The 2000 New York Mets are remembered mostly for the good they did and not a string of bad luck in the regular season. The team went all the way to the World Series but not before going through some regular season hiccups along the way.
In September of 2000, the Mets were actually involved in three straight walk-off losses to the St. Louis Cardinals. September is supposed to be a month where the best of the best load up on victories and pump out their chests. The month didn’t start off that way for the Mets.
Three straight walk-off losses to the Cardinals probably had Mets fans panicking in 2000
I couldn’t tell you what I was thinking back in 2000. Puberty was probably hitting me full force. Baseball was a passion of mine. Other thoughts were much more important. I’m sure you remember those years and how much angst was boiling over and tingling inside you, too.
It all began on the first of the month. The Mets and Cardinals traded barbs throughout the night. An RBI single by Jim Edmonds in the bottom of the seventh tied things up at 5.
For a trigger warning, Edmonds is about to kill the Mets a lot in this series.
Two innings later, with the game still knotted up, it was Edmonds who would again crush the spirits of Mets fans from afar. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Pat Mahomes served up a solo home run to Edmonds. The Cardinals took the 6-5 lead and the game.
The next day, both team’s bats were relatively quiet. The score was tied 1-1 heading into the dreaded bottom of the ninth. Mets starter Mike Hampton began the inning but was replaced by Armando Benitez following a leadoff double and a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third.
The game wouldn’t go on much longer. After a walk, a stolen base, and a strikeout, Benitez was almost free and clear. Unfortunately, Fernando Vina had other ideas. He punched in a single and took the game for St. Louis.
Hoping for better results the next day, the orange and blue were actually the ones to score in the ninth inning after surrendering three in the eight to then trail 3-1. A blown save by both bullpens lead to an eleventh inning. A familiar foe would send the fans home happy.
Rick White had already thrown 2.1 innings when the eleventh inning began against Edmonds. In a repeat of what he did two days earlier, the St. Louis centerfielder hit a home run to end the ball game.
These three losses weren’t just a blow to the team’s record. When this third game ended, the Sunday affair closed with the Mets at 79-57 and the Cardinals right behind at 78-58. St. Louis would go on to capture the NL Central by ten games with the Mets falling one game short of the NL East to the Atlanta Braves. In retrospect, none of that matters much because the Mets would win the pennant.
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As you probably remember better than this series in St. Louis, the Mets were the ones to take down the Cardinals in the 2000 postseason. In the best of 7 NLCS, New York won 4-1. Even with St. Louis owning home field advantage, New York was victorious. They closed out the series with nine shutout innings from Hampton. In the series, Edmonds hit just .227/.261/.409. Mets pitchers struck him out 9 times in only 22 at-bats. Sometimes, revenge is best served in October.