Mets clutch moment: John Franco strikes out Barry Bonds looking to end Game 2 of the 2000 NLDS
The Mets were on the verge of splitting the first two games of the 2000 NLDS at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco as they took a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. But J.T. Snow clubbed a game-tying three-run homer off Armando Benitez to tie the game for the Giants, forcing the game into extra innings.
In the top of the 10th inning, Jay Payton hit a two-out RBI single to give the Mets a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, John Franco was called in to get the final three outs, and with one out to go, he was tasked to face the most feared slugger in the sport at the time in Barry Bonds. He got Bonds to strike out looking on a 3-2 offspeed pitch to preserve the win.
The pendulum swung in favor of the Mets the rest of the way, as they won two nights later at Shea Stadium in Game 3 on a Benny Agbayani game-winning home run, and then again the following night on Bobby Jones’ one-hit shutout to close out the series.
Who knows what would have happened to both the Mets and Giants if John Franco couldn’t get Barry Bonds out on that pitch? Would Barry Bonds have made his first World Series that year? Would the Subway Series in October not have happened? It remains one of the big what-if’s in both franchises’ recent history.