Mets-Giants set to collide in rematch of DS classic
New York topped San Francisco in 4 games en route to pennant
By Cash Kruth
Sixteen years ago, the Mets ousted the Giants in the 2000 National League Division Series en route to reaching the Subway Series against the Yankees.
On Wednesday, the teams collide on the postseason stage for the first time since that epic four-game series when San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner faces Noah Syndergaard at Citi Field at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The Giants took Game 1 that year with relative ease, winning, 5-1, in San Francisco. The next three games, however, provided two thrilling extra-inning affairs and a pitcher with a 4.36 career ERA etching his name into postseason lore.
Game 2: Mets 5, Giants 4
Edgardo Alfonzo's two-run home run in the top of the ninth appeared to give the Mets a much-needed victory and tie the series at 1-1. J.T. Snow had other ideas, however, launching a tying three-run homer off of Armando Benitez -- who had 41 saves that year -- in the bottom of the ninth to send Game 2 into extras. The epic blast was punctuated by Snow's Carlton Fisk-esque body language, as he seemingly willed the ball to stay fair.
Unfortunately for Giants fans, Snow's heroics were short-lived. Jay Payton snapped an 0-for-7 skid by knocking a clutch two-out RBI single in the top of the 10th to score Darryl Hamilton and give the Mets a 5-4 lead.
Of course, Benitez did not make things easy for the Mets, allowing a leadoff single to Armando Rios before giving way to John Franco, whom Benitez had replaced as the closer. Franco proceeded to escape the jam, striking out Barry Bonds looking on a 3-2 pitch with the tying run on base to secure the win.
Game 3: Mets 3, Giants 2
Game 3 was tightly contested, with the Giants holding a slim 2-1 lead before Alfonso hit a game-tying double in the top of the eighth off of Robb Nen, who was in the midst of the best year of his career. The Giants' closer had posted a 1.50 ERA while striking out more than 12 per nine innings while finishing fourth in the NL Cy Young Award voting. Nen had been brought on with two outs and Lenny Harris on second but could not secure the four-out save.
It was crickets for the next four innings. Then: Benny Agbayani. The Mets' outfielder walked it off with a solo home run off Aaron Fultz in the bottom of the 13th to give the Mets a 2-1 series lead.
Game 4: Mets 4, Giants 0
Mets right-hander Bobby Jones was a first-round Draft pick in 1991 who had a 5.06 ERA during the 2000 regular season and lost 19 games the following year. But on Oct. 8, 2000, he was the best pitcher in baseball.
Jones stymied the powerful Giants offense, allowing just one hit -- a fifth-inning Jeff Kent double -- while striking out five, walking just two and retiring Bonds for the final out to send the Mets to the NLCS.
As it turned out, Robin Ventura's two-run homer in the first inning would be all the Mets would need to clinch the NLDS and eventually the pennant.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.