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Showing posts from July 23, 2006

Minutiae Break: The Lost Continent of Atlanta

I did some out of this world travel earlier this season, paying a visit to a locale that hasn't been on an American map since 1991. It seems that at some point that spring, the locals sank into the earth, never to be seen by outsiders again, except with special permission by those who schedule such trips. This place has been a rather unpleasant visit for most, though this native New Yorker was satisfied for two out of the three days he spent on foreign turf.

Occasionally for those unable to travel, through the magic of metal tubes, we are granted the ability to view this world, one in which things are rather backwords, from a great distance. It's beings have names like Chipper and they spell common names oddly (Andruw?). They make odd motions with their hands, the kind you'd expect from people holding a meat cleaver, uttering chants as they do so.

Should you choose to venture to this lost land this weekend, either via the magic of metal tubes (or radio waves), we want you to…

Our Special Bonds: Hall of Fame (Answers)

Answers to the trivia quiz of July 27, 2007
http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2007/07/our-special-bonds-hall-of-fame.html

1) Stan Musial, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969, was the first to be able to say that he was an inductee who had played (and played very well) against the Mets. He could also say that he played in the first Mets game ever, netting three hits and the first RBI against the Mets that day. By the way, on Julio Gotay...did you know he was the only Cardinals starter not to get a hit in that first Mets game?

2) Of the 35 pitchers whom the Mets beat in 1962 (poor Dick Ellsworth lost three times), the Hall of Famers were Warren Spahn (lost on a walk-off HR), Don Drysdale, and Bob Gibson.

3) For whatever reason, the baseball career of Ray Sadecki lends itself to great trivia, as he's served as an answer here on multiple occasions, including this one as Stargell's dominator.

4) The Mets frustrated Joe Morgan throughout his career, striking him out every 6.9 a…

Valiant Valentin

The best notes on walk-off #340 that I could muster at 2 a.m....

* It's the 1st walk-off win for the Mets since June 3. It was the 10th walk-off win in the season, giving the Mets the most walk-off wins in MLB

* It's the 23rd 1-0 walk-off win in team history, and the 2nd this season. The only other years in which the Mets had at least 2 1-0 walk-off wins: 1965 (2) and 1969 (3)

* It's the 4th 1-0 win to last at least 10 innings and the 1st since April 12, 2001, when Rey Ordonez beat the Braves with a walk-off single

* It's the 36th walk-off win against the Cubs and the 1st with a 1-0 final score. It's the first against the Cubs since September 25, 2004, in another contest in which Mark Prior started for Chicago.

* Jose Valentin is the 3rd Mets Jose with a walk-off hit, joining Reyes (who also had one in a 1-0 game) and Vizcaino.

* Of the 10 pitchers to take walk-off losses against the Mets this season, Glendon Rusch is the 1st of those to be a former Met.

* Rusch is the 1s…

Walk-Off Lament

I was reminded on Tuesday night of the lament proffered by Charlie Brown not long after the 1962 World Series concluded. I would have filled in Paul Lo Duca's name in his wail of anguish

"Why couldn't McCovey have hit the ball just three feet higher???"

I really thought that Lo Duca was going to get the tying or winning hit last night, particularly because of the way he fought through that final at-bat before popping to second base. Perhaps had he been able to strike the ball just a little harder, the outcome would have been different. The way that this team has won games this season, it just felt right that they would find a way to pull this one out.

Followers of the team in 1969 must have felt the same way after their May 15 defeat to the Braves. The scenario was slightly different, with the Mets rallying from a 6-2 deficit to trim the score to 6-5 by the last of the 8th. In the 9th, with the hosts down a run, they immediately staged a rally. Bud Harrelson singled an…

Smith and Messin'

Speaking of taking the Mets seriously, if you were looking for a reason to do so in 1984, there were reasons aplenty through the first month of the season.

The six straight road wins after an ugly Opening Day loss were one good one, as were two nifty comeback wins at home against the Expos. A 3-3 split over six games with the Phillies provided some optimism, though the Mets were beaten soundly on a couple of those occasions.

May began with the Mets tied for first place with the equally surprising Cubs, with the two clashing in a pair in Flushing to open the month. I seem to recall these contests being written about on another blog, but without being able to find the reference, I'll recount them for my purposes here.

The series opener put the Mets in first place by themselves, an 8-1 rout behind Dwight Gooden. Keith Hernandez and Hubie Brooks each drove in two runs and Darryl Strawberry had three doubles in what was an impressive triumph.

Things would get a little tougher the next day …

Cubbie Hole

The first time that the Mets and Cubs convened in 1969 came at the end of April and didn't exactly serve as a foreshadowing for what was to come that season. The Mets opened the weekend four-game series with a pedestrian 6-8 mark, while the Cubs held first place with a surprising 11-5 start.

The Cubs won the first two games of the series as Ferguson Jenkins edged Tom Seaver, 3-1, and Bill Hands followed by going the distance in a 9-3 pasting of Don Cardwell.

A Sunday doubleheader concluded the matchup and in the first game, the Mets got off to a quick start and led 6-3 in the 8th inning. Chicago scored once in the 8th and with the aid of two errors and a subsequent Randy Hundley home run, struck four times in what the Chicago Tribune described as the "ludicrous" 9th. The Mets went down rather meekly in their half as Phil Regan struck out the side, including Cleon Jones to end the game.

So through three of the four games in this series, we knew this much: The Cubs were both …