Skip to main content

Are They Pressing? No 'Kid'ding

With all the hubbub the last few days regarding the inabilities of Msrs Bonds and Rodriguez to hit a milestone home run, I became reminded of something similar from Mets history.

I'm referring to Gary Carter's pursuit of 300 home runs, a story that is one of the most painful I can remember in my life as a Mets fan.

On May 16, 1988, Carter hit his 299th career home run, in San Diego. Little did anyone know then that his 300th would not come until nearly three months later.

During the 64-game stretch that followed Gary Carter went from a solid batsman, one hitting .284 and slugging .550 with 8 home runs in 31 games, to a psyched-out, horribly mediocre hitter, one who hit .237 with 15 RBI, and treated balls hit to the warning track as if they were major events. It was so blatantly obvious that Carter was pressing that it became hard to watch his at-bats. And yet, he was still selected by fans to be the NL's starting catcher in the All-Star Game. In a column by Joe Durso, that July 8th, Carter talked about the pressure of hitting 300 and said the following

''It's become somewhat of an albatross, now that everybody's talking about it. But it gets magnified greatly by the media. When I hit number 300, will people hold up signs in the stands asking when I'll hit number 301? ... 'But if I was scouting myself, I'd say: He's in a slump. That's all. Not in a decline. I'm in a slump. ''In May, when we came back from the West Coast at the end of the month, I was still batting .295. By then, I'd hit number 299 in San Diego and wanted very badly to hit the next one here for the home fans. Now, it doesn't matter where I hit it.''

Where turned out to be in Chicago, on August 11th, a well-remembered game from that season, with Carter's 300th coming in the second inning, snapping the 225-at-bat drought against Al Nipper (whom he homered against twice in the 1986 World Series). The wind was blowing out that day and that might have helped the cause for Carter, who clubbed what I recall to be a no doubter to left field.

''I feel as though a weight has been lifted off me," Carter told the media afterwards, though that proved not to be true (following the homer, he hit .207 with 2 home runs the rest of the season).

The one thing that it did do though was to lift a weight off a team that, while greatly resembling its predecessor from two seasons ago, seemed to be missing a little bit of that needed magical spark. With the Mets trailing by a run in the ninth inning, Kevin McReynolds hit a dramatic two-out grand slam off Goose Gossage to put the Mets ahead for good. Including that game, the Mets went 33-14 to close 1988, including a win against the Pirates on September 12, a game Carter won with career home run #302, a walk-off home run.

True Metkids know...Barry Bonds has hit career home runs # 2, 17, 18, 39, 40, 60, 95, 156, 157, 174, 175, 176, 180, 182, 183, 201, 202, 229, 244, 252, 253, 265, 268, 286, 327, 401, 428, 456, 509, 550, 578, 624, 649, 650, 693, 710, 711, and 745 against the Mets.

Also of note: The Mets went through a July without a walk-off win for the first time since the 2000 season.


Popular posts from this blog

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls Profess

Best Games I Know: Phillies (Updated)

  The best wins against the Phillies in Mets history …   May 5, 2022 – Mets 8, Phillies 7 The Mets score 7 runs in the 9 th inning to overcome a 7-1 deficit and win in Philadelphia.   April 29, 2022 – Mets 3, Phillies 0 Tylor Megill and 4 Mets relievers combine on the second no-hitter in franchise history.   September 22, 2016 – Mets 9, Phillies 8 (11) The Mets tie it in the 9 th on a Jose Reyes home run and win it in the 11 th on a 3-run home run by Asdrubal Cabrera.   July 17, 2016 - Mets 5, Phillies 0 Jacob deGrom pitches a one-hitter. Only hit is a single by Zach Eflin in the 5 th inning.   August 24, 2015 – Mets 16, Phillies 7 David Wright homers in his first at-bat in more than 4 months. The Mets hit a team-record 8 home runs.   July 5, 2012 – Mets 6, Phillies 5 The Mets score 2 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9 th to beat Jonathan Papelbon. The winning run scores on David Wright’s bloop down the right field line.   August 13

The best Mets ejections I know

When you think of the Mets and famous ejections, I'm guessing you first think of the famous Bobby Valentine mustache game, when after Valentine got tossed, he returned to the dugout in disguise. You know it. You love it. I remember being amused when I asked Bobby V about it while we were working on Baseball Tonight, how he simply said "It worked. We won the game." (true) But the Bobby V mustache game of June 9, 1999 is one of many, many memorable Mets ejection stories. And now thanks to Retrosheet and the magic of , we have a convenient means for being able to share them. Ever since Retrosheet's David Smith recently announced that the Retrosheet ejection database was posted online , I've been a kid in a candy store. I've organized the data and done some lookups of media coverage around the games that interested me post. Those newspaper accounts fill in a lot of blanks. Without further ado (and with more work to do), here are some of my findings