An early April game for the New York Mets in 2000 previewed the importance starting pitching would play for their season.
On April 7, 2000, the New York Mets invited the Los Angeles Dodgers to town for an early-season National League East versus National League West matchup. With some former and future Mets on the Dodgers such as Gary Sheffield, Shawn Green, and Todd Hundley, it was a strange night in Flushing.
After three straight in the top of the first inning, the Mets went to bat in the bottom half with Jon Nunnally leading things off. He drew a walk, previewing what was to come for the rest of the game.
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By the time Mike Piazza came to the plate in the number four spot, there was one out and two one via a walk. Dreifort had already thrown a wild pitch in a game when control was not there for him.
Piazza doubled in Nunnally and Robin Ventura knocked in Edgardo Alfonzo on a ground out making it a 2-0 game. Todd Zeile drew the third walk of the inning, but a Jay Payton fly out ended the chance for more damage.
The game progressed without much offensive action. In the top of the fourth inning, Sheffield hit a solo home run to make the game 2-1.
Meanwhile, the Amazins’ offense went stagnant except for a single by Reed in the bottom of the fourth. Other than this hit, the bats went cold.
Still, the Mets were finding ways to get on base thanks to Dreifort’s ineffective control. In his five innings of work, the Dodgers’ started issued eight free passes. Aside from the Piazza double and the Reed single, the Mets failed to muster up another hit all night.
Reed did his job on the mound. In 7.2 innings, he walked only a single batter and surrendered just four hits. Armando Benitez relieved him in the eighth via double-switch which put Todd Pratt in the game behind the plate.
Benitez did his job—earning his second save of the season. The final out of the game came on a groundout to first base off of Hundley’s bat.
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The victory went to Reed and the Mets handed the Dodgers a loss despite their pitchers allowing only two hits. Following their year of dominance at the plate in 1999, this game helped preview the importance pitching would play for the 2000 season.