in collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
In the first two ballpark doubleheader in 97 years, the New York Mets and New York Yankees rivalry heats up to a new level. In the opener at Shea Stadium, Dwight Gooden makes his first appearance against his old team, earning a win as the Yankees win 4-2. The Yankees also win the nightcap in the Bronx 4-2 in a game that will be best remembered for Roger Clemens beaning Mike Piazza.
It was the fourth season of interleague play for Major League Baseball. The opening of interleague played allowed for regular-season games for great rivals that played in the same city but in different leagues. This included the New York Yankees of the American League and the New York Mets from the National League. The Yankees won three-game series at Yankee Stadium in 1997 and at Shea Stadium in 1998. In 1999 the teams split six games.
The first of to three-game series in the 2000 season took place in the Bronx on the weekend of June 9th. In the first game, the Mets hammered the Yankees 12-2. The big blow was a grand slam by Mike Piazza off Roger Clemens in the third inning. The Yankees bounced back to win the following day, 13-5. The Sunday Night finale was postponed due to thunderstorms. With the teams playing again in July to was rescheduled as a day-night two stadium doubleheader on July 8th. The night before the doubleheader, the Yankees edged the Mets 2-1.
Just before the doubleheader, the Yankees picked up Dwight Gooden, who had recently been released by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Gooden had been a phenom for the Mets when he made his debut at the age of 19 in 1984. He won the Cy Young in 1985, completing one of the greatest seasons ever for a pitcher. A year later, Gooden helped led the Mets to a World Championship. Drugs would derail Dwight Gooden’s career as he was suspended in 1994, ending a decadelong Mets career. After he was reinstated, Dwight Gooden joined the Yankees in 1996 and threw the only No-Hitter of his career. Gooden’s blazing fastball was gone by 1997. After spending two seasons with the Cleveland Indians, Gooden started 2000 with the Astros, appearing in one game before he was sold to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Gooden struggled in Tampa and was released. He returned to the Yankees when they needed an extra arm to fill in with injuries and doubleheaders.
The Yankees had Dwight Gooden start the opener of the historic two stadium doubleheader. It was his first game on Shea Stadium’s mound since he was with the Mets in 1994. The Yankees entered the doubleheader in first place with a record of 43-37 under manager Joe Torre. The Mets meanwhile were in second place with a record of 47-36. Bobby Jones got the start for the Mets on a comfortable afternoon at Shea. He was the losing pitcher against the Yankees on June 10th.
The Yankees gave Dwight Gooden two runs to work with before he took the mound, as Derek Jeter doubled home Chuck Knoblauch and later scored on a single by Tino Martinez. The Mets got a run back in the second inning when Todd Zeile scored on a grounder by Benny Agbayani. In the fifth inning, the Mets tied the game on a double by Derek Bell. Gooden allowed two runs on six hits over five innings and left the game with a lead as Tino Martinez put the Bronx Bombers back in front with a solo shot in the sixth. Tino had a third RBI in the eighth inning, giving the Yankees a 4-2 lead. The Yankees’ bullpen, Jason Grimsley, Jeff Nelson, and Mariano Rivera shut down the Mets completely, allowing one walk and no hits over four innings.
The two teams rode buses with police escorts from Queens to the Bronx following the first game. Roger Clemens made the start for the Yankees, while Glendon Rusch was on the mound for the Mets. Mike Piazza came to the plate in the second inning, when last he faced Clemens, he had hit a grand slam. On his second pitch, Clemens drilled Piazza right in the head. Piazza’s playing DH was out for the rest of the game with a concussion. In response, Rusch plunked Tino Martinez to start the bottom of the second as both benches were warned. All of the game’s scoring took place in the fifth inning. The Mets got two runs on RBI singles by Derek Bell and Edgardo Alfonso. In the bottom of the fifth, the Yankees got four runs as Scott Brosius had an RBI single, which was followed by a three-run shot by Chuck Knoblauch. Clemens pitched into the eighth inning, earning the win as Mike Stanton and Mariano Rivera provided hitless relief.
The Mets won the series finale, 2-0. Mike Piazza would miss the 2000 All-Star Game recovering from the beaning by Roger Clemens. The Mets and Yankees would meet again in October during the World Series. The Yankees won in five games for their third consecutive championship. In Game 2, Clemens again caused controversy throwing a bat shard at Mike Piazza. The Mets and Yankees have had two other two stadium doubleheaders. One in 2003 swept by the Yankees and a 2008 doubleheader that was split.