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Kaz Smear

Basically this was a 1-for-1 deal. One career walk-off for Eli Marrero. One career walk-off for Kaz Matsui.

Kaz Matsui was good for 1 at-bat this year and the problem was that he used this year's turn up in his first of the season in San Diego. Other than that, I can't recall him coming within 25 feet of a home run all year. His dealing is a good thing, as it removed the temptation for him to be utilized and than further dissappoint.

There was always temptation to use Kaz Matsui because the thinking was that eventually he'd show the type of performance that merited his salary. His inability to do so frustrated both Willie Randolph and his predecessor, both of whom desperately wanted him to succeed.

Kaz Matsui was benched for the first time on Mothers Day, May 9, 2004, against the Brewers. The Mets were 13-17 and Matsui was in the midst of the first of many lengthy slumps, so Joe McEwing got the start at shortstop. To show how far the Mets have come in two seasons, consider the starting eight behind Steve Trachsel that day

Eric Valent LF
Joe McEwing SS
Todd Zeile 3B
Karim Garcia RF
Jason Phillips 1B
Mike Cameron CF
Vance Wilson C
Danny Garcia 2B

Yet this unlikely and unpotent (better than saying impotent) combination produced a run in each of the first two innings that day. Valent led off the game with a homer and Danny Garcia singled in a run in the next frame. The Mets had a 3-1 lead heading into the 7th at which point the game unraveled.

Scott Podsednik's sacrifice fly made it a 3-2 game and then in the 8th, the Brewers struck for three against David Weathers, with the go-ahead two-run hit coming from Met for a minute Brady Clark. The Mets were fortunate to tie the game in their half, helped by some Brewers ineptitude and a two-out "rally" consisting of a walk, a balk, and a two-run single by Ty Wigginton that scored pinch-runners Matsui and Jae Seo, the latter of whom used a headfirst slide described in the newspapers as a bellyflop.

The game stretched out into the 11th inning and again it took a two-out rally to win it. Todd Zeile walked against Brewers reliever Ben Ford and advanced to second on an infield hit by Karim Garcia. Matsui brought home the winning run with a long drive to centerfield, which bounced over the fence on one hop for a walk-off ground-rule double. The win averted a Brewers sweep.

"I was desperate to make a hit," Matsui told the Manichi Daily News and perhaps it was that desperation that basically led to his downfall.

True Metsuis know...The last time the Mets won a game in walk-off fashion in which they got the tying hit and winning hit in back-to-back at-bats was May 18, 2004, against the Cardinals. The game concluded at approximately the exact moment that Randy Johnson finished his perfect game against the Braves, which explains why I saw neither Kaz Matsui's game-tying hit, nor Cliff Floyd's walk-off winner.

Comments

Binny said…
Boy do I remember that. Can't remember if the game was on FSNY or MSG, but I remember flipping channels at a very rapid pace. Mets. Randy. Mets. Randy. I really think they ended at the same second.

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