Skip to main content

Just Catch the Ball Behind Him, and All Will Be Fine

This blog's primary concern regarding the acquisition of Francisco Rodriguez:


This is a man who once lost a game via walk-off when he muffed a return throw from the catcher.

I'm referencing August 11, 2005, a vital game for the Angels and Athletics at the time, since the two were tied for first place.

This was a game in which the Angels had a 4-0 lead after six-and-a-half innings, leaving Angels manager Mike Scioscia comfy enough to pull Paul Byrd (104 pitches) in favor of Brendan Donnelly.

The good feelings didn't last long. Former Met Jay Payton started the rally with a home run on Donnelly's first pitch. That should have been a sign that it wasn't Donnelly's day. By the end of the inning, the score was tied, thanks to an Eric Chavez home run.

The game remained even into the bottom of the ninth, and Scioscia turned to Scot Shields, keeping his closer Rodriguez, who hadn't pitched for five days, ready if needed. His services were required when the Athletics put runners on first and second with one out.

Rodriguez got a force from Bobby Crosby, moving runners to first and third, bringing Eric Chavez up. Crosby advanced to second on defensive indifference, but after Rodriguez's first pitch was called a ball, the newest Met "nonchalantly" (as described by the AP game story) reached for the throw-back from catcher Jose Molina.

The ball glanced off Rodriguez's glove and rolled a few feet away. Jason Kendall, the runner on third, sprinted home and scored the winning run before a throw could even be made home. Some of you may recall this. It's probably the weirdest ending to a baseball game you've seen.

"A 5-year-old could have caught it," Rodriguez said to reporters afterwards. "I should have caught the ball. It's unfortunate that we lost the game like that, but what can you do?"

Well for one thing, you could get Orlando Hudson to back up any throws back to the pitcher when Rodriguez is in the game.

True Metriguez's know...K-Rod was the pitcher who allowed the game-tying inside-the-park home run to Marlon Anderson, the precursor to a walk-off home run by Cliff Floyd in a Mets win over the Angels on June 11, 2005.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mets Top 100 Home Runs: From No. 76 (Alex Ochoa) to No. 80 (Dom Smith)

In 2009, I did a project for my website, Mets Walk-Offs and Other Minutiae, celebrating the best home runs in Mets history. I selected the top 60 regular season home runs and the top 15 postseason home runs. The reason I picked 60 was because it represented the top 1% of home runs in Mets history (and 15 just felt right for postseason, giving us 75 overall).
This was fun to do, but it was imperfect. I had one egregious omission. I tended to favor oddities.
It’s time to give that project an update. And why not do it as a top 100?
The Mets have hit 7,671 regular season home runs. The top 80 represent about the top 1%. And the top 20 postseason home runs get us to an even 100 to celebrate.
Come along for the ride. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the reminiscing. 
Hopefully you’ll find it Amazin’.
80. Dominic Smith’s season-ending walk-off 
(Sept. 29, 2019 vs Braves) True story: I pulled into a parking spot right in front of my apartment as Dominic Smith came to bat. Rather than stay and listen to the ra…

Mets Top 100 Home Runs: From No. 16 (Carl Everett & Bernard Gilkey) to No. 20 (Tommie Agee)

In 2009, I did a project for my website, Mets Walk-Offs and Other Minutiae, celebrating the best home runs in Mets history. I selected the top 60 regular season home runs and the top 15 postseason home runs. The reason I picked 60 was because it represented the top 1% of home runs in Mets history (and 15 just felt right for postseason).
This was fun to do, but it was imperfect. I had one egregious omission. I tended to favor oddities.
It’s time to give that project an update. And why not do it as a top 100?
The Mets have hit 7,671 regular season home runs. The top 80 represent about the top 1%. And the top 20 postseason home runs get us to an even 100 to celebrate.
Come along for the ride. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the reminiscing. Hopefully you’ll find it Amazin’. 


The rest of the list can be found here.


20. Tommie Agee reaches new heights 
(April 10, 1969 vs Expos) Tommie Agee set the tone for a new beginning in the first week of the 1969 season. Agee had a dreadful 1968 that began in spring t…

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 that…