10 pitch walks and flying bats: Memories of the Subway Series
Posted by keithosaunders on November 5, 2010
This will not be a long post. I have spent the last 10 years trying to forget the 2000 Series in which the Mets lost to the Yankees in 5 games. I read a great post about it yesterday by Matthew Callan so I figured I would offer a few of my own thoughts along with a link.
First of all, how much greater would that Series have been had there not already been interleague play? By 2000 interleague had been around for four years and for me the novelty had worn off. Many people disagree with me, but I believe that the 2000 Series would have been much more unique had we not already seen the Yankees and Mets play roughly a dozen regular season games.
The Mets received a break in that they did not have to face the Braves in the NLCS, who were their arch nemesis throughout the 90s. Although they had plenty of momentum going into the Series after beating the Cardinals, we all realized that they were stepping up in class with the Yankees. Still, that first game was theirs for the taking and they simply choked it away thanks to bad base running, terrible defense, and a closer, Armando Benitez, who could not, or would not throw a strike in a clutch situation. Game 1 turned on Paul O’Neill’s 10 pitch at bat vs Benitiez in the bottom of the 9th, a game the Yankees would go on to win in the 12th.
If game 1 left me feeling empty and deflated, game 2 left me feeling enraged and hopeless. When Clemens picked up a broken bat and flung it at Mike Piazza the Mets proceeded to play the rest of that the game in a daze.
I had realized going in how tough it would be to beat the Yankees. I wanted the Mets to make a good showing — then if the ball bounced the right way anything could have happened. Remember the ’88 Dodgers?
It didn’t work out. After getting off to a sloppy start in game 1 they were intimidated in game 2. By the time they gained their sea legs it was too late to fight back against the battle-hardened Yankees.
Matthews post does more justice to the subject than I ever could. It’s well worth the read.