The 2015 Mets are about to take their place in NLDS history. The Mets are 3-0 all time in this round, so let’s take a look back at how the team’s previous Division Series trips went.
1999 NL Division Series (3-1): Mets (97-66) over Diamondbacks (100-62)
The Mets had just won a tiebreaker game for the Wild Card against the Reds in Cincinnati on the strength of a shutout by Al Leiter and they were appearing in the postseason for the first time since 1988. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks, managed by Buck Showalter, had taken the NL West by winning 100 games in just their second year of existence.
Game 1 in Phoenix was tied 4-4 after eight innings, as the Amazins held their own against Randy Johnson. The Mets loaded the bases in the ninth against Johnson with one out, and Showalter replaced the Big Unit with Bobby Chouinard. After Rickey Henderson grounded into a force out at home. Edgardo Alfonzo launched a grand slam, his second homer of the game, and the Mets won 8-4.
After Arizona evened the series with a 7-1 victory the next night, The Mets returned home to Shea for games 3 and 4. However, Mike Piazza couldn’t play due to a swollen thumb. New York broke open a 3-2 game in Game 3 with six runs in the sixth to cruise to a 9-2 win. Henderson, John Olerud, Roger Cedeno, and Darryl Hamilton all had run-scoring singles in the rally.
Trailing 3-2 in the eighth inning of Game 4, the Mets got a break when Tony Womack dropped a fly ball by Olerud to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Cedeno then hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3-3.
With one out in the tenth, Piazza’s replacement, Todd Pratt, stepped to the plate against Matt Mantei. Pratt hit a deep fly to the wall in center field. Arizona center fielder Steve Finley made a leap to try to catch the ball above the wall—and every fan paused a few seconds to see if he had—but Finley did not catch it. The ball was gone. The Mets had won 4-3, and were on their way to the National League Championship Series to face the Braves.
2000 NL Division Series (3-1): Mets (94-68) over Giants (97-65)
The following year, the Mets won the Wild Card again and took on the NL West champion Giants this time. San Francisco defeated Mike Hampton in Game 1, 5-1, but the Mets gained the split in California the next day with a dramatic 5-4 victory in ten innings.
A two-run homer by Edgardo Alfonzo extended the Mets’ lead to 4-1 in the top of the ninth, but J.T. Snow answered for the Giants in the bottom of the inning with a game-tying home run off of Armando Benitez. New York won the game in the tenth when Darryl Hamilton hit a two-out double, and Jay Payton followed up with an RBI single. John Franco came on to get the save in the bottom of the inning, striking out Barry Bonds for the final out.
Back at Shea for the next two games, Game 3 was another extra-inning nail-biter. With the Mets trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Alfonzo delivered a clutch two-out double to left to tie the game. The teams battled on to the 13th inning, when Benny Agbayani won the game with a walk-off home run.
The next day, the Mets closed out the series when Bobby Jones pitched the game of his life with a one-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory. Robin Ventura contributed a two-run homer in the first for all the offense New York would need, as the Mets were headed back to the NLCS for the second straight year, this time to face the Cardinals.
2006 NL Division Series (3-0): Mets (97-65) over Dodgers (88-74)
In 2006, the Mets had home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs, and swept the Wild Card Dodgers in the first round.
Game 1 was a back-and-forth contest. A key play happened in the second inning when Mets’ catcher Paul Lo Duca tagged out two Dodgers at home plate on a hit off the right field wall by Russell Martin.
With the game tied 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh, the Mets went ahead for good on a Carlos Delgado RBI single and a David Wright RBI double. Billy Wagner struck out Nomar Garciaparra for the final out of the game with the tying run at second, as the Mets held on to win the game 6-5.
Tom Glavine won easily the next day by a 4-1 score, and the Mets finished off the sweep two days later in L.A. with a 9-5 victory. Trailing 5-4 entering the sixth inning, New York grabbed the lead for good on RBI singles by Jose Reyes, Paul Lo Duca, and Carlos Beltran. They added two runs in the eighth for some insurance, and Wagner pitched a scoreless ninth as the Mets advanced to their seventh NLCS in team history.