Skip to main content

Shouldering the Burden

The 2006 Mets aren't the only squad in team annals that had to deal with shoulder woes.

On April 29, 1969, Jerry Koosman suffered a shoulder injury while pitching against the Montreal Expos, noting that something snapped like a piece of elastic.

The resulting tenderness sidelined Koosman for nearly a full month, but the good news was that he returned as good, if not better than ever. In his first start back, on May 24, against the Houston Astros, he allowed 2 runs and 3 hits over 7 innings, in what turned into an eventual 5-1 defeat.

In that era, there was no hesitation, once a pitcher was healed, to throw him fully into the fire. Koosman's next start came on 3 days rest, on May 28, against the Padres. The Mets had lost five straight and while there were promising signs of progress there were also indications that this was going to be a troublesome season.

If there was any concern over whether Koosman could handle the physical and mental pressure, it was erased with this game, perhaps his finest as a Met. Gil Hodges permitted him to work 10 innings, as he yielded only four hits and struck out a club record and career-high 15.

The Mets squandered their share of opportunities by batting into three double plays and it took until the 11th inning (and Koosman's subsequent departure for Tug McGraw) for the Mets to plate their first and only run.

Cleon Jones led off, reaching when he beat out a grounder up the middle, judged to be an error on Padres shortstop Tommy Dean. After Ed Kranepool whiffed, Ron Swoboda advanced Jones to third with a single. putting the Mets within 90 feet of triumph. The Padres walked Jerry Grote to load the bases and hope that Bud Harrelson would hit into a double play. No such luck. Harrelson singled down the left field line, scoring Jones with the winning run.

The win might have been the story of the day, but the real key to come out of this was Koosman's effort on short rest. Now fully healed, Koosman got on a roll that helped propel the Mets to great things the rest of the season. In his first 60 innings back from the DL, Koosman allowed only 4 earned runs as the Mets went on an 18-7 spurt that turned their season around.

True Metders know...Duaner Sanchez is one of three pitchers in Mets history to get 3 walk-off wins in a 6-day span, joining Jesse Orosco (1983) and Skip Lockwood (1978), each of whom got 3 walk-off wins in a 4-day span.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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

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 walk-offs...so 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

The greatness and the frustration of Nolan Ryan the Met

I was looking over dominant pitching versus opponents and over various stretches in Mets history and came upon one I found interesting. In his first six starts in 1971, Nolan Ryan went 5-1 with an 0.77 ERA. In 46 2/3 innings, he allowed 19 hits and struck out 47. Opponents hit .121 and slugged .172 against him. And oh yes, he walked 37 batters (!), or more than 7 per 9 innings. As you go back through those six starts, you can see both the brilliance and the frustration that eventually led to Ryan’s departure in one of the worst trades in baseball history. April 29 at Cardinals – 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 5 K, 8 BB Ryan’s first start of the season was 7-0 win over the Cardinals that completed a four-game sweep, though it wasn’t the most artful of efforts. Ryan walked eight, but held the Cardinals to only two hits. That included the thwarting of Joe Torre’s season-opening 22-game hitting streak. Torre would go on to win the MVP. The big moment in the game came with the score 1-0 in the