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Payton's Place

When's the last time the Mets had a September walk-off win that was pertinent to their playoff positioning?

That would be September 13, 2000, and admittedly there was some comfort with a 4 1/2 game lead over the Diamondbacks for the wild card spot, but the deal wasn't sealed just yet.

I'm presuming that one of the reasons the Mets pursued then-Brewer Jeff D'Amico was his performance in games like this one.

For eight innings, D'Amico stymied the Mets and outdueled Mike Hampton. D'Amico got an early 1-0 lead, courtesy of a Lenny Harris miscue, and wouldn't let go for eight innings.

Alas it was determined that with three outs to go, and 112 pitches thrown, D'Amico could not attempt to finish his own victory. Curtis Leskanic was deemed the better fit to conclude the game and that decision proved not to be wise.

Jay Payton led off the Mets ninth with a double. It figured that the odds of the Mets scoring at this point, with Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Piazza, and Robin Ventura doue up were good, though their manner of producing the run was unorthodox.

Alfonzo got Payton to third with one out by grounding to shortstop. It figured that Piazza could get the run in from third, but this was not his day. Piazza whiffed for the fourth time, completing the second "Golden Sombrero" of his career (4 plate appearances, 4 whiffs).

It was instead deemed Ventura's turn to get through and he played Robin to Piazza's batman with a first-pitch double, plating Payton with the tying run.

After Armando Benitez retired the Brewers in the top of the 10th, the Mets worked to win in the bottom half. They were fortunate to be facing Juan Acevedo, who allowed consecutive hits to Mike Bordick and Joe McEwing. .Bubba Trammell popped out for the second out, but Payton followed with a game-winning home run to left field on Acevedo's first pitch, moving the Mets one step closer to clinching a postseason berth.

True Metyons know...Jerry Koosman is the Mets all-time leader in Golden Sombreros with 6. Mookie Wilson leads all position players with 4. Ron Swoboda and Dave Kingman each had 3, but also had a Platinum Sombrero (5 strikeouts, 5 plate appearances). Frank Taveras also had a Platinum Sombrero, but no Golden ones..


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