Skip to main content

All's Well and Merry for El Duque

It would have been interesting to have had Tom Seaver in the booth on Tuesday night because when Orlando Hernandez stole second base, Seaver, as was noted, might have realized that his club record for stolen bases by a pitcher (4) was being closely approached.

It would have required a good memory from Seaver for him to have realized that he, like Hernandez, once stole a base in consecutive games, an extraordinary accomplishment for a pitcher. It happened in the 8th and 9th games of his Hall of Fame career, and wouldn't you know it, there was a walk-off involved.

The first such pilfer was a rather daring maneuver, one that came in the 8th inning of a 3-3 tie with the Braves. A Hank Aaron home run didn't faze Seaver, who was solid on both sides of the field. The Met moundsman was 3-for-3 with two RBI and his swipe of second gave Al Luplow a chance to put the Mets ahead, but his line drive to center was snared, ending the threat.

The score remained tied until the 9th when Seaver had the misfortune to face, of all people, Joe Torre, leading off the inning. Torre, a respectable .280 hitter against Seaver for his career, clubbed a walk-off home run to beat Seaver and the Mets, 4-3, the second defeat of Seaver's career.

The once and future ace of the Mets was referred to by the New York Times as the club's "Frank Merriwell" after the fictional crime-solving Yalie who, according to Wikipedia was "the model for all later American juvenile sports fiction." He would be as worthy of that moniker the next time out. He again went the distance, this time against the defending NL champion Dodgers, and earned the victory. Seaver's steal of second in the third inning didn't help matters, as again the Mets couldn't bring him in, but he again had an RBI and the theft gave him the club lead in basepilfers with two(!).

Admittedly Seaver was rather spry in those two games and the news media was quite impressed. However, we're more intrigued by El Duque's feat, particularly when you consider this. When Seaver had these stolen bases, he was 22 years old and particularly nimble. Hernandez, for all we know, may be twice that age. I wonder if Frank Merriwell was that sharp at that age.

True Metriwells know...The other rarity from Tuesday was a Shawn Green sacrifice, his first since a July 5, 1998 game against the Devil Rays. Green's bunt came in the 8th inning of a 1-1 tie and set the stage for a go-ahead, walk-up single by former Met Tony Fernandez.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mets Top 100 Home Runs: From No. 76 (Alex Ochoa) to No. 80 (Dom Smith)

In 2009, I did a project for my website, Mets Walk-Offs and Other Minutiae, celebrating the best home runs in Mets history. I selected the top 60 regular season home runs and the top 15 postseason home runs. The reason I picked 60 was because it represented the top 1% of home runs in Mets history (and 15 just felt right for postseason, giving us 75 overall).
This was fun to do, but it was imperfect. I had one egregious omission. I tended to favor oddities.
It’s time to give that project an update. And why not do it as a top 100?
The Mets have hit 7,671 regular season home runs. The top 80 represent about the top 1%. And the top 20 postseason home runs get us to an even 100 to celebrate.
Come along for the ride. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the reminiscing. 
Hopefully you’ll find it Amazin’.
80. Dominic Smith’s season-ending walk-off 
(Sept. 29, 2019 vs Braves) True story: I pulled into a parking spot right in front of my apartment as Dominic Smith came to bat. Rather than stay and listen to the ra…

Mets Top 100 Home Runs: From No. 16 (Carl Everett & Bernard Gilkey) to No. 20 (Tommie Agee)

In 2009, I did a project for my website, Mets Walk-Offs and Other Minutiae, celebrating the best home runs in Mets history. I selected the top 60 regular season home runs and the top 15 postseason home runs. The reason I picked 60 was because it represented the top 1% of home runs in Mets history (and 15 just felt right for postseason).
This was fun to do, but it was imperfect. I had one egregious omission. I tended to favor oddities.
It’s time to give that project an update. And why not do it as a top 100?
The Mets have hit 7,671 regular season home runs. The top 80 represent about the top 1%. And the top 20 postseason home runs get us to an even 100 to celebrate.
Come along for the ride. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the reminiscing. Hopefully you’ll find it Amazin’. 


The rest of the list can be found here.


20. Tommie Agee reaches new heights 
(April 10, 1969 vs Expos) Tommie Agee set the tone for a new beginning in the first week of the 1969 season. Agee had a dreadful 1968 that began in spring t…

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 that…