What was it?
Ventura's shot a perfect ending to bizarre game
Posted: Monday October 18, 1999 08:24 AM
Mets players mob Robin Ventura at second base, preventing him from scoring on his game-winning blast. AP
NEW YORK (AP) - The umpires initially said the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3. NBC flashed a 7-3 score immediately after Robin Ventura's apparent grand slam.
Guess what? Neither was right.
The National League, official scorer Red Foley, and Elias Sports Bureau -- the only three voices that count -- all agreed that the Mets beat the Braves 4-3 in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Sunday.
It was only befitting of a bizarre game like this that no one knew the score.
The confusion came with the score tied at 3 and the bases loaded in the 15th inning. Ventura hit a pitch from Kevin McGlinchy over the center-field fence to end the game.
While Roger Cedeno and John Olerud ran home from third and second base, Todd Pratt, who was on first, stopped somewhere around third base. Pratt ran toward second and embraced Ventura.
The rest of the Mets mobbed Ventura behind second base. After a few minutes, the umpires left the field and workers began picking up the bases.
About 10 minutes after the game ended, Foley ruled the score 4-3 because Cedeno's run was the only one that mattered,and Ventura didn't touch home.
"The game ends in sudden death when the winning run scores," said Elias spokesman Steve Hirdt, who according to the NL made the official ruling in conjunction with Foley. "The only exception is on a home run, assuming the player rounds all the bases. (Ventura) never rounded the bases."
Crew chief Ed Montague initially told reporters after the game that the score was 5-3, because two runners crossed the plate before Ventura stopped rounding the bases.
He later told The Associated Press that home plate umpire Jerry Layne watched Cedeno touch home plate, then turned and walked away, because he was only looking for the winning run to score.
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