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Mets Walk-Offs Year in Review

The Mets had eight walk-off wins, matching their 2004 total.

The breakdown was as follows

5 walk-off singles
2 walk-off home runs
1 walk-off walk
6 extra-inning walk-offs

The grand tally is now at 330* documented walk-offs, a total that includes postseason, in Mets history. The * is in place for two reasons, one of which I'll explain at another time, and the other because I have no verification that the tally is 100% accurate. By my count, I have written about, in some form, 89 of those 330 games, so we still have a long ways to go...

Let us review the Mets year in walk-offs.

April 13 vs Astros: Jose Reyes singled off the gloves of both pitcher Dan Wheeler and shortstop Adam Everett, allowing Victor Diaz to race home from second with the winning run, after a weak throw home by Astros second baseman Chris Burke. This was the second game of a three-game sweep of the Astros in the Mets first homestand of the season.

Game summary: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=250413121

April 16 vs Marlins: I have missed significant chunks of two baseball games because of religious reasons. The first was Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS when I chose to attend Hebrew School rather than watch the ninth inning of the Astros-Mets game (I got home in time for the 14th through 16th innings). The second was this one, a 4-3 triumph over the Marlins in which Ramon Castro's single to center in the ninth brought home Victor Diaz with the winning run. Instead of attending, I watched off-and-on thanks to a well-placed television at a bar-mitzvah reception, and did get to see the winning hit.

Game summary: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=250416121

June 11 vs Angels: Undoubtedly the walk-off win of the year from a Mets perspective. Trailing by a run against Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez in the bottom of the ninth, Marlon Anderson ties the game with an inside-the-park home run, on a ball that Steve Finley barely misses making a shoestring catch, than kicks away. The bubble-blowing Anderson barely beat the relay throw to the plate in one of the most exciting and memorable runs around the bases in recent Mets history. Trailing by a run in the bottom of the 10th, Cliff Floyd hits what appears to be a game-winning three-run home run off Brendan Donnelly, but the ball hooks foul down the right field line. Floyd gets another chance and straightens out his swing, crushing a line drive to right-center for a game-winning three-run clout. This one will stand out in my memory for a long time, as it took place three days after the debut of this blog.

Related blog entry: http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2005/06/cliff-notes.html

Blog photo: http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2005/06/testing-some-new-blog-add-ons.html

Game summary: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=250611121

July 19 vs Padres: Chris Woodward, who claimed never to have hit a walk-off home run at any point in his life, provided enough power on an 0-1 pitch from Chris Hammond (who sports the slowest pitch in the majors, a 65-mile-per-hour changeup) to hit one over the left field fence for a pinch-hit two-run walk-off dinger. Woodward wasn't actually supposed to bat, but Willie Randolph decided on a late switch, using Gerald Williams, his initial choice to pinch-hit, as a pinch-runner and sent Woodward plateward for a moment of glory. The 3-1 win helped the Mets to a three-game sweep over the Padres, who went on to win the NL West.

Related blog entry: http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2005/07/metscellany.html

Game summary: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=250719121

August 2 vs Brewers: Mike Cameron tied the game with a home run in the ninth and Mike Piazza won it, 9-8, with a walk-off walk in the 11th. It had been awhile since the Mets won a game by rallying from a four-run deficit, but they did it in a rather wild and goofy game.

Related blog entry: http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2005/08/about-last-night.html

Game summary: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=250802121

August 20 vs Nationals: The Mets pull Pedro Martinez with an eight-run lead after six innings and nearly give away a game in the process. The bullpen allows eight runs, and it would have been nine, had Brian Schneider's two-run game-tying double in the ninth been about a foot higher. The Mets won the game, 9-8, in the last of the 10th when Chris Woodward's single scored Jose Reyes with the winning run.

Game summary: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=250820121

September 20 vs Marlins: Mike Jacobs wins walk-off Rookie of the Year honors for his first walk-off hit with the Mets, a ground ball single down the first base line for a 3-2 12-inning triumph that helped sink Florida's playoff hopes. Marlins pitcher A.J. Burnett had to be frustrated after pitching six innings of no-hit ball, and perhaps this game was the source of his anger that led to his being sent home at season's end.

Related blog entry: http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2005/09/season-wreckers.html

Game summary: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=250920121



September 21 vs Marlins: Miguel Cairo gives the Mets walk-off wins on consecutive days, handing the Marlins a 5-4 loss. It capped a year that started and ended quite well for Cairo, but the middle was rather mediocre. The Mets won the first seven games in which he started, but having to shoulder the increased responsibility of playing every day caused Cairo's numbers to drop. This was one of the few times all season he came through with runners in scoring position.

Related blog entry: http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2005/09/miggy-poo.html

Game summary: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/recap?gid=250921121

And now for the minutiae...

True Metophiles know that...

The six extra-inning walk-off wins are the most for the Mets since they posted six such wins in 1997.

Jose Reyes' got the first walk-off hit in a 1-0 extra-inning Mets walk-off win since Rey Ordonez had one against the Braves on April 12, 2001.

Cliff Floyd's walk-off home run against the Angels was the first extra-inning walk-off home run that came with the Mets trailing since Chris Jones hit one against the Pirates on July 31, 1996.

The only other Mets catcher to draw a walk-off walk was Hobie Landrith in 1962

The only other Mets player with the initials "MJ" to record a walk-off hit for the Mets was Mike Jorgensen, who had 3.

Players wearing Chris Woodward's #4 have had great walk-off success, among them Bruce Boisclair, Len Dykstra, Duke Snider, Rusty Staub, Ron Swoboda, and Robin Ventura

The Mets have had 54 August walk-offs, but until this season, had never had one on an August 20th.

This marked the fourth time in the last five years that the Mets won two games in the same series in walk-off fashion.

David Wright became the fifth Mets player to drive in at least 100 runs in a season without a walk-off RBI, joining Bernard Gilkey (117 in 1996), Mike Piazza (113 in 2000), Rusty Staub (105 in 1975), and Darryl Strawberry (104 in 1987).

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Cliff Notes

Alright, so it's 2 days later and the challenge for me now, after reading through about a dozen game stories and listening to talk radio, is to provide a fresh perspective on walk-off #324. If you're going to be a serious reader of this blog, you know what happened already, so let's look at what made this particular walk-off stand out. It would seem that the place to start is with the idea that everything broke just right on both sides of the ball. Particularly, I'm talking about Carlos Beltran's catch in the 7th inning, where he went over the center field fence to rob Jose Molina of a home run. Every no-hitter seems to have one defensive gem that makes it possible and perhaps that's true of great walk-off moments as well (We'll be looking into that!) Marlon Anderson's home run required a remarkable combination of events. It was only the sixth inside-the-park home run at Shea Stadium by a Met and the first since Darryl Strawberry in 1989. It required t