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.
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 Astros
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 Mets
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. Houston
Game 1, October 5
| 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 solo home run in the top of the sixth. The score would remain the same until the ninth. With Mike Remlinger pitching for Atlanta, Houston garnered four runs in the ninth, an inning capped with a three-run homer by Ken Caminiti. The Braves would post their first loss of the postseason and would not lose again until Game 4 of the NLCS.
Game 2, October 6
| 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 solo 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.
Game 3, October 8
| 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 scored two in the first to take an early lead. The Braves would respond with a towering three-run homer by Brian Jordan. The Astros would tie the game and would send the game to extra innings. 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. Brian Jordan, who helped bring the Braves back, would get them the win in the top of the twelfth. He would double in two runs and put the Braves one game away from the NLCS.
Game 4, October 9
| 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 sac fly. A Bret Boone single drove in the second Atlanta run in the third. A seven-hit inning gave the Braves five more in the top of the sixth. They had built a 7–0 lead and appeared to be cruising into the NLCS, but Tony Eusebio homered to cut the lead to six in the seventh. Yet another three-run homer by Ken Caminiti brought the Astros to within three runs. A double cut the lead to two with five outs to go. Ultimately, Atlanta's bullpen would halt the Houston rally and bring the Braves back to the NLCS for the eighth straight year and the history of the Astrodome to a close.
|Total attendance: 178,210 Average attendance: 44,553|
Arizona vs. New York
Game 1, October 5
| 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 solo home run. Then a two-run homer by John Olerud made it 3–0 Mets in the third. Jay Bell's sac fly made it 3–1 in the bottom of the third, but Rey Ordóñez's sacrifice bunt made it 4–1 Mets in the fourth. Erubiel Durazo's solo home run made it 4–2 in the bottom of the fourth. Then a two-run homer 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 6
|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 Olerud in the third. The Diamondbacks would load the bases against Rogers in the bottom of the third after two men were out. 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. Two more runs with the bases loaded made it 7–1 Diamondbacks and the score would stand as the D'Backs evened the series at a game apiece.
Game 3, October 8
| 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 Ordonez's RBI single that scored Benny Agbayani. An RBI single by Olerud and an error by Andy Fox gave 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 game would be put away, however, in one half-inning. In the bottom of the sixth, the Mets put together four RBI hits that scored six runs. That made it 9–2 and that would be the final score.
Game 4, October 9
| 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 homer made it 1–0 Mets. The D'Backs would respond when Greg Colbrunn homered to tie the game in the fifth. Then Agbayani's RBI double made it 2–1 Mets. Jay Bell's two-run double gave the Diamondbacks the lead in the eighth, but the Mets tied the game in the bottom half thanks to a pinch-hit sacrifice fly by Roger Cedeño. As the game moved to extra innings, John Franco came on in relief in the tenth and shut the Diamondbacks down 1–2–3. Against Matt Mantei, the Mets would win the series when Todd Pratt hit a solo home run to center field. Steve Finley failed to catch the ball after making a leap to the wall.
|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.