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Showing posts from July 10, 2005

Shameless Plug

Two years ago, I wrote an article for another website, entitled "Weird, Wild Walk-offs." For those curious (perhaps after seeing Mike Stanton's walk-off balk in Friday's Nationals-Brewers game) about walk-off steals of home, walk-off rules violations, and the unfortunate case of the walk-off "lookout," I encourage you to click on the link.

True Metsopotamians know...The Mets have never won a game via a walk-off balk, passed ball, or catchers interference. They have won one game apiece via the walk-off hit by pitch, walk-off triple, and walk-off steal of home (we'll document the latter two in the near-future). The most common type of Mets walk-off win is via the single. The current tally is 137 walk-off singles, with three others in which the Mets won via a single/error combination.

Who's Sarah Bernhardt???

The 1969 Mets had not yet reached their turning point on August 4, 1969, when they faced the Atlanta Braves in the finale of a three-game series. It was evident that the Flushing 9 were closing in on something special though, having taken two straight one-run affairs from the NL West leaders to stand at 57-44 and in second place in the NL East. The Mets had succeeded in making their opponents nervous, because they were a squad capable of doing anything. This contest was another example.

The Mets were shorthanded, with a couple of pitchers out on military duty, according to newspaper stories, so when the Braves tallied four sixth inning runs against Gary Gentry, extending a 1-0 lead to 5-0, the outcome for the day looked rather bleak. The Mets hadn't managed a hit in the previous three innings against veteran hurler Milt Pappas, and with the Braves needing the game to maintain sole possession of the top spot in their division, it seemed like this one was all but in the books.

Or mayb…

Worth the wait

Jeff Reardon's first major-league win occurred under rather bizarre circumstances, ones that defy typical baseball explanation. Let us explain.

Reardon was still a product of the Mets farm system when the Mets and Braves wrapped up a three-game series on June 17, 1979, on a yucky day at Shea Stadium. Lefthander Pete Falcone was looking to complete a series sweep by picking up his first triumph as a Met and gave the Mets five innings of one-run ball before the contest was interrupted by rain. There would be a second rain delay, the two lasting a combined two hours.

The bad weather put the Mets into a predicament. They needed to catch the last available plane of the day to Houston for their next series, for which they had to be on board at 7:30 p.m. (guess they weren't flying charter) . Even though, once play resumed, the game moved at a rapid pace, the possibility of not finishing the game became an issue. At some point, the two teams reached agreement on a curfew, deciding that …

The Day The Braves Hopes Were Dashed

The Atlanta Braves came to Shea Stadium as the defending NL West champs on July 25, 1983 holding the best record in baseball at 61-37 and having just swept the eventual NL East champion Phillies. The Mets nearly had that record in reverse at 35-61 in a season in which little went right on the field despite the return of Tom Seaver to Flushing and a June trade that netted All-Star first baseman Keith Hernandez.

A crowd of a little more than 12,000 watched the Mets struggle against knuckleballing future Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, who left for a pinch-hitter after six innings, with the score tied 1-1. Former Met Mike Jorgensen batted for Niekro and homered to lead off the seventh against Ed Lynch. That gave Joe Torre's Braves a 2-1 lead, which they extended to 4-1 by scoring twice more in the eighth. The only positive to come from that was that Doug Sisk stranded the bases loaded, getting Rafael Ramirez on a groundout to prevent the game from turning into a romp.

Donnie Moore set the M…

Baseball's Been Jerry Jerry Good to Me

You may recall that last season, Mike Cameron had walk-off hits against the Tigers in back-to-back games. Such an accomplishment is a rarity in Mets history, having occured on only two occasions previously. One was by John Milner, against the Dodgers, on August 21 and 22, 1973. The other is one that we shall discuss here.

September 22, 1967 marked the beginning of the Salty Parker Era for the New York Mets. As eras go, it was a short one. Wes Westrum, Casey Stengel's successor as Mets manager, abruptly resigned the day before, apparently trying to beat management to the punch of firing him. Parker, the third base coach (whose real first name was Francis), was appointed manager for the rest of the season, an 11-game stint, which coincidentally was exactly the same length as his major-league playing career.

The initial thought was that Yogi Berra would replace Westrum, but management decided to go for strictly an interim hire. Berra was told he would be considered for the permanent po…

Juan and Done

If you're reading this, it means I was successfully able to blog-on from Detroit, where I'm visiting on All-Star related business. But I don't want to talk All-Stars, at least today. I'd rather talk walk-offs, but we'll oblige with a little bit of a Motor City twist.

The Tigers third base coach is a man whose name is quite familiar to longtime Mets fans. Unfortunately it isn't someone who is thought of in a favorable manner.

Juan Samuel was traded to the Mets on the day of a walk-off, June 18, 1989, after a Mets-Phillies game in which Von Hayes beat New York with a 9th-inning home run. He had the misfortune of being traded for one of the Mets most popular players, centerfielder Len Dykstra, and part-time closer Roger McDowell. Samuel was an impact player along the lines of Jose Reyes, only he had a little more power but struck out much more frequently. He was the first player to reach double figures in doubles, triples, homers and steals in each of his first four…