Just in time for the New Year, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of topics related to the New York Mets (i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdowns with the number seven and work all the way to number one. This week's Seven in Seven list takes a look at the timeline of all time Mets great Mike Piazza. We will continue the countdown with number six, Piazza's 200th career home run.
6. Piazza's 200th Home Run
Date: September 16, 1998
The Buildup: Piazza’s first season in New York was an up-and-down one. He started slow and the boo birds began to rain down from the anxious Met faithful. Piazza soon steadied the ship and his production put the Mets in the dead center of the playoff picture. The season was winding down and every game mattered as teams jockeyed for position in the standings. The Mets entered the ninth inning of the game against the Houston Astros trailing 2-0. All-star closer (and future Met) Billy Wagner took the mound looking to close things out. With two on and two outs, Piazza came to the plate.
The Moment: Piazza sent a Wagner pitch out of the park to the tune of a monstrous three-run home run to give the Mets the lead. The Mets would lose the lead in the bottom of the inning but go on to win the game in 11 innings by a score of 4-3.
In Hindsight: In hindsight, Piazza’s home run was all for naught as the Mets were swept by the Atlanta Braves in the final series of the regular season and missed the playoffs by one game. Although the Mets missed the playoffs that year, Piazza’s 200th home run was the first in a series of clutch home runs that transformed Mike Piazza from another big name acquisition into a Mets legend.
Come back tomorrow as we reveal the next moment in the Mike Piazza timeline!
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