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Showing posts from June 22, 2008

Designated For Assignment

Walking along the East 80s upon returning from Friday evening's debacle, I saw a group in front of us, likely slightly inebriated, trying to have a little fun at the expense of passerby.

They'd pick women walking in the opposite direction, offer them a high-five, Borat-style, then pull the hand away at the last moment.

It was funny the first time, not so much the fifth.

It was kind of like what the Mets did to their fans on Friday. They offered a high-five in the afternoon, than pulled it away when evening came.

But any day in which you can expunge Dave Kingman's name from the record books is good, I suppose. Though I would say that the best thing about this Mets-Yankees double-dip is that it proved that Carlos Delgado's best position is DH.

Delgado on Friday...

* Passed Dave Kingman on the all-time home run list (Delgado's 444 are two better than Kingman for 34th all-time)

* Broke Dave Kingman's 32-year-old club record for RBI in a game (8).

Most RBI in Game
Mets Histo…

Maddox about You

The Mets are not the only team to have won by walk-off at Shea Stadium.

Yes, during the two years from 1974 to 1975 that the other New York team called Shea Stadium home, they had their share of walk-off wins.

Only one player has had a walk-off hit, both for the Mets and the Yankees, at Shea Stadium.

That would be Elliott Maddox.

Maddox had a lengthy enough career to have had walk-off hits in Detroit, Washington DC, Texas, and New York.

While the 1974 Mets were not particularly interesting, the 1974 Yankees were legitimate contenders. In fact, they took the division race down to the final week of the season.

September 25, 1974 was quite the day for walk-offs, as it turned out. There were three that had major implications, including the one in New York, between the Yankees and Red Sox. And all three had a Mets connection.

Maddox snapped a scoreless tie in the 10th inning, with a walk-off single, plating former Met Sandy Alomar Sr. with the winning run.

That would have been enough to vault the …

Everything is All Wright After All

So apparently the Mike Myers film festival did David Wright some good, eh?

* David Wright's 11th career multi-homer game was the 306th multi-homer game in Mets history. Wright is now halfway to Darryl Strawberry's club record for multi-homer games.

Most Multi-HR Games
Mets History

22-Darryl Strawberry
17-Mike Piazza
16-Dave Kingman
11-David Wright
11-Carlos Beltran
10-Kevin McReynolds
10-Bobby Bonilla

* It was also the 9th time that David Wright had a multi-homer game at Shea Stadium. He's closing in on Darryl Strawberry's Shea record

Most Multi-HR Games
For Mets at Shea Stadium

11-Darryl Strawberry
9-David Wright
6-Gary Carter
5-Mike Piazza
5-Todd Hundley
5-Dave Kingman
5-Bobby Bonilla

Truly Multimet fans know... Willie McCovey has the mark for most multi-homer games against the Mets, with 8.

Most Multi-HR Games vs Mets
8-Willie McCovey
6-Willie Mays
5-Dave Kingman
5-Chipper Jones
5-Dick Allen

Wheels On

The Rays have a pitcher that the Mets sure miss.

No, I'm not talking about Scott Kazmir. I'm actually referring to Dan Wheeler.

This isn't a first-guess, second-guess, third-guess, or fourth-guess. When Wheeler was with the Mets in 2003-2004, he wasn't quite of Tidrow List caliber, but he didn't exactly bring back memories of Turk Wendell either. Basically he was average and has been so for a long time.

Until this season.

I don't know what kind of value you place in "holds" (in summary: reliever who enters in a save scenario, gets outs, leaves with save scenario still in place), but it might interest you to know that Dan Wheeler is the AL leader in holds, having picked up his 18th on Thursday night.

Wheeler has been vintage Wendell for the Rays over the last month. Check out these numbers:

Since May 20

14 Games
12 Innings
1 Run
8 Hits
1 Extra-Base Hit
.186 Opponents Batting Average
7 Holds
0.75 ERA

In the past 8 days, Wheeler has come into a game with a one-run lead…

Truly Benitezian

What a great win Tuesday night.

I'm talking about for the Rays, of course, who stole another one, taking the lead from the Marlins for good on a pair of bases-loaded, two-out, 3-2 count, walks in the eighth inning, and hanging on through a Benitezian ninth inning by Troy Percival, in which the closer was bailed out by fantastic defense (an interesting concept that the Mets haven't employed in 2008) from third baseman Evan Longoria and second baseman Akinori Iwamura. Tuesday was filled with dicey saves and this one may have been the diciest of them all.

I call the performance Benitezian because it was the kind of save that was literally invented by former Mets closer Armando Benitez. It requires pitching an inning or less, while walking at least four batters.

In the history of the save rule, it's a save so dangerous that only three pitchers have done it. Ryan Dempster and than Percival followed Benitez's lead.

The first occurrence of the Benitezian save took place on Septem…

Maybe Some Laughter Will Make Everything All Wright

So David Wright is scheduled to get the evening off, for the first time all season.

Hopefully David had a little fun today. My hope is that he went to see The Love Guru and yes, I'm aware that it's the most critically ripped movie, perhaps of this decade. But there's a reason David should be at the cinema today.

He loves Mike Myers.

David Wright is 2-for-2 in his career against Mike Myers and both of his hits were home runs.

After watching that movie (perhaps he should rent Wayne's World or Austin Powers instead), perhaps Wright should go to the Shea film room and pull out some video, maybe even consult with his favorite guru, Howard Johnson, who went through plenty of funks in his Mets career. Maybe he'll see that he's pressing, that he's trying to hit his first career walk-off home run, every time he's at-bat.

Wright started off the season like gangbusters, hitting .359 with 10 doubles and 19 RBI in the Mets first 17 games. Since then, he's hitting jus…

Felix the Splat

* Monday marked the 78th time that a pitcher hit a home run against the Mets in regular season play (74 games, with 4 pitchers hitting 2 in a game) and the 6th time that a pitcher hit a grand slam against the Mets. It was the first home run against the Mets since Hong Chih Kuo's on June 12, 2007.

* The Mets have been outhomered by opposing pitchers in regular season play, 78-46. This may have something to do with the fact that it's been nearly 12 years since a Mets pitcher homered ON THE ROAD.

* Felix Hernandez is the first pitcher to hit a grand slam against the Mets since Dontrelle Willis in 2006. That also marks the last time an opposing pitcher homered at Shea Stadium.

* Hernandez came one RBI shy of the record for most RBI by a pitcher in a game against the Mets. The record of 5 is shared by Milt Pappas (1972) and Tony Cloninger (1966).

* You could have shut the game off right then...Only twice has an opposing pitcher homered at Shea/the Polo Grounds, then had his team lose t…

Equal Time For the Other Leadoff Hitter

* Jose Reyes needs 2 triples to tie Mookie Wilson for most triples in Mets history. Reyes presently has 60 triples.

* Jose Reyes has tripled in consecutive games. It's the 29th time in Mets history that a player has tripled in consecutive games, and the second time that Reyes has done that. No Met has ever tripled in three straight games.

Most Times Tripling in Consecutive Games
Mets History

2-Jose Reyes
2-Mookie Wilson
2-Ted Martinez
2-Cleon Jones

* The Mets are 42-14 all-time in regular-season games in which Jose Reyes hits a triple.

* The Mets are 6-1 all-time when Jose Reyes, as the Mets first batter of the game, hits a triple.

* In this 9-game stretch in which the Mets are 6-3, Jose Reyes is 6-for-8 with a walk, as the Mets first batter of the game.

* Among the regular players, Jose Reyes currently has the Mets best batting average with runners in scoring position and 2 outs. He's 7-for-22 with 8 walks, good for a .318 average.

* If, in 2008 Jose Reyes gets ahead in the count, 1-0, h…

Drive a Suzuki

The most prolific batsman of the 21st century is coming to Shea Stadium with a flaw in his game, and it's one that he won't be able to fix in the next couple of days.

Ichiro Suzuki, he of nearly 1,700 career major-league hits, has not had a walk-off hit since coming to the United States.

Every active major leaguer with at least as many hits as Ichiro has had a walk-off hit at some point in his career.

Breaking this down further via Baseball-Reference.com, I took a look at every walk-off chance that Ichiro has had in his career.

* He's had 19 career regular season plate appearances in the bottom of the 9th inning, with the score tied.

In those 19, he is 4-for-13, but more notably, he has 6 intentional walks. That's an indication that opponents are so fearful of his capabilities, that they won't give him a chance to get a walk-off hit.

* He had 33 plate appearances in the bottom of extra innings with the score tied.

In those 33, he is 13-for-27 with 3 walks and 3 sacrifice …

A Very Solid Book

One of my favorite non-sports books is One More Time, a collection of columns by the late Chicago newspaper columnist, Mike Royko.

Royko was a huge Cubs fan, and dabbled in writing about baseball from time to time, mostly lamenting about how miserable the Cubs were.

One column, not in that book, but in The Fireside Book of Baseball, Volume IV, is a review of the Keith Hernandez book, "If At First," the updated version which includes "the exclusive inside story of the 1986 Championship Season."

Needless to say, Royko was quite unhappy to receive this book and it served as fodder for a hillarious column. The piece was called "A Very Solid Book."

To pay tribute, I've tinkered with his wording slightly, to share my own story about a book I hope never to receive.
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A colleague brought to my attention a new hardcover book that had just come out. I seldom review books in this blog. But in this case, I'm going to make an exception.

The book is called "Liv…