1999 Project: Games 2 and 3

Click here for an intro/manifesto on The 1999 Project.

rickey2.jpgApril 6, 1999: Mets 12, Marlins 3

The Mets recovered from an embarrassing Opening Day loss to clobber the Marlins in the second game of the season. Every starter had a hit, including pitcher Rick Reed, who also contributed an RBI sac fly and threw no-hit ball for four innings. Mike Piazza slugged his first homer of the year, and new acquisition Rickey Henderson wreaked havoc on the basepaths. The always humble Henderson told reporters:

I’d probably be the king of stealing runs and creating runs if they
kept those stats…Making them throw the ball away, I’d probably be
the king of that, too.

Ex-World Series MVP/future Met Livan Hernandez was torched for seven runs. After the game, Hernandez said, “[The Mets] have the strongest bats in the National League.” The Times article linked above doesn’t mention if Livan performed some tensile strength experiments on the Mets’ bats to confirm this.

The never smug and never presumptive GM Steve Phillips suggested a headline for the beat writers: “Money well spent.”

99_rickey_marlins.pngApril 7, 1999: Mets 6, Marlins 0

Henderson was in full force again in the series finale, with two solo homers, two doubles, four runs scored, and 12 total bases, one shy of a club record (that record would fall later this year). How did Rickey recover from a dreadful spring training?

Any time the bell rings, we’re ready to play…It rang. I heard it solid.

Rickey also said he couldn’t remember having so many extra base hits in one game, “But I can’t remember half the things I do in this game.”

Bobby Jones recovered from his own terrible spring to toss seven shutout innings. Armando Benitez retired both batters he faced in his Mets debut.