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Shades of Grey

Today is the 13th anniversary of a Mets walk-off win for which I was in attendance, so I shall reminisce.

The highlight of the 1995 season was the Mets finally dumping Bobby Bonilla. Their on-the-field highlight may have been this game, a fun one between the Mets and Pirates, otherwise inconsequential to any pennant race.

What do I remember about myself from 1995? That was the year I began an internship at a local newspaper and became sports director of my college campus radio station (91.3 FM, WTSR, Trenton, "Open Your Mind"). I also remember being prematurely grey. Anytime this then 20-year-old got a haircut, there would be snips of white in between the black strands. It's not a significant issue now though. I guess I was a nervous youngster.

Much like the game we remembered on Monday, this too was a pitcher's duel, though there would be no complete game for Bret Saberhagen or Denny Neagle. As it turned out, it was Saberhagen's final appearance as a Met, as he too would be dumped in trade to the Rockies two days later for Juan Acevedo, and a player whose name came up on a Mets telecast the other day, Arnold Gooch.

Saberhagen made 59 starts for the Mets, most of which were good ones, and this would rank as a solid effort. In eight innings, he did not allow a run and surrendered only three hits.

Neagle matched Saberhagen for the first seven frames and the Mets were happy to see him disappear for a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth. The Mets would take a 1-0 lead on Jason Christiansen's watch in the bottom half on Carl Everett's RBI single.

Dallas Green opted to let John Franco close rather than let Saberhagen finish and that looked like a good decision for the first two outs of the top of the ninth. But Franco specialized in the ill-timed rally at this stage of his Mets career, so it wasn't that big a shock when Steve Pegues singled and was promptly doubled home by Nelson Liriano, tying the score, 1-1.

The home ninth didn't last long, as the Pirates paraded southpaw Ross Powell to the mound. Dallas Green countered with pinch-hitting specialist Chris Jones, and with one whack, the game ended on a walk-off home run.

"That's the way Mets baseball is, a little drama," Manager Dallas Green told the media afterwards. "That's why I've got this white hair."

Me too.

The truly grey Mets fan knows...Chris Jones had more walk-off hits for the Mets (5) then, among others, Keith Hernandez (4), Mike Piazza (4), and Edgardo Alfonzo (3).

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