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Deja Vu All Over

Monday's win provided me the inspiration to look up a pair of things that intrigued me over the course of this contest.

As the AP game story so eloquently noted, last July, John Maine beat Taylor Buchholz, as supported by a home run and four RBI from Jose Valentin.

Monday, John Maine beat Taylor Buchholz, as supported by a home run and four RBI from Jose Valentin.

So it got me to wondering: Has the same hitter ever beaten the same pitcher, in the same fashion for a Mets walk-off victory in consecutive seasons?

The answer is no, though there are a couple that we could note as "close calls."

In 2000, Jay Payton hit a walk-off HR versus Brewers reliever Juan Acevedo. The next season, Payton beat Acevedo, who had moved on to the Marlins, again. Only this time, he did so with a double, instead of a home run.

In 1982, Hubie Brooks beat Pirates reliever Kent Tekulve with a walk-off fielders choice. In 1983 he beat him again, only this time more cleanly, with an RBI single. That's close enough that it's almost acceptable, but doesn't fit our stringent requirements.

The other close call relates to Darryl Strawberry, who hit a walk-off home run against Reds reliever John Franco as part of a 2-for-4 day in 1985. He followed that up three years later, with a walk-off home run off Franco as part of a 2-for-4 day in 1988.

The other subject matter that intrigued me dealt with Carlos Delgado, who homered after being hit by a pitch. How many Mets, I wondered, have avenged an early-game HBP with a walk-off HR?

The answer is 4.

The funny thing is that Delgado is the last guy to do so, if you recall his May 3, 2006 extra-inning home run against Mike Gonzalez. He had been plunked in the seventh inning by Pirates reliever John Grabow.

Before that, the most recent occurrence was John Olerud in 1997, which was the last game in which the Mets beat the Rockies via walk-off (see yesterday's story).

The other two to do so were Gary Carter (Opening Day, 1985) against the Cardinals and George Foster, who beat the Reds with a home run on May 6, 1983, though he was hit earlier in the contest. That game also marked the major-league debut for Darryl Strawberry.

Those experiencing Metja vu know...Gary Carter's home run actually followed his being hit by two pitches that Opening Day. He was plunked by both Joaquin Andujar and Bill Campbell. He's the only player in Mets history to be multiply plunked and hit a walk-off HR in the same game.

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