but it didn’t matter. On his 3-2 pitch to Justice, Benitez got the former Mr. Halle Berry to popout to second base. The game was over. The Mets were back in the series.
The Mets failed to climb closer than this. They dropped a 3-2 game the very next day and on October 26, fell by a score of 4-2. The Subway Series was over. After an absence from the World Series for more than a decade, all the fans got to see was one measly win.
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When the Mets returned to the World Series in 2015, the results were very much the same. They lost the first two away, won the third at home, and then lost two more home games. Maybe next time, Game One won’t slip away in extra-innings like it did both of these teams. If so, a Game Three home win would mean so much more.