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Mac The Knife

(By the way, happy birthday to Willie Randolph, who turns 52 on Thursday)

The closest walk-off equivalent I could find to Wednesday's unusual Mets win (1st inning: 5 runs, rest of way: no hits) was that which took place on June 25, 1991.

That day, it looked like the Mets were en route to a rout, after scoring four times in the first inning against Dennis Martinez. Dave Magadan, the second batter of the game, homered, Hubie Brooks added a two-run single and Mackey Sasser closed out the rally with an RBI hit. With Dwight Gooden on the mound, that tally would surely be enough.

Not so fast.

Martinez, who a month later would throw a perfect game against the Dodgers, settled down rather nicely, allowing little the rest of the way, other than three harmless hits. He had entered the game having thrown 23 straight scoreless innings, and after that bump in the road, tossed 5 1/3 worth of zeroes.

He was helped when Gooden had a John Maine-esque hiccup in the fifth after throwing shutout ball through the first four frames. The Expos produced five runs on four singles and two doubles in an inning rather unbecoming for the Doctor, who nursed (pardon the pun) his way through the next three innings without issue.

Martinez was succeeded by future Met Tim Burke, who got five straight outs unimpeded, sending this game into the ninth inning with the score, Expos 5, Mets 4. After their explosive first inning, the Mets had mustered nothing.

Thankfully for them, future Met Barry Jones came in to pitch the 9th inning. Garry Templeton led off for the Mets, reached on an infield hit and pinch-runner Keith Miller advanced to second on Jones' miscue on a pickoff attempt. A walk to Darryl Boston led to Jones' exit and a subsequent double steal against new pitcher Scott Ruskin gave the Mets runners on second and third and one out. Ruskin walked Magadan to load the bases, but popular object of derision Gregg Jefferies whiffed.

Our scenario here was not quite the same as the one between Cincinnati and Cleveland this weekend, in which Adam Dunn, with his team trailing by three with two outs in the ninth, belted what we call an "ultimate grand slam" off Bob Wickman. But it was still nonetheless capable of producing an exciting moment.

The batter, Kevin McReynolds, happened to be an excellent hitter with the bases loaded (.355 for his career). The pitcher happened to be a southpaw, which helped matters and gave McReynolds an edge at the plate. He crushed a Ruskin pitch over the fence in left center for his sixth and final grand slam of his career. The normally emotionless McReynolds ("Chucklepuss" would have been a good nickname) even admitted to letting out a smirk as he rounded the bases. Perhaps it was the reaction to the home run. Perhaps it was a reaction to the oddity of the line score, of two fours sandwiched around seven zeroes.

The Truly Dominmet know...That I so wanted to write a blog post called "Walk the Plank" today, but the Mets have never beaten the Pirates via walk-off walk.

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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