Hampton shut-out takes Mets to World Series

Mike Hampton threw a three-hit shut-out as the New York Mets beat the St Louis Cardinals 7-0 on Monday night to win the National League Championship Series 4-1 - a victory which takes them to the World Series for the first time in 14 years.

Mike Hampton threw a three-hit shut-out as the New York Mets beat the St Louis Cardinals 7-0 on Monday night to win the National League Championship Series 4-1 - a victory which takes them to the World Series for the first time in 14 years.

Hampton struck out eight and walked just one for his second victory of the series as the Mets earned a fourth trip to the World Series in franchise history.

The Mets took early advantage of some shoddy Cardinals' defending and Edgardo Alfonzo and Robin Ventura delivered RBI singles in a three-run first inning. The Shea Stadium celebrations began in earnest in the fourth inning with Todd Zeile's three-run double off the wall in centre that gave the Mets a commanding 6-0 lead.

In their first World Series appearance since winning it in 1986, the Mets will face either the defending champions New York Yankees or the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees, going for their third successive World Series title, led the best-of-seven American League Championship Series 3-1 and were hoping to wrap it up with a win at Yankee Stadium last night, setting up the first all-New York World Series since the Yankees played the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.

Hampton, who was named Most Valuable Player of the series, is unsigned for next season. "I hope he gets two more wins in the World Series and we'll worry about it later." said the Mets president Fred Wilpon.

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