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Busch Administration

I'd imagine the Cardinals approval ratings are about as low as our current President, especially after...

* This, which was the third time in the history of the Mets-Cardinals rivalry that the Mets scored 10 or more runs and the Cardinals tallied none. The first was a Jon Matlack 13-0 shutout at home on July 1, 1976. The second was an 11-0 Sid Fernandez gem in St. Louis on August 1, 1989.

* It was the first time the Mets beat the Cardinals by 10+ since a 13-1 romp on September 7, 1989.

* The 2 runs allowed by the Mets in their first three games were the fewest they've surrendered in an opening trio in team history. The previous best was 4, in 1981, a season interrupted by strike. The Mets are 3-0 for the first time since 1994, also a season wiped out by strike.

* John Maine became the 2nd Mets starter ever to pitch at least 7 innings, allowing 1 hit or fewer, within his team's first 3 games of the season. The other was the "great" Bruce Berenyi, who matched Maine's effort with seven one-hit innings against the Reds in a one-hit shutout on April 12, 1985.

*This was the 36th time in team history that a Mets starter threw at least seven innings, allowing one hit or fewer. The Mets are 32-4 in those 36 games, though it's hard to believe they lost any of them. For those curious, Tom Seaver pitched 5 such games. David Cone had three. Steve Trachsel and Nolan Ryan, along with Jon Matlack, Tom Glavine, Gary Gentry and Sid Fernandez have each had two. A bunch of others have thrown one, Maine now among them.

* It was the first Mets sweep in St. Louis since May 26-28, 2000, but the Mets only outscored the Cardinals in those games by an 23-12 count.

* It was somewhat reminiscent of a 4-game sweep that the Mets had in St. Louis from April 24-27, 1986, their first trip back to St. Louis after a heartbreaking conclusion to the previous campaign. The Mets outscored the Cardinals in that one, 23-10, and had a 9-0 rout within that quartet. The Mets enjoyed an immensely successful run through St. Louis that season, winning 8 of 9 games there.

* The Mets failed to turn a double play, but did turn 7 in this 3 game series, reducing the pace they're on to 378 double plays for the season. The good news though is that with his performance in the series finale, Carlos Beltran is now on pace to drive in 322 runs and Jose Reyes is on pace to score 270.

* And lastly, as a "walk-off" reward for those who have read this far. The win in the series finale came 11 years to the day of a Mets walk-off win against the Cardinals, and they scored 10 runs that day too!

It was a rather bizarre contest, one that marked Paul Wilson's major-league debut (6 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits) and the only reason a walk-off was necessary was because of an 8th inning for the ages, in which the Cardinals scored five runs on three hits and four(!) Mets errors. St. Louis took a 9-8 lead in the top of the 9th on Willie McGee's two-out hit, but the Mets got some good fortune in their final frame.

With two outs and Edgardo Alfonzo on second base, Chris Jones hit a potential game-ending grounder to third. Fortunately for the Flushing faithful, Gary Gaetti played the role off Bill Buckner and Alfonzo came home with Jones going to second after the ball went through Gaetti's legs.

And then in a most appropriate twist, given Wednesday's events, the Mets had a Maine man, or in this case, a Mayne man ready to be the hero. Catcher, Brent (not pitcher, John), singled to right off future Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley and Jones came home with the game-winning run.

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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