1999 National League Division Series
The 1999 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 1999 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 5, and ended on Saturday, October 9, with the champions of the three NL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. They were:
- (1) Atlanta Braves (Eastern Division champion, 103–59) vs. (3) Houston Astros (Central Division champion, 97–65): Braves win series, 3–1.
- (2) Arizona Diamondbacks (Western Division champion, 100–62) vs. (4) New York Mets (Wild Card, 97–66): Mets win series, 3–1.
|1999 National League Division Series|
|Dates||October 5 – 9|
|TV announcers||Jon Miller, Rick Sutcliffe (Games 1, 3–4) and Joe Morgan (Game 2)|
|Radio announcers||Jim Durham and Mark Grace|
|Dates||October 5 – 9|
|Television||ESPN (Games 1–2)|
NBC (Game 3)
ESPN2 (Game 4)
|TV announcers||Chris Berman, Ray Knight (Games 1–2, 4) and Buck Martinez (Games 1-2)|
Bob Costas and Joe Morgan (Game 3)
|Radio announcers||Charley Steiner and Dusty Baker|
|Umpires||Mike Winters, Charlie Williams, Rich Rieker, Gerry Davis, Bruce Froemming, Jerry Meals (Braves–Astros, Games 1–2; Mets–Diamondbacks, Games 3–4)|
Brian Gorman, Wally Bell, Mark Hirschbeck, Dana DeMuth, Randy Marsh, Paul Schrieber (Mets–Diamondbacks, Games 1–2; Braves–Astros, Games 3–4)
The higher seed (in parentheses) possessed home field advantage (Games 1, 2 and 5 at home), which was determined by playing record. Although the team with the best record was normally scheduled to host the wild card team, teams in the same division cannot play against each other until the championship series round. The Braves played the Astros, rather than the wild card Mets. The Mets clinched the wild card spot through a one-game playoff with the Cincinnati Reds, winning 5–0 on October 4.
The Diamondbacks were participating in the postseason in only their second year of existence, the fastest any expansion team had ever qualified. The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets went on to meet in the NL Championship Series (NLCS). The Braves became the National League champion, and were defeated by the American League champion New York Yankees in the 1999 World Series.
Atlanta Braves vs. Houston AstrosEdit
Atlanta won the series, 3–1.
|1||October 5||Houston Astros – 6, Atlanta Braves – 1||Turner Field||3:03||39,119|
|2||October 6||Houston Astros – 1, Atlanta Braves – 5||Turner Field||2:13||41,913|
|3||October 8||Atlanta Braves – 5, Houston Astros – 3 (12 innings)||Astrodome||4:19||48,625|
|4||October 9||Atlanta Braves – 7, Houston Astros – 5||Astrodome||3:12||48,553|
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York MetsEdit
New York won the series, 3–1.
|1||October 5||New York Mets – 8, Arizona Diamondbacks – 4||Bank One Ballpark||2:53||49,584|
|2||October 6||New York Mets – 1, Arizona Diamondbacks – 7||Bank One Ballpark||3:13||49,328|
|3||October 8||Arizona Diamondbacks – 2, New York Mets – 9||Shea Stadium||3:05||56,180|
|4||October 9||Arizona Diamondbacks – 3, New York Mets – 4 (10 innings)||Shea Stadium||3:23||56,177|
Atlanta vs. HoustonEdit
Game 1, October 5Edit
|WP: Shane Reynolds (1–0) LP: Greg Maddux (0–1)|
HOU: Daryle Ward (1), Ken Caminiti (1)
A pitcher's duel between Shane Reynolds and Greg Maddux highlighted Game 1. The Astros struck first in the top of the second when Tony Eusebio singled in Carl Everett. Gerald Williams would tie the game in the bottom of the fifth, singling home Jose Hernández. Daryle Ward would give the Astros the lead on a home run in the top of the sixth. The score would remain the same until the ninth. With Mike Remlinger pitching for Atlanta, Houston loaded the bases with one out as Carl Everett's sacrifice fly put them up 3–1, then a three-run homer by Ken Caminiti capped the inning's scoring. The Braves were retired 1-2-3 in the bottom versus Billy Wagner as the Astros took a 1–0 series lead.
Game 2, October 6Edit
|WP: Kevin Millwood (1–0) LP: José Lima (0–1)|
HOU: Ken Caminiti (2)
A brilliant performance by Kevin Millwood stole the show. Had it not been for Ken Caminiti's home run in the second and an error, Millwood would have pitched a perfect game. The Braves would take Game 2 behind his masterful performance. Atlanta drew first blood when Gerald Williams singled to lead off the first off of José Lima, stole second, moved to second on a groundout, and scored on Brian Jordan's single. With the game tied at 1, Ryan Klesko singled with one out in the sixth, moved to third on a double and scored on Eddie Perez's sacrifice fly to put Atlanta up 2–1. Next inning, Bret Boone doubled with one out, moving to third on an error and after Chipper Jones was intentionally walked, Brian Jordan's sacrifice fly scored Boone and moved Jones to second. Scott Elarton relieved Lima and allowed an RBI single to Klesko, Two wild pitches moved him to third before he scored on Andruw Jones's RBI single. The Braves' 5–1 win tied the series heading to Houston.
Game 3, October 8Edit
|WP: John Rocker (1–0) LP: Jay Powell (0–1) Sv: Kevin Millwood (1)|
ATL: Brian Jordan (1)
The turning point of the series occurred in Game 3. Tom Glavine faced Mike Hampton, who were both coming off career years. The Astros struck first when Craig Biggio led off the bottom of the first with a single, moved to second on a groundout and after a walk, scored on Ken Caminiti's RBI single. A walk loaded the bases before another walk to Tony Eusebio made it 2–0 Astros. The Braves responded with a towering three-run home run by Brian Jordan in the sixth. The Astros tied the game in the seventh when Russ Johnson doubled off of Terry Mulholland and scored on Bill Spiers's single off of Mike Remlinger. In the bottom of the tenth, with the bases loaded and nobody out, John Rocker was called in to save the game. There was no margin for error. An unbelievable play by Walt Weiss prevented Ken Caminiti from scoring off Carl Everett's hit up the middle. Weiss dived and stopped the ball and threw home. Another forceout at the plate made it two outs. Ricky Gutiérrez struck out to end the threat. Jordan got them the win in the top of the twelfth with a two-run double off of Jay Powell after back-to-back one-out singles. Kevin Millwood retired the Astros in order in the bottom of the inning to put the Braves one game away from the NLCS.
Game 4, October 9Edit
|WP: John Smoltz (1–0) LP: Shane Reynolds (1–1) Sv: John Rocker (1)|
HOU: Tony Eusebio (1), Ken Caminiti (3)
Shane Reynolds was once again called on to save the Astros, but facing him this time would be John Smoltz. Chipper Jones put the Braves on the board in the top of the first with a sacrifice fly after a leadoff double by Gerald Williams. A Bret Boone single drove in the second Atlanta run in the third after a leadoff double by Smoltz, who moved to third on a groundout. The Braves piled on in the sixth. After back-to-back leadoff singles, Chris Holt relieved Reynolds and allowed an RBI single to Andruw Jones and two-run single Eddie Perez. After Walt Weiss singled, Scott Elarton relieved Holt and after a sacrifice bunt, Williams's RBI single made it 7–0 Braves. Tony Eusebio homered to cut the lead to six in the seventh. In the eighth, after a hit-by-pitch and single, a three-run home run by Ken Caminiti brought the Astros to within three runs. Terry Mulholland relieved Smoltz and after a one-out single, Tim Bogar's RBI double cut the lead to two with five outs to go. John Rocker halted the Houston rally and brought the Braves back to the NLCS for the eighth straight year and history of the Astrodome to a close.
|Total attendance: 178,210 Average attendance: 44,553|
Arizona vs. New YorkEdit
Game 1, October 5Edit
|WP: Turk Wendell (1–0) LP: Randy Johnson (0–1)|
NYM: Edgardo Alfonzo 2 (2), John Olerud (1)
ARI: Erubiel Durazo (1), Luis Gonzalez (1)
The Arizona Diamondbacks won the National League Western Division in the franchise's second year. They were managed by Buck Showalter and finished the season with 100 wins. The New York Mets clinched the Wild Card in a one-game winner-take-all playoff against the Cincinnati Reds and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since losing the 1988 National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Masato Yoshii faced Randy Johnson in Game 1. Edgardo Alfonzo got the scoring started for the Mets in the top of the first with a one-out home run. Then a two-run home run by John Olerud after a walk made it 3–0 Mets in the third. Jay Bell's sacrifice fly after a one-out triple made it 3–1 in the bottom of the third, but Rey Ordóñez's sacrifice bunt with runners on first and third made it 4–1 Mets in the fourth. Erubiel Durazo's home run made it 4–2 in the bottom of the fourth. Then a two-run home run by Luis Gonzalez tied the game at four. The game remained tied into the ninth inning. A controversial move by manager Showalter allowed Johnson to stay in the game. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases and knocked Johnson out of the game. After the second out, Alfonzo hit a grand slam to put the Mets out in front 8–4. Armando Benítez shut the D'Backs down 1–2–3 in the bottom half to finish the game.
Game 2, October 6Edit
|WP: Todd Stottlemyre (1–0) LP: Kenny Rogers (0–1)|
Kenny Rogers took on Todd Stottlemyre, hoping to even the series before moving to New York. Both pitchers were on even terms into the third inning. The Mets got on the board thanks to an RBI groundout by John Olerud in the third after Rickey Henderson hit a leadoff single, stole second and moved to third on a groundout. The Diamondbacks loaded the bases against Rogers in the bottom of the third after two outs on two singles and a hit-by-pitch. Then Greg Colbrunn walked to tie the game at one. Steve Finley gave the Diamondbacks their first-ever postseason lead with a two-run single to right field. Then Finley had two more RBIs with a double to center in the fifth off of Pat Mahomes. In the seventh, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases on a walk, double and hit-by-pitch off of Octavio Dotel when Finley walked to force in a run, then Turner Ward's RBI groundout off of John Franco made it 7–1 Diamondbacks. The score would stand as the D'Backs evened the series at a game apiece.
Game 3, October 8Edit
|WP: Rick Reed (1–0) LP: Omar Daal (0–1)|
ARI: Turner Ward (1)
In Game 3, Omar Daal faced Rick Reed. The Diamondbacks blew opportunities in the first two innings and that would cost them as the Mets would take a 1–0 lead on Rey Ordóñez's RBI single that scored Benny Agbayani. In the third, Edgardo Alfonzo doubled with one out and scored on John Olerud's single. A single moved him to third before he scored on Robin Ventura's groundout aided by an error by Andy Fox to give the Mets a 3–0 edge. The Diamondbacks made it a one-run game when pinch hitter Turner Ward hit a two-run homer in the fifth. The Mets blew the game open in the sixth, however. After two walks, Rickey Henderson's one-out RBI single made it 4–2 Mets. After an intentional walk, Dan Plesac relieved Darren Holmes and allowed a two-run single to Orelud and RBI single to Roger Cedeño. After Cedeno stole second and Ventura grounded out, Darryl Hamilton's two-run single made it 9–2 Mets. Three relievers held the Diamondbacks scoreless over the last three innings as the Mets were one win away from the NLCS.
Game 4, October 9Edit
|WP: John Franco (1–0) LP: Matt Mantei (0–1)|
ARI: Greg Colbrunn (1)
NYM: Edgardo Alfonzo (3), Todd Pratt (1)
In the potential clinching Game 4, Brian Anderson faced Al Leiter. The game would remain scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when Edgardo Alfonzo's leadoff home run made it 1–0 Mets, but Greg Colbrunn homered to tie the game in the fifth. Then Agbayani's RBI double with two on made it 2–1 Mets. In the eight, Leiter allowed a two-out walk and subsequent single before Jay Bell's two-run double off of Armando Benetiz gave the Diamondbacks the lead, but the Mets tied the game in the bottom half when Alfonzo drew a leadoff walk off of Gregg Olson, moved to third on an error, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Roger Cedeño off of Greg Swindell. As the game moved to extra innings, John Franco came on in relief in the tenth and shut the Diamondbacks down 1–2–3. The Mets would win the series when Todd Pratt hit a home run to center field off of Matt Mantei. Steve Finley failed to catch the ball after making a leap to the wall.
Quote from the SeriesEdit
Oh that's hit well to center field! Finley goes back, back, back...it's over! It's over! Todd Pratt, one of the most unlikely heroes, has hit it to dead center field! The Mets have won it in ten, 4-3!— -Chris Berman calling Todd Pratt's series-ending home run in Game 4 of the Mets/Diamondbacks series.
|New York Mets||1||1||5||2||0||7||0||1||4||1||22||34||0|
|Total attendance: 211,269 Average attendance: 52,817|
- "1999 NLDS - Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1999 NLDS - Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1999 NLDS - Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1999 NLDS - Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros - Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1999 NLDS - New York Mets vs. Arizona Diamondbacks - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1999 NLDS - New York Mets vs. Arizona Diamondbacks - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1999 NLDS - Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Mets - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1999 NLDS - Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Mets - Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- MLB (December 6, 2013). "1999 NLDS Gm4: Todd Pratt sends the Mets to the NLCS with a game-winning home run in the 10th" – via YouTube.