1) NY Mets clutch pitching performance: Al Leiter 1999 tie-breaker game
Another game against the Reds and another situation where if the Mets lost they were going home. That’s what happened on October 4, 1999. The team clubs ended in a tie for the wild card spot—only one available at the time. To settle things, the Mets would have to travel to Cincinnati to play a single game. Winner take all. Loser gets nothing.
Al Leiter got the call to pitch this game. He was brilliant.
A two-run home run from Edgardo Alfonzo as the second batter of the game put the Mets in a position where Leiter could be cool against Steve Parris and the Reds. Although he walked the first batter he faced, Leiter was at his best.
The Mets managed to score 5 times while the Reds were held to only 2 hits, 4 walks, and 7 strikeouts. Most importantly, they didn’t score a single run. The 5-0 win officially landed the Mets in the playoffs for the first time since 1988. In the most absolute winner-take-all situation, Leiter stepped up and pitched one of the biggest games of his career as a member of the Mets.
There was a reason the Mets brought in Leiter who at the time when he forced joined them had already won a World Series with the Florida Marlins. In big games, you need a guy who doesn’t feel the pressure. On this day, Leiter felt none of it throughout his 135-pitch performance.
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