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One Metsmerizing Win

Well, you don't see that one every day, as far as victories go.

Nor do you see a 7-foot Mets fan, or folks wearing jerseys or t-shirts saluting Todd Zeile, Ty Wigginton, a Pena (maybe Alejandro?), a Taylor (guessing not Sammy, maybe Billy?), Tom Glavine (almost as disturbing as the four Yankee-attire clad fans who graced the seats in front of us for 2 innings), and Jay Payton, but all figured into my Saturday viewing experience at Shea. It was one in which I uttered "Carlos Beltran has 4 home runs in May...awful!" and "Fernando Tatis can't get around on 97 miles-per-hour" in a successful reverse-jinxing effort.

I had the chance to meet Metstradamus (sporting the Zeile attire) for the first time, and we debated which one of us was more "honored" to be in the presence of the other (he is to Photoshop what I am to Minutiae), chatted about obscure jerseys (Eric Gunderson vs Doug Simons) with his game guest (Greg from Faith and Fear), talked trivia (1991 Braves who were 1986 Mets), and pondered the identity of anonymous bloggers.

On the subway home, I saw the 7-footer, whom I sat across from on the train ride to Flushing, from a distance. His friend had been inside CitiField and said it was awesome, though the 7-footer noted with pride that he would always consider Shea Stadium "My Dump."

I also had the chance to have an extended conversation with Brian (donning Wigginton), the series preview writer for the website, Metsmerized, (his pieces contain some meaningful minutiae) and members of his family, with whom we carried on an extended conversation about the Mets and other baseball doings.

It is to him and Greg that I'll combine the naming of what we witnessed game-wise. Let us refer to the combination of events as a "Metsmerizing Walk-Up Win."

A "Metsmerizing Walk-Up Win meets the following criteria
* The Mets take the lead in the bottom of the 8th inning (a "walk-up" scenario)
* The Mets reliever earns the save by striking out the side in the top of the 9th inning (a "Metsmerizing" performance)

Granted, this rules out a lot of possibilities which could be included (we're punishing the starter who K's the side in the 9th in the same situation, as well as the reliever who gets the win, finishing by striking out the side in the 9th), but such an inclusion would make this a lot harder to look up. As it is, I have to sort through 103 games on Baseball-Reference.com just by using my rules.

So, for the record, the Mets have had 5 "Metsmerizing Walk-Up Wins." We add Saturday to this list.

September 19, 2006- Mets 3, Marlins 2
Lastings Milledge and Michael Tucker spark the Mets from a 2-1 eighth-inning deficit with RBI hits. Billy Wagner allows one hit (not against the rules), but fans the side in the ninth to close it.

April 25, 2002- Mets 7, Cardinals 6
The last home run in the illustrious career of Mark Johnson (who hit .137 that season) was a good one, as it put the Mets ahead, 7-6. Armando Benitez needed only 15 pitches to strike out J.D. Drew, Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds in succession to earn a rather impressive save.

September 13, 1996- Mets 6, Braves 4
Rey Ordonez and Lance Johnson snap a 4-4 tie with RBI hits in the home eighth, and Derek Wallace follows that up with one of the most Metmorable efforts in club history. He struck out the side, plus-one, as a passed ball netted Wallace a four-whiff inning. It wasn't easy. Wallace struck out Ryan Klesko and Mike Mordecai with runners on 2nd and 3rd to close the game.

September 15, 1975- Mets 3, Expos 2
Mike Vail provides the winning hit in the last game of his 23-game hitting streak and Skip Lockwood mows down Montreal in the 9th (Brian's favorite Met, Gary Carter, was one of the whiffers) to finish it off.

The Truly Metsmerized know...That we should give the Mets video folks kudos. Rather than digging up footage from the May 31, 1964 23-inning clash with the Giants (a game my dad attended, but left a few innings before conclusion), they took the time during one inning break to show rare footage of a Chris Jones walk-off home run against the Padres on May 31, 1995.

Comments

birtelcom said…
Although Reyes has a ways to go to catch Olerud in the consecutive games on base streak category, if you check out the Play Index for times on base streaks in games played in the leadoff spot, Reyes just broke the Mets record in that (specialized) category. The former record holder was, of all people,Benny Agbayani!! Bobby Valentine only put Benny in the leadoff spot intermittently, but in each of the last three games in which Benny did bat leadoff in 2000,plus the first 27 that he was hitting leadoff in 2001, he managed to get on base at least once, for a thirty game streak.
-birtelcom, from metaforian.blogspot/com

12:07 PM
I truly hope the Mets pull thru because Willie's gettin a real raw deal. See my take on the situation.

http://egcanes.blogspot.com/2008/06/plantation-at-shea.html
Binny said…
I'd throw in an honorable mention to this memorable 1999 game:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN199907040.shtml

It just misses the rules, the runs coming in the 7th, but given the circumstances - national TV, bitter rival, clutcher-than-clutch homer off Smoltz, on a holiday! - it could definitely be called "Metsmerizing."

The truly Metserized know... The Met who whiffed three Braves to end it was Armando Benitez, in his first opportunity as the official Met closer, what with John Franco having been injured earlier in the series, losing a job he would never once again have.
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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 t