1998 New York Mets season
The New York Mets' 1998 season was the 37th regular season for the Mets. Like the previous season, they finished the season with a record of 88–74. Despite placing 2nd in the National League East, the Mets fell one game short of playoff contention following a catastrophic collapse during the final week of the season. They were managed by Bobby Valentine. They played home games at Shea Stadium.
|1998 New York Mets|
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||Nelson Doubleday Jr., Fred Wilpon|
|General manager(s)||Steve Phillips|
|Local television||WWOR-TV/Fox Sports New York|
(Ralph Kiner, Tim McCarver, Fran Healy, Howie Rose, Gary Thorne)
|Local radio||WFAN |
(Bob Murphy, Gary Cohen, Ed Coleman)
(Juan Alicea, Billy Berroa)
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Despite their collapse toward the end of the season, the 1998 season was notable for the Mets due in large part to the acquisition of All-Star catcher Mike Piazza. The Mets were in need of a catcher due to an injury suffered by their own star catcher Todd Hundley, and took advantage of both Piazza's disagreement over a new contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the ongoing salary dumping by the defending World Series champion Florida Marlins; unable to negotiate a deal, the Dodgers traded Piazza to the Marlins, who turned around several days later and dealt Piazza to the Mets for outfield prospect Preston Wilson, among others. Piazza contributed a .348 average with 23 home runs and 76 RBI during his time with the Mets and once again was voted to the National League All-Star team. Hundley, meanwhile, attempted to make a move to left field when he rejoined the team but it did not work and his tenure with the Mets was over at the end of the year when he was traded to the Dodgers.
John Olerud was again the hitting star for the Mets. He recorded a .354 average, the second best in all of baseball behind Larry Walker, and once again led the team with 93 RBI to go with his 22 home runs. On the pitching side, another Marlins castoff made his presence felt as Al Leiter had his career best marks as a starter. Leiter won a career high seventeen games and added a 2.47 ERA. Rick Reed continued his career renaissance by adding sixteen wins of his own.
Opening Day startersEdit
- Edgardo Alfonzo
- Carlos Baerga
- Bernard Gilkey
- Butch Huskey
- Bobby Jones
- Brian McRae
- John Olerud
- Rey Ordóñez
- Tim Spehr
The Mets played an unforgettable opening day game at Shea Stadium on March 31 against their division rival Philadelphia Phillies. Both of them were involved in the longest scoreless opening day game in the National League and the longest one in the MLB since 1926 when the Washington Senators beat the Philadelphia Athletics 1–0 in 15 innings. The Mets won the game 1–0 in 14 innings when backup catcher Alberto Castillo delivered a full-count, two-out, pinch-hit single to right with the bases loaded off Philadelphia closer Ricky Bottalico. This was the first regular season baseball game played in New York in March.
- May 10, 1998: Steve Decker was signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets.
- May 22, 1998: Mike Piazza was traded by the Florida Marlins to the New York Mets for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall, and Geoff Goetz (minors).
- June 16, 1998: Rich Becker was selected off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles from the New York Mets.
- July 3, 1998: Josías Manzanillo was signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets.
- July 31, 1998: Tony Phillips was traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the New York Mets for Leo Estrella.
- July 31, 1998: Bill Pulsipher was traded by the New York Mets to the Milwaukee Brewers for Mike Kinkade.
|New York Mets||88||74||0.543||18||47–34||41–40|
Record vs. opponentsEdit
1998 National League Records
Sources:                
|1998 New York Mets|
Starters by positionEdit
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts
Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: St. Lucie, Capital City
- John Olerud Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
- Salisbury, Jim (April 1, 1998). "For Openers, Zilch Phils Fall in 14th Without a Run". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. E1.
- Diamos, Jason (April 1, 1998). "A Midsummer Classic in March as Mets Nip Phillies". New York Times. p. C1.
- Pedulla, Tom (April 1, 1998). "Mets edge Phillies 1-0 in 14 innings". USA Today. p. 5C.
- Vecsey, George (April 1, 1998). "Mets Take An Opener For the Ages". New York Times. p. C1.
- Steve Decker Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
- Tony Phillips Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
- Bill Pulsipher Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007