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Showing posts from May 27, 2007

Our Special Bonds: Ownership (Questions)

So after the nice reaction I got to my Barry Bonds trivia quiz, it struck me that I should make this a quasi-regular blog feature in the mold of "Best Games I Know" and "Didja Ever Notice?"

With that in mind, I went looking for a topic that I could make both educational and enjoyable. I found it in the subject of "Ownership."

I'm not talking about the kind that involves the Paysons or Wilpons. My subject is more related to something I wrote about not long ago- the idea of "Metskilledya" as it relates to the individual player.

Metskilledya- Of or relating to the idea of one being dominated by the Mets.

Origin of the word: Latvian Orthodox. Derived from the Seinfeldian "Cantstandya."

Alternate pronunciations: None, though you can give it an extra-nasal inflection, if you like.

Use in a sentence: "Darold Knowles, he of 1973 World Series heroics, came down with a case of Metskilledya later in his career, blowing saves in 4 consecutive …

Ready, Willingham, and Able

Let's take a look at Billy Wagner, shall we, and let's harken back to August 2, 2006. I pick that as the starting point because on August 1, Wagner did something he hasn't done in a long time.

He blew a save. He lost the game too, allowing a 2-run walk-off home run to Marlins outfielder Josh Willingham.

There would be full-circle payback in that Willingham was the final out of the division-clinching game. It appears as well that Wagner received a kryptonite-protecting shield, ensuring he would not be blowing any ball games in the near future.

Since that defeat, Mr. Wagner's regular-season (and yes, we're going to convienently ignore one game from the NLCS) statistics are as follows.

46 appearances
0 wins
0 losses
31 saves
0 blown saves
1.53 ERA
47 innings
41 hits
9 runs allowed
8 earned runs allowed
62 strikeouts
9 walks

Wagner has converted the tough saves. He's converted the easy ones. And most importantly, he's been angst-free. In those 31 save chances, his ERA is a pal…

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know

Continuing from Tuesday...

* The Mets are now 4-0 in walk-off games this season. So I went back and looked. When's the last time that the Mets started 4-0 or better in walk-offs?

Mets 4-0 or Better In Walk-Off Games
To Start Season

1966 5-0
1985 5-0
1988 5-0
1962 4-0 (!)
1972 4-0
1998 4-0
2007 4-0

* The last 3 Mets walk-off RBI this season have come from Carlos Delgado. It's the first time in Mets history that a player has had the walk-off RBI in a string of 3 consecutive walk-off wins, in a single season. Bobby Bonilla once had 3 straight walk-off walk-off RBI for the Mets, but they were spaced out over 2 seasons (1992-93)

* By my count, it was the 110th walk-off HR in Mets history (including postseason). The last 4 have been hit by Mets named Carlos (Beltran and Delgado, 2 each). They're the only Carlos's in Mets history to hit a walk-off HR, so they're waiting for help from Carlos Gomez to make this list:

Most Common First Name To Hit Walk-Off HR
Mets History
Tom/Tommie/Tommy …

What About Bob?

Let's get this out of the way first, because I know someone will ask. The Mets have never won a game on a walk-off balk. And they still haven't, though I suppose that the balk(s) were more significant than anything else that happened in the 12th inning on Tuesday. But if you want to read an amazing coincidence involving balks, Bob's and walk-offs, make sure you read this whole posting.

* Documented walk-off win #345 was the Mets 4th walk-off win of the season and their first since the 5-run 9th inning against the Cubs on May 17.

* It was the Mets first walk-off home run since Carlos Beltran's against the Cardinals on August 22, 2006. It was Delgado's 3rd walk-off RBI (and 2nd walk-off hit) of the season and 4th walk-off RBI of his Mets career. The last 3 Mets walk-off wins have all ended with a Delgado walk-off RBI.

* It was Carlos Delgado's 5th career walk-off HR, his 2nd as a Met (the other was a HR against the Pirates on May 3, 2006). It was his 9th career walk…

We've Met Bonds Before (Questions)

I'm in the mood for some minutiae and Barry Bonds is coming to town, so why not combine the two into a little 10-question (AFLAC level: advanced) trivia quiz. There is a posting at the link listed below with the answers to these queries, so it won't spoil the fun of pondering.

http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2007/05/weve-met-bonds-before-answers.html

I'm not awarding any prizes for success, but am curious to hear how you fared. Good luck!

1- Barry Bonds was ready to go when he made his MLB debut on May 30, 1986. Which future Met did Bonds face in his first major-league at-bat (he popped out to shortstop)? My hint (the 2nd one for careful readers) would be that he was the pitcher in an important Mets game against the Pirates, one that didn't involve Barry Bonds.


Bonus: Which future Met was the Pirates No. 2 batter that day?


2- Barry Bonds has one walk-off RBI against the Mets, which came on September 5, 1990. A very weird-looking pitcher (some might say "ugly") pi…

We've Met Bonds Before (Answers)

Without further ado, the answers to the questions posed here:

http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2007/05/weve-met-bonds-before-questions.html

1- From the rooftops, shout it out, that the first pitcher that Barry Bonds faced in the majors was Orel Hershiser. Bonds went 0-for-5 that day. His first hit came the next day against Rick Honeycutt, who has no Mets connection and is thus rendered irrelevant.

Bonus: Joe Orsulak batted second and went 0-for-3 that day, so the Pirates table-setters didn't exactly have a good day in that contest.

2- On September 5, 1990, Barry Bonds had a walk-off hit against John Franco, making GEICO caveman lookalike (others have said far worse, I'm sure he's a good person...) Zane Smith a victor against the Mets. Another lefty, Neal Heaton, beat the Mets in the second game of that day's doubleheader, one pivotal to the NL East race that season.

Bonus: Bobby Bonds, then with the Giants, had a walk-off hit against Tug McGraw on August 11, 1973, pre-datin…

Our Special Bonds

If I had to pick a way for the Mets to win a game in this upcoming series against the Giants, it would, of course, be for them to get a walk-off win, but it would be even better if they were to do so when trailing entering their final at-bat.

I say that not just because this has been a relatively angst-free season thusfar, and I'm looking to stir the pot a bit, nor am I saying it because it's my father's favorite way for the Mets to win a game (see 1999 NLCS Game 5).

I say this because I noticed a trend when studying the Mets walk-off wins in which Barry Bonds has played. They've had an unusual penchant for snatching victory from would-be defeat.

I counted four instances of said scenario, in which a Bonds-led team went from victor to walk-off victim against the Mets.

June 7, 1987: Bonds went 1-for-5 in the opener of a doubleheader, one in which Andy Van Slyke's go-ahead home run in the 10th inning was wiped out by Lee Mazilli's 2-run win-clinching double in the bot…