In his fourth start of the 2000 season, New York Mets pitcher Mike Hampton finally found a way to earn the win.
Flashing back to a Mets box score from April 15, 2000, we land on the day when Hampton got his first win while in blue and orange.
Hampton took the loss in his first three starts for the Mets in 2000. His most recent outing was a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on the road. In what was only his second start of the year at Shea Stadium, Hampton had an opportunity to rewrite his season.
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Hampton took the mound in this game against the Milwaukee Brewers and their starting pitcher, Jaime Navarro. Also winless, Navarro was about to get introduced to the 2000 offense.
First, Hampton had to escape the top of the first inning. After a Marquis Grissom single to start the game, Mike Piazza successfully threw him at while attempting to steal second base. Hampton record outs against the next two batters to end the inning.
As it turns out, he probably didn’t need to swipe the bag. Alfonzo doubled him in for the first run of the game.
The Mets tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the inning. The Brewers struck back with two more of their own in the top of the second, leaving Hampton and the Mets with a 4-2 lead.
The bottom of the fourth is when the numbers began to get more crooked. Alfonzo doubled in Hampton two batters before the big blow of the inning.
With the bases juiced and two out, Robin Ventura hit a grand slam. The game broke wide open with New York ahead 9-2.
Hampton kept his composure throughout the game and stopped the Brewers from doing any additional damage until the top of the eighth inning. Back-to-back two-out singles and a walk loaded things up for Charlie Hayes. The veteran third basemen saw ball four bass him by for another Milwaukee run.
The next batter, Jose Hernandez, then singled in two more. Suddenly, the big lead looked a little smaller.
This was Hampton’s last batter of the game. Rich Rodriguez recorded the final out of the inning with the Mets on top 10-5. It was now in the bullpens’ hand to secure Hampton’s first win as a member of the Metropolitans.
Rodriguez wasn’t so lucky in the ninth inning. In this non-save situation, he got himself into some trouble.
An error, a single, and a double right in a row cut the score to 10-6. It was time for Armando Benitez to enter the game. The first batter he faced grounded out but plated a run.
With one out and a runner on second, it was up to Benitez to find two more outs. A single by Mark Loretta put runners on the corners. Mets fans were inching the edge of their seats as they often did in these situations with Benitez on the mound.
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Another familiar result with Benitez pitching, he found his best stuff. The Mets closer struck out the next two batters to end the game. Hampton left with the win and the Mets escaped with a 10-7 victory which pushed their overall season record back to .500 at 7-7.