Skip to main content

Monster Mike

For those who linked from, you can visit the rest of this site by clicking here

Mike Piazza has made it a regular habit during his Mets career to go on these torrid hot streaks during which he delivers big hits in bunches and is impossible to get out. These runs take on several different forms but the best part about them is the oomph they provide for the rest of the team. The Mets have wasted some of Piazza's big hits, but they rarely waste one of Piazza's mega runs.

There's the half-long version, which looks something like this
.351 BA
18 HR
63 RBI
.656 SLG Pct
.430 OBP

There's the month-long version, which looks something like this

.375 BA
9 HR
20 RBI
.750 SLG Pct
.462 OBP

And there's the week-long version, which resmembles something akin to this

.500 BA
4 HR
1.292 SLG Pct
.571 OBP

The first set of numbers are his after the All-Star Break in 1998. The second set comes from May, 2000. The last group is the one to which we refer today, as it comes from May 10-16, 2003.

There's always one at-bat that seems to trigger a Piazza push, where, the monster, as John Stearns liked to call him, comes out of the cage. In this case, that swing was a walk-off home run.

The Mets had some unsettled issues as they entered their game with the Padres on May 10, dealing with both on the field quandries (when to move Piazza to first base) and off-the-field stupidity (an ill-timed, in-game haircut) involving their players. The main problem was that the team just wasn't very good. The record showed them at 14-21 and an ugly seven-games under at that.

They were a team that needed a jolt in the worst way. Piazza tried to provide that.

This game was tied 2-2 as the Padres scored once in the fourth and fifth, and the Mets immediately matched the output in their turn at bat. Al Leiter was sharp for seven innings, allowing only two runs and four hits, and the bullpen kept the game even through regulation and into the first frame of bonus baseball.

There has been talk in the sportspages recently about the Yankees usage of pricey starter Jaret Wright. On this occasion, Wright happened to be the wrong man to be on the mound for the Padres.

Jay Bell led off the bottom of the 10th with a single, bringing up Piazza, who hadn't been impressive the last couple of days, and who had gone 11 games without hitting a home run. This time, he crushed a 1-0 pitch, hitting it over the fence in left-center field for a game-winning home run. The win had a carryover effect the next day, as the Mets topped the Padres by a run to get some momentum going into a West Coast swing.

The Flushing 9 won their opener in Colorado as Piazza had three hits and two runs scored. The next day Piazza homered twice, but Tom Glavine and the bullpen frittered away a 7-0 lead and the Mets suffered a crushing defeat. In the series finale, Piazza homered again, but the Mets suffered another late-inning loss. The loss sent the Mets spinning into San Francisco, where they lost again.

The only thing worse than three straight losses that could happen for the Mets was that their best hitter could sustain a devastating injury. On May 16, Piazza, in his second at-bat against Jason Schmidt, jerked away from an inside pitch and tore a groin muscle. He would miss three months, effectively ending his days as a dominant player. Yes, Piazza had a home run and five RBIs in his first game back, and yes, he's had brief flashes of greatness the last two seasons, but he hasn't been the same player since. His presence is missing that extra oomph. Those runs of dominance, those that have led to the standing ovations he receives in what are likely his final days, are a thing of the past. But they are worth remembering.

True Metmikes know...The three most noteworthy catchers in Mets history- Mike Piazza, Jerry Grote and Gary Carter- each were the decisive batter in five Mets walk-off wins.


Anonymous said…
Three most noteworthy Mets catchers? Somewhere Todd Hundley is fuming. Or drunk.
Anonymous said…
I'm sure he'll get over it. Dude was beasted by Piazza.

Popular posts from this blog

Best Games I Know: Phillies (Updated)

  The best wins against the Phillies in Mets history …   May 5, 2022 – Mets 8, Phillies 7 The Mets score 7 runs in the 9 th inning to overcome a 7-1 deficit and win in Philadelphia.   April 29, 2022 – Mets 3, Phillies 0 Tylor Megill and 4 Mets relievers combine on the second no-hitter in franchise history.   September 22, 2016 – Mets 9, Phillies 8 (11) The Mets tie it in the 9 th on a Jose Reyes home run and win it in the 11 th on a 3-run home run by Asdrubal Cabrera.   July 17, 2016 - Mets 5, Phillies 0 Jacob deGrom pitches a one-hitter. Only hit is a single by Zach Eflin in the 5 th inning.   August 24, 2015 – Mets 16, Phillies 7 David Wright homers in his first at-bat in more than 4 months. The Mets hit a team-record 8 home runs.   July 5, 2012 – Mets 6, Phillies 5 The Mets score 2 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9 th to beat Jonathan Papelbon. The winning run scores on David Wright’s bloop down the right field line.   August 13

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 , 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 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 Profess