Shea moment No. 8: 10-run eighth
Mets rally from behind to snatch victory from rival Braves
NEW YORK -- With the Mets down seven runs in the eighth inning, it seemed that their troubles against the Braves were only continuing. But even though the Mets would finish the 2000 season losing more games to the Braves than winning, the game of June 30, 2000, would not make it to the loss column.
An 8-1 score turned to 8-2, then 8-3, 8-4, 8-5, 8-6, 8-8 and -- finally -- 11-8 after a 10-run eighth inning at Shea Stadium, a frame that fans cherished and voted as their No. 8 all-time memory of the venue. Mike Piazza's three-run homer capped the double-digit effort, which included six hits and no men left on base.
"That is one of the most unlikely innings I've ever seen," manager Bobby Valentine said, according to the New York Daily News.
Braves starter Kevin Millwood held the Mets to one earned run over seven innings, but that wouldn't be enough with the fireworks that were about to be set off by his bullpen. Derek Bell led off with a single off reliever Don Wengert, followed by a Piazza base hit -- the preludes to the eruption.
Robin Ventura drove in Bell, who set a Mets record by scoring in his 10th consecutive game. Kerry Lightenberg was the second Braves arm to try his hand at ending the Mets' late surge, but instead he walked pinch-hitter Mark Johnson and Melvin Mora with the bases loaded, reducing to Braves' lead to three.
In came Terry Mulholland. Bell, up again, brought in another run via a free pass. Then Edgardo Alfonzo's two-run single tied the game, setting up Piazza to send a high fastball over the fence for the winning runs.
"We come in tight, we press, we kick the ball around," Piazza said at the time of the first few innings, which including his own fourth-inning error, which helped the Braves tack on to an early lead. But in what what would be a World Series season, Piazza was redeemed that night.
Jon Blau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.