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Showing posts from September 25, 2005

Offseason Plans

I know some people were wondering if I'd maintain this blog once the season ends. The answer is that I will. Here's the tentative plan. I will post a couple of pieces next week. One is a Mets walk-off year in review. Another is a reminiscence about a non-Mets walk-off moment from the 2004 Division Series that I enjoyed. I will probably post a couple of times a week during the playoffs, perhaps relating current events to Mets events of the past (probably will do something on Mets postseason walk-off home runs). It is highly unlikely that I will post during the World Series, as work beckons. Perhaps I will file a "Didja ever notice?" piece (about 1986 WS Game 6) or two away to run during that time. I'd guess that during the winter months, I'll post an average of twice a week. I have some stories I want to tell. I may try to track down some Mets walk-off alums. I may delve into a few non-Mets walk-offs, if you'll indulge. If the Mets make a big free agent

One Other Piazza Post

For those of you who missed it earlier this seson, here's a link to a post I did regarding a Mike Piazza walk-off home run from 2001. Wanted to make sure some of you saw it, as it completes my review of Piazza's walk-off home runs as a Met, to this point. http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2005/07/clairvoyance-prognostication-and-walk.html

A Giant Finish

Mike Piazza broke Carlton Fisk's home run record for catchers on May 5, 2004. On May 6, 2004, Mike Piazza hit what was probably, barring what would be some pretty neat circumstances these next few days, his last walk-off home run as a New York Met. Guess which one we're going to talk about? That home run put Piazza into a tie for most walk-off home runs in Mets history with four, a mark he shares with Kevin McReynolds, Chris Jones, Cleon Jones. (I guess you could say that keeping up with the Jones' was an issue for Piazza in more ways than one (Chipper and Andruw being his primary foes)). This is one of those lists that Piazza belongs on, and deserves to stay on, to aid in the argument of his being the most clutch hitter in Mets history (we can list Keith Hernandez as 1a if you like), which is another discussion entirely, one that perhaps we'll take on when Piazza signs this offseason with the Angels, Orioles, or Rangers. Anyhow, on this night, the Mets and Giants

Monster Mike

For those who linked from Metsblog.com, 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 9 RBI 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

Spoilerfest

I'm interrupting this Mike Piazza tribute just briefly here to reflect on the similarities between these last two Mets games against the Phillies, and two contests of a similar nature against the 2004 Cubs. To briefly refresh the memory, the Mets wrecked the Cubs postseason chances last season with two rather bizarre wins. In the first, they rallied from a three-run late-inning deficit with a rookie (Craig Brazell) striking the decisive blow (a walk-off home run, no less). In the second, they won a torture-filled 3-2 game against an ace pitcher (Kerry Wood) and their opponent failed to cash in on numerous scoring opportunities. The Cubs were riding a wave of momentum entering the series, but fell apart immediately afterward and failed to make the postseason. In 2005, the Mets wrecked (perhaps) the Phillies postseason chances with two rather bizarre wins. In the first, they rallied from a three-run, late-inning deficit with a rookie (Mike Jacobs) striking the decisive blow. In the

I Want My Turn At Bat

I can remember a game from my disastrous final season of Little League in which we trailed by 10 runs or so in the final inning. With two outs, I was on deck,with a runner on third and two outs. The opposing pitcher threw one that was slightly askew, but our baserunner wasn't quick enough scampering down the line, and was thrown out at the plate to end the game. It wasn't a smart play at the time, but our team wasn't exactly known for it's baseball intellect. It isn't so much the ridiculousness of the play I remember, but the reaction on the face of the batter to what happened. "Man," he said to his mom and dad. "They didn't even give me a chance to hit." It would be about a dozen years later that I'd see that look again, only this time, it came from a New York Met. There was no doubt that the Mets were going to win the 162nd game of the 1999 season to either win the wild card, or set up a one game playoff against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Bells Are Ringing

Mike Piazza's first walk-off home run as a Met came on April 28, 1999. Piazza was in the midst of a rough stretch. A knee injury sidelined him for two weeks and when he came back, he didn't look too good. He had one hit in his first 13 at-bats coming off the disabled list and left seven runners on base in an ugly performance against the Padres the day before. Trevor Hoffman, aka "Hell's Bells" (for the theme song they play when he enters a home game), turned out to be the cure for what ailed him. The Padres entered this game against the Mets having won 181 consecutive games when leading after eight innings, and they carried a 3-2 lead into the final frame after tallying twice in the eighth inning against Armando Benitez. That, in what turned out to become a familiar pattern, spoiled a good start by Al Leiter, who allowed just one run through the first seven frames. Anyhow, John Olerud led off the ninth inning with a single, setting the stage for Piazza to face

Minutiae Break: The Slowest Mets

This likely being the final week of Mike Piazza's Mets career, we'll take the time to pay tribute to his walk-off accomplishments. That comes tomorrow (aka Tuesday). Today we have some fun. I share a trait with Mike Piazza. I walk faster than I run. In second grade, I peaked speed-wise. I ran the anchor leg in class relay races, often against our speedsters, Leon Johnson and Daniel Caraballo. I won a few. I lost most of the time. It was all downhill from there. When Mike Piazza runs, he runs hard. I grant him that and applaud the effort every time he grounds to short. The problem is that at his fastest, he runs at the speed of a second-grader. It is one of his two primary flaws (the inability to throw out basestealers being his other foible). I think Mookie Wilson could reach second base on a ground ball single down the line before Mike Piazza would reach first. Keep in mind that Mookie is approaching 50 years of age. If we're going to toast Mike Piazza this week, than