Skip to main content

Getting Your 'Phil' of Labor Day Wins

By my calculations, the Mets have only one Labor Day walk-off win in their illustrious history, and for good measure, it came exactly 22 years prior to Labor Day 2005

The NL East was a bit of a mishmash on this date in 1983, similar to how the race for the NL wild card looks this season. The Mets weren't among the teams battling for the top spot, as the Pirates, Expos, Phillies and Cardinals duked it out, with no team seeming to want to take control (similar to this year's NL West). The Pirates, at 70-65, had a one-game edge on the Phillies, who happened to be the Mets opponents that day.

Fewer than 8,500 were on hand for this one as most Mets fans had lost interest at this point, with the team 22 games under .500, even though the lineup featured some excitement in the form of first baseman Keith Hernandez and rookie rightfielder Darryl Strawberry. That's too bad because they missed a dandy of a finish to this contest.

Perfectly willing to play the spoiler role, the Mets staked starter Mike Torrez to a 3-0 lead, but he couldn't hold it against a Hall of Fame Phillies lineup. Mike Schmidt hit a two-run home run in the third inning and Joe Morgan singled in the tying run in the fifth.

The score held through the middle innings as the Mets couldn't do anything against relievers Willie Hernandez and Ron Reed while young Mets righty Doug Sisk held the Phillies off the scoreboard with three innings of perfect pitching (not a misprint!).

Jesse Orosco was the Mets best pitcher in 1983, but this was not one of his better performances. On in the ninth to relieve Sisk, Orosco got into immediate trouble by walking leadoff man Sixto Lezcano, who stole second with one out and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Ron Hodges. After Bo Diaz walked, light-hitting shortstop Ivan DeJesus singled in the go-ahead run and Gary Matthews plated another with a sacrifice fly. So the Mets appeared headed to a rather distasteful loss as they entered the home ninth down by two.

Fortunately for the Flushing 9, Phillies closer Al Holland chose this night to melt down like LaTroy Hawkins did against Victor Diaz last season. Mookie Wilson and Keith Hernandez sandwiched singles around an out, bringing George Foster to the plate as the winning run. The newspapers tell us that Foster was in an 0-for-11 funk, something not uncommon during his reign with the Mets. In fairness, Foster was very, very clutch in 1983 and his bid to win the fans over was helped by what he did here. He crushed Holland's first pitch into the left field picnic area for a game-winning three-run home run.

While the win had little impact on the Mets fate, it served a much more meaningful purpose to the Phillies, a team that was in need at that point of a good kick in the ass. The Phillies were 69-67 after a defeat that really should have been devastating, but bounced back quite nicely. Philadelphia won its next three (two straight against the Mets) and closed the season by winning 21 of its last 26 games, a good enough run to win the NL East and eventually make it to the World Series, in which it lost to Baltimore in five games.

True Metophones know...The day after this win, Ron Darling made his major-league debut, tossing 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a 2-0 loss to the Phillies. A good piece of trivia attached to this one in that the Phillies winning pitcher that day was a well-known former Met, Tug McGraw.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Minutiae Break: Worst Mets Relievers

It occurs to me after 79 straight walk-off related posts and some fatigue still remaining from Saturday's finish that I did promise to bring Metspective on other issues related to the Flushing 9, so I offer this posting up as a "Minutiae Break." This came about after several discussions related to the offhand Dick Tidrow/Danny Graves remark the other day , the conclusion of which indicated that it would be fun to create a list of the worst Mets relievers of all-time. I don't want to step on the territory of other bloggers, like " Faith and Fear in Flushing ," Mets Guy in Michigan " and " Metstradamus ," so I'll tread carefully here, aided by their influence. Should any friends, family members, or fans of these pitchers visit this site, I mean no harm. I'm just here to have a little fun with this topic. The ground rules are as follows: The pitcher must have had a Mets stint as long as Dick Tidrow's (11 games, 15 2/3 innings), for

The best Mets ejections I know

When you think of the Mets and famous ejections, I'm guessing you first think of the famous Bobby Valentine mustache game, when after Valentine got tossed, he returned to the dugout in disguise. You know it. You love it. I remember being amused when I asked Bobby V about it while we were working on Baseball Tonight, how he simply said "It worked. We won the game." (true) But the Bobby V mustache game of June 9, 1999 is one of many, many memorable Mets ejection stories. And now thanks to Retrosheet and the magic of Newspapers.com , we have a convenient means for being able to share them. Ever since Retrosheet's David Smith recently announced that the Retrosheet ejection database was posted online , I've been a kid in a candy store. I've organized the data and done some lookups of media coverage around the games that interested me post. Those newspaper accounts fill in a lot of blanks. Without further ado (and with more work to do), here are some of my findings

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry walk-offs...so if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls