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Only fun if you're a Metsochist

So I'm sitting here wondering whether we've been duped, or whether I should be masochistingly (is that a word) satisfied in the notion that my season theme of "Ya Gotta Get Worse" seems to have fully taken shape. And I'm sure someone has asked this, but isn't the SI cover jinx supposed to occur after a team is on the cover, and not before?

It's little comfort when you look things up on Baseball-Reference like how the Mets are 10-63 in games in which the opposing pitcher homers (should've turned it off right then...at least it wasn't at home, where the Mets are 2-38 when the 'impossible' happens).

But perhaps it makes you feel better to know that the 1973 Mets went through these kinds of stretches too. In fact, one of them involved a trip to LA, where after a 19-inning win (which we'll write up some other time), the club went through a 4-14 skid (including the tail end of a 3-9 road trip), which included one of the worst games known to Metkind.

As bad as its been, thank goodness we haven't had anything resembling June 5, 1973 yet, though maybe we have that to look forward to. Cincinnati was the formidable foe that day and the site of a good pitchers duel between Jerry Koosman and Ross Grimsley.

Jim Fregosi's (ugh) RBI single tied the score, 2-2 in the sixth inning and the game stayed that way through the ninth frame. In the visitors 10th, the Mets had an unlikely offensive explosion, and we say that because they had been shut out in three of the four previous games. They tallied three times off Don Gullett to go ahead 5-2 as Duffy Dyer snapped his own offensive skid with a bases-loaded triple.

Unfortunately for the visiting squad, an ugly, three-rain delay day, was about to get even uglier. Tug McGraw was in to close but for whatever reason, he was supremely ineffective. A walk, single, wild pitch and walk produced one run before any outs were recorded and convinced manager Yogi Berra that, with the lead still 5-3, he'd be better off having righthander Phil Hennigan pitch to Johnny Bench with two runners on base.

Do you need to know what happened next? Bench clocked Hennigan's second pitch for a three-run, game-winning walk-off home run. Yes, that's right. After scoring three runs in the top of the 10th, the Mets gave up four to lose in the bottom of the frame. No wonder New York Times writer Joseph Durso referred to the road trip, one in which the club was plagued by losses of manpower to injuries too, as "calamitous."

That word seems to be a good one to describe my state o' the team at this point. I'm trying to feel better in the knowledge that after that game, the 1973 Mets became, well, the 1973 Mets, and that's a good thing. But when the going's as bad as it is right now, there aren't many reasons to feel good from a baseball perspective. Perhaps I need to walk off (pardon the pun) my frustrations.

The truly Metamitous know...Only three players have had two walk-off HR against the Mets in the same season: Johnny Bench (1973, if you include the postseason), Sammy Sosa (1996), and Jim Edmonds (2000). Both Sosa and Edmonds accomplished the feat within the same series.

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