Skip to main content

Lastings but not Least

Alrighty, a rainout tonight, so I can catch up on this blogging thing a little bit.

I like what Lastings Milledge brings to the table in a number of different respects. I think the best thing about Milledge is that every time I've seen him, he's done something different that impressed me. I drove three hours last year to soggy New Hampshire to watch Milledge and Yusmiero Petit near the conclusion of last season. Milledge rewarded me with an opposite-field home run and Petit, now a Marlin, pitched a gem. Milledge has been swinging a good bat all spring, and made a laser of a throw to home plate (he was cost a putout by the catcher, whomever it was) in that Orioles game that the Mets botched earlier this week. He's got a nice hop in his step when he runs, whether its on the bases, or in pursuit of fly balls.

I've heard those on television describe Milledge as a "5-tool player," referencing his ability to hit, hit with power, run, field, and throw, but let us laud his sixth tool, or perhaps the mysterious "sixth sense" -- walk-offability. This is a guy who doesn't discriminate when it comes to walk-offs. He gets them in spring training, he gets them in the Arizona Fall League (see link in previous entry), and yes, he gets them in the regular season.

Milledge had two walk-offs within a three-week span for the Binghamton Mets during his brief stint with the team last season. The first came in the second game of a doubleheader sweep of the Portland Sea Dogs on August 6 and is the type of walk-off unique to minor league baseball. In an Eastern League doubleheader, the games are only seven innings in length and Game 2 was tied after 7, not long after pinch-runner Milledge scored the tying run on a base hit by Mike Jacobs. So the game went the bonus baseball route, though it was decided in the eighth inning

The Mets put a runner on third with one out and Portland's strategy was to walk the bases loaded and set up a force play at home plate. The plan backfired when Milledge walked on a 3-2 pitch to force in the game-ending run. Plate patience is the one area in which Milledge is lacking (he strikes out a lot, which is to be expected for a young talent) but on this instance, his sixth sense was heightened and he was able to come through with what was needed.

Milledge's second walk-off came 19 days later against the Harrisburg Senators, a line drive single down the right field line that snapped a 10th inning tie and gave the Mets a 4-3 victory. Again, it was the smart type of at bat that the Mets needed, as Milledge took a pitch the other way, rather than trying to do too much. It was one of the 65 hits that Milledge had in 48 games at Double-A, en route to hitting a very robust .337.

Milledge is hitting an equally stellar .347 this spring and has shown a penchant for playing winning baseball. Some ballplayers just seem to have that "it" quality that makes them capable of significant accomplishments in key situations. It's a special skill that doesn't surface very often. Sometimes it surfaces in the likes of a pinch-hitting master, like Chris Jones. Sometimes it develops within someone like an ultra-clutch Keith Hernandez. Whether Milledge develops further and lives up to the high expectations remains to be seen, but he seems to be someone capable of producing a lot of excitement, wherever he plays, in the near-future. I can "sense" it.

True Mettedges know...The only Met with the initials LM to get a walk-off hit in a regular season game is Lee Mazzilli, who tallied five.


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