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Church on Friday

And then suddenly, we had something to write about...

New acquisitions Ryan Church and Brian Schneider have one walk-off RBI apiece, so there's not much to work with there. I'm more concerned at this point, with their abilities in the field of walk-off defense.

I can forgive Church for his adoration of Chipper Jones (his favorite player, while growing up in California), so long as he plays with the same kind of intensity, but a little less recklessness than he did on June 22, 2005. That day, both he and Schneider had RBI hits, and Schneider's bloop actually scored Church to give the Nationals a 5-4 lead over the Pirates in the eighth inning.

With two outs in the ninth inning, Humberto Cota faced Chad Cordero and crushed a 1-2 offering to left field. Church retreated, crashed into the fence and made a fantastic homer-robbing catch to end the game.

``That won the ballgame right there.'' Expos manager Frank Robinson told the media afterwards regarding the catch, giving us a new category of walk-offs- the walk-off webgem, but it came with a price.

Unfortunately, Church was not able to simply walk-off. The catch left him wounded, and he spent the next three weeks on the disabled list with an injured rib cage. He hit .231 with 2 home runs in 45 games after returning, a sharp decline from the .325 he was hitting pre-walk-off. The Mets hope they got the guy that crashed into the fence, not the one that emerged for the next few months afterwards.

True Metchs know...Ryan Church has the 3rd-highest BA among active players at Shea Stadium, for those with a minimum of 50 AB there. He's 17-for-50 at Shea and his .340 trails only Hideki Matsui (.420) and Albert Pujols (.354).









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