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We'll Get It Wright This Time

Let's just pretend Thursday's game didn't happen...

Things I Learned While Trying to Put David Wright's .465 batting average with the bases loaded into proper perspective

He's Positively Tablerian

Pat Tabler hit .282 in a major league career that spanned 12 seasons and more than 1,200 games. But his biggest value was what he did when the bases were loaded. He was 43-for-88, and even if you factor in his nine sacrifice flies (which batting average doesn't), his numbers are still off-the-charts good. David Wright's .465 is in the Tabler stratosphere (Tabler-Rosa?) and that's pretty impressive. Of course, Wright will never be able to match Tabler's 2-for-2 performance with the bases loaded as a 17-game Met. That's perfection.

He's Not The Best In The Majors, But He's Close Enough

So Taguchi is a .500 hitter with the bases loaded (20-for-40).

Jose Lopez is a .484 hitter with the bases-loaded (15-for-31)

Ichiro is a .473 hitter with the bases loaded (35-for-74)

Ed Kranepool never hit a grand slam

Ed Kranepool is Mr. Met to a lot of people, as he's been a part of the franchise since its first year of existence, and still can regularly be found hanging out in Shea Stadium's luxury suites. Kranepool had 118 home runs among his club record 1,418 hits, yet never, in 1,853 games and 120 bases-loaded plate appearances, hit a grand slam. Not that he was a bad hitter with the bases loaded (33-for-98 with 10 sacrifice flies). He just never hit the ball out of the ballpark in those spots. Of the Mets 120 regular season slams, none belong to Kranepool.

Robin Ventura was an Ace

Robin Ventura hit 5 grand slams for the Mets. Well, actually he hit 6, if you include balls in the postseason that cleared the fence, but didn't count as home runs. So instead, he's one shy of the Mets record for most grand slams, held by Mike Piazza (6), who was a pretty good bases-loaded hitter in his own right (.371 BA, 33-for-89, 3 sacrifice flies for the Mets).

Most Grand Slams
Mets History

Mike Piazza 6
Howard Johnson 5
Kevin McReynolds 5
Robin Ventura 5
John Milner 5

John Olerud was rightfully beloved

John Olrerud was 14-for-27 in his Mets career with the bases loaded. The only better Met in bases-loaded situations (minimum 20 plate appearances) that I could find was Eddie Murray (11-for-20, including an amazing 10-for-15 in the disaster that was 1992), but his hits were not of anywhere the significance of those of Olerud.

Let's just look at Olerud's bases-loaded hits in 1999:

May 23- Two-run walk-off single vs Phillies starter Curt Schilling with two outs in the ninth.

August 1- Two-run game-tying double vs Felix Heredia in sixth inning. Mets win over Cubs in 13 innings.

August 11- Two-run, two-out single vs Carlos Reyes turns 3-run lead into safe 5-run cushion, Mets beat Padres, 12-5

August 22- Grand slam vs Cardinals pitcher Rich Croushore cuts 6-1 eighth-inning deficit to 6-5. Mike Piazza ties game with subsequent homer. Mets win, 8-7 scoring twice in bottom ninth.

September 29- Grand slam vs Braves starter Greg Maddux in fourth-inning extends Mets lead from 4-2 to 8-2. Mets stop malaise with gargantuanly-needed 9-2 win.

That's pretty good.

Bobby Bonilla and Dave Kingman were rightfully despised

Bobby Bonilla was 8-for-40 with 2 sacrifice flies with the bases loaded as a Met.

Dave Kingman was 7-for-45 with 5 sacrifice flies with the bases loaded as a Met.

You would have been better off with Dwight Gooden at the plate (6-for-21, 3 sacrifice flies), or for that matter, with Carlton Willey or Jack Hamilton, the two Mets pitchers to hit grand slams.

Keith Hernandez and Edgardo Alfonzo weren't as good as you'd think

Keith Hernandez hit .278 (15-for-54, 5 sacrifice flies) with the bases loaded for the Mets.

Edgardo Alfonzo hit .260 (19-for-73, 4 sacrifice flies) with the bases loaded for the Mets.

The lesson: One big postseason hit with the bases loaded can trick the memory a bit.

Sacrifice flies should count in batting average

Why does a sacrifice fly not count in batting average? It should. The guy made an out. He wasn't trying to make an out. It was a legitimate at-bat and a hitter should not be rewarded just because it drove in a run.

Not counting sac flies skewers bases-loaded batting averages. For example: Major-league hitters batted .291 with the bases loaded last season. If you counted sacrifice flies at at-bats, that would drop to .261. Not counting sac flies makes hitters look a lot better than they are.

The effect, however, is minimal on David Wright. His 5 sacrifice flies drop his batting average with the bases loaded to .417. I'll still take that any day of the week.

Leaving The Bases Loaded to End a 1-Run Game Sucks

When I was doing that series of stories on Mets frustration, I actually went through Baseball Reference's play index tool, and did a year-by-year check to find how many times the last out(s) of a Mets 1-run loss came with the bases loaded. By my count, it has happened 35 times in the regular season. We'll spare you the details

Leaving The Bases Loaded To End Game 7 of a Postseason Sucks (even when you lose by 2 runs)

No further comment needed.

Comments

Mr. Sac Fly himself, Bobby Bonilla, couldn't manage it with the bases loaded. Man ...

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