Mets defeat Cardinals
4 games to 1
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 11||NYM 6||STL 2|
|2||Oct. 12||NYM 6||STL 5|
|3||Oct. 14||STL 8||NYM 2|
|4||Oct. 15||NYM 10||STL 6|
|5||Oct. 16||NYM 7||STL 0|
Managers: Valentine, Bobby, NYM; La Russa, Tony, STL
MVP: Hampton, Mike
NLDS: New York over San Francisco (3 games to 1); St. Louis over Atlanta (3 games to 0)
For the first time since 1990, a National League Championship Series was played without Atlanta.
The Mets had given their all in the previous year's NL Championship Series, but the Braves were still too stocked, too experienced, too strong. However, it was a new millennium. And this one would start with a Subway Series, the first in New York since 1956, as the Mets eliminated the Cards in five games.
The Mets took the first two games at Busch Stadium, scoring two runs in the first innings both times. NLCS MVP was dominant in the Game 1 win, and Game 2 was notable for the bizarre continuation of Rick Ankiel's sudden control problems on the mound. After throwing five wild pitches in one inning of his NLDS start, Ankiel started Game 2, and he was unable to get out of the first inning -- walking three batters and throwing two official wild pitches (still others would sail to the backstop). The Cardinals eventually recovered, and it was 5-5 going into the top of the ninth, when Jay Payton delivered his second game-winning hit of the postseason.
In New York, Andy Benes delivered a much-needed strong start for St. Louis, leading to an 8-2 victory in Game 3. The Mets won Game 4, 10-6, amid considerable second-guessing about whether Mark McGwire, nagged by injury, should bat for St. Louis in certain key situations. Hampton then pitched the game of his life -- raising his stock for what would be a free-agent signing with Colorado after the postseason -- and the 7-0 victory clinched the pennant for the Mets.
With the Yankees eliminating the Mariners, the stage was set for the first Subway Series between these two clubs, and the first since the golden age in New York before the Giants and Dodgers moved west. Mike Piazza led the Mets in a victory lap around Shea Stadium as the party in New York began.