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Throw Me Out of the Ballgame

With the great help of Washington Nationals official scorer David Vincent (author of the recently published book Home Run: The Definitive History of Baseball's Ultimate Weapon) , who maintains an ejections database begun by the late Doug Pappas, I have been able to determine the following:

* Saturday was the 9th time in which a Met (either a player/coach/manager) was ejected from what turned out to be a Mets walk-off win.

* It was the first such occurrence since September 1, 1996, when John Franco was ejected and the Mets beat the Giants, 6-5 in 10 innings on a walk-off fielder's choice by Carl Everett.

* It was the first game in which a Mets position player was ejected from an eventual Mets walk-off win since May 11, 1996, in which a brawl between the Mets and Cubs resulted in Todd Hundley's departure (as well as that of John Franco, Pete Harnisch, Blas Minor, and coach, Steve Swisher). The Mets went on to win on Rico Brogna's 9th-inning home run.

* This was the first time in Mets history in which the replacement for an ejected player either scored or drove in the winning run in a Mets walk-off win (congratulations, Ramon Castro!). Two examples fall under the "close, but not quite" category.

The first is a game against the Pirates from August 21, 1962, in which first base coach Solly Hemus is ejected for arguing and subsequently replaced in his position by Marv Throneberry, a reserve that day. With the Mets down two runs with two on and two out in the 9th inning, Casey Stengel needed a pinch-hitter and called on Throneberry, who came through marvelously with a 3-run walk-off home run off Elroy Face.

The other is a game against the Braves from August 8, 1967. Leading hitter Tommy Davis was ejected (for arguing a third-strike call against a teammate) in the 8th inning with the Mets trailing 2-0. Forced into making a move, manager Wes Westrum double-switched, putting pitcher Hal Reniff into the cleanup spot vacated by Davis. In the 9th, when that turn came up, Ed Kranepool pinch-hit and plated the Mets first run with a single. He then scored the tying run with two outs on a hit by Ed Charles, and the Mets subsequently won in the 11th when Bob Johnson homered off Jay Ritchie.

* 1996 was quite a year for the ejection/walk-off combination. The Mets had four walk-off wins that season in which someone from the team was ejected from the game.

The strangest took place on July 30, when both manager Dallas Green and coach Bobby Wine were tossed during the exchange of lineup cards prior to the second game of a doubleheader against the Pirates. The reason given in the next day's newspapers was that umpire Joe West was annoyed at Wine's delay in bringing out the lineup.

As a result, both missed a rather exciting contest, the conclusion of a doubleheader sweep (new acquisition Carlos Baerga got the winning hit in the first game). Trailing 3-2 in the 9th inning, the Mets tied the score on an RBI single by Alvaro Espinoza (also acquired in the Baerga trade) off Dan Plesac, then won the game in the 12th inning on Todd Hundley's home run off rookie reliever Jon Lieber.


Stormy said…
Another amazing entry. Unreal nuggets.

I caught David Vincent on XM's baseball channel. His book sounds very interesting.

When can we expect the Essential Guide to Mets Walk-Offs, Volume 1, to hit Barnes & Noble?
metswalkoffs said…
Find me a publisher!!

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