Mets Put on Show of Power & Speed in Rout of Yanks

The Mets showed their fans what kind of team they were expecting as they showed a combination of exciting speed, power and good pitching as they gained revenge on the Yankees for Friday's debacle by hitting three home runs and even pulling off a rare steal of home as they pounded the Yankees 11-2 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

The Mets took an early lead by exploiting one of the Yankees weaknesses-outfield defense. First Mike Piazza hit a double to right and then scored on John Valentin's single by outrunning a weak throw from Yankees left-fielder Rondell White.

Alfonso Soriano led off the inning for the Yankees by doubling. With Jeter at the plate and one out, he tried to steal third, but a stellar throw by Vance Wilson got him out. That was important because Jeter, although being jammed on the next pitch by Leiter, was able to muscle the ball over the left field fence. Because Soriano had been thrown out, it was only a solo home run and only tied the game 1-1.

The Mets took the lead again because of the Yankee outfield. Jay Payton hit a ball to the right field wall that Enrique Wilson just completely misplayed, and Payton wound up at third. Vance Wilson then hit a ground ball to Jeter, and Payton, who was running on contact, was able to score and give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

The Yankees outfield defense betrayed them again in the third. With Edgardo Alfonzo at third and one out, Valentin hit a shallow fly ball that White caught in between left field and shortstop. Alfonzo tagged up and charged home. Even with a relatively shallow throw for an outfielder, White's throw was off the mark, being towards the first base side, and it handcuffed Yankees catcher Alberto Castillo, who had it bounce off him as he tried to make a swipe tag of Alfonzo, who scored to make it 3-1 Mets.

Vance Wilson made it 4-1 with a one-out solo home run off of Yankee starter Ted Lilly. Roger Cedeno then made two exciting plays happen. First he hit a triple, legging it out all the way, and then on the very next pitch, he stole home plate, just barely sliding under Castillo's tag and brushing the plate with his heel. 5-1 Mets.

Mo Vaughn, showing the swing that convinced Steve Phillips to trade Kevin Appier for him, launched a mammoth home run to right field that landed in the upper-deck and hit a hot dog vendor.

Piazza made it 7-1 with a solo home run off of reliever Ramiro Mendoza in the sixth.

The Mets added a run in the eighth when Alfonzo hit into a fielder's choice that scored Rey Ordonez, who had singled and advanced to third on a Cedeño single.

The Yankees threatened in the bottom of the eighth when they scored one run off of David Weathers, who had come in to relieve Leiter and had runners on first and second before Mark Guthrie came in and squelched the rally.

Randy Choate, the Yankees fourth pitcher of the game came in, and after striking out Vaughn, gave up a single to Valentin, and then got Burnitz to fly out. He ran into deep trouble though, giving up a single to Payton and then hitting Vance Wilson to load the bases. Ordonez hit a ground ball to Jeter that should have been an inning-ending force out, but he bobbled the ball, allowing Valentin to score. Cedeno then hit a single to score both Payton and Wilson to make it 11-2.

Jaime Cerda pitched a perfect ninth to end the game.

Notes


-Roberto Alomar, hampered by a knee problem, did not start at second base. Valentin got the start instead.
-Cedeno just needed a home run to hit for the cycle, finishing the day with a single double and a triple.
-Six Mets had multiple hits: Cedeno, Piazza, Vaughn, Valentin, Payton and Vance Wilson. Only Burnitz did not have a hit in the game.
-Sunday night's starters will be Steve Trachsel (6-6, 3.53 E.R.A.) and Andy Pettitte (1-2, 4.91 E.R.A.)

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