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Fit to Be Ty

By now you've probably heard about the miracle of birth that is Ty Wigginton's son, Cannon (yes, that's the name), delivered by the ex-Met by hand.

On MetsBlog, they referred to it as one of Wigginton's finest defensive plays. My joke was going to be that it's the most clutch Wigginton has been since July 15, 2004, the date of his only walk-off hit as a Met.

I liked Ty Wigginton as a player, but I never felt like he was clutch. The numbers bear that out for his second season, when Wigginton hit only .190 with runners in scoring position before being traded to the Pirates (he hit .288 with RISP the season before, but there weren't many notable Mets hits in 2003).

The closest thing Ty Wigginton got to a big Mets hit was in this game, against the Phillies, an 11th-inning triumph that moved the Flushing False Hopes to 45-43 and within a game of first place.

The story of this game, prior to its conclusion, was the performance of the Mets bullpen in relief of Steve Trachsel, who had driven in one of the two Mets runs scored in regulation. Orber Moreno came on for Trachsel in the 6th and escaped a bases-loaded jam, setting the tone for 5 1/3 combined scoreless innings of work.

In the home 11th, the Phillies turned to Roberto Hernandez and the Mets went on the attack. Mike Piazza walked to start the frame and pinch-runner Vance Wilson(!) went to second on a single by Cliff Floyd. A walk to Shane Spencer loaded the bases with one out, bringing Wigginton to the plate.

Hernandez got Wood to chop the ball back towards the mound (hardly a cannon shot), but the velocity forced Hernandez to try to barehand the ball. Though he was successful in his quest, his subsequent throw home went askew, allowing Wilson to score the winning run.

The lesson to be learned. Barehands are not for baseballs, just for babies.

True Mettingtons know...The Mets won 12 days previous in similar fashion against the Yankees when Tanyon Sturtze threw away Shane Spencer's weak ground ball to the side of the mound.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Good sir, do not overlook Ty's big hit the day after the aforementioned Sturtze whoopsie:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN200407040.shtml

Check out that eighth-inning shot that sealed the first Mets' sweep of a Subway Series. A glorious picture of Ty running out his second homer of the day appeared on the front page of the Times sports section on the Fifth of July. The angle focused close up on Wiggy's back from top to bottom as he rounded first. The message was clear: Hey Yankees -- kiss our ass!

Ty on the weekend: 6-for-12, three homers, six ribbies, three runs. Maybe not WO material, but big hits in any language.

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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