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Showing posts from August 10, 2008

Some 'Friend'ly Trivia

I will admit to being as surprised as Gary Cohen that the answer to Friday's trivia question (Which Pirates pitcher has the most wins against the Mets?) was former Met Bob Friend?

As a public service to those who seek better trivia expertise, I offer an updated list for each NL team as to which pitchers have the most wins against the Mets.

Most Wins vs Mets

Astros- Larry Dierker, 14
Braves- Phil Niekro, 25
Brewers- Ben Sheets, 4
Cardinals- Bob Gibson, 28
Cubs- Greg Maddux and Ferguson Jenkins, 16
Diamondbacks- Randy Johnson, 6
Dodgers- Don Drysdale, 24
Giants- Juan Marichal, 26
Marlins- Dontrelle Willis, 11
Nationals- Steve Rogers, 15
Padres- Bruce Hurst, 9
Phillies- Steve Carlton, 20
Pirates- Bob Friend, 14
Reds- Jim Maloney, 19
Rockies- Steve Reed and Curt Leskanic, 5

Equal opportunity dictates that we do the same for losses

Most Losses vs Mets

Astros- Larry Dierker, 11
Braves- John Smoltz, 15
Brewers- Chris Capuano, 4
Cardinals- Bob Gibson, 14
Cubs- Rick Reuschel, 19
Diamondbacks- Brandon Webb, 6
Dodger…

'Expos'ing Unser

A fellow using the nom de plum of "Unser" commented on a post made earlier this week, and that got me to checking up on the background of a former Met by that name.

Del Unser happens to have a very distinct claim to Mets fame, or rather infamy. Obtained along with John Stearns in the deal that sent Tug McGraw to the Phillies, Unser was the Mets everyday centerfielder in 1975, hitting a reasonably decent .294 with 10 home runs.

Unfortunately in 1976, the 31-year-old Unser wasn't of the same quality. After Unser hit .228 in 77 games, first-year skipper Joe Frazier proclaimed he and Wayne Garrett to be "dead wood" (so sez The New York Times) and both were shipped out, traded to the Expos in mid-July for Jim Dwyer and Pepe Mangual.

It was only a couple days later, on July 23 of that year, when the Mets happened to be in Montreal for a series, and all parties got a chance to get reacquainted.

Perhaps Expos management had a sense of humor, or maybe it was just that the t…

Four (No) Score and 11 Years Ago

Not all four-inning saves are as easy as the one Brian Stokes had on Wednesday night.

Baseball-Reference's Play Index tells us that the Mets have had 33 four-inning saves since the modern save rule came into being in 1969, and 40 such saves if you apply that rule retroactively to 1962.

* The 12-0 victory set a Mets record for largest margin of victory in a four-inning save, the first four-inning save by a Mets pitcher since Turk Wendell allowed three runs in recording one in an 8-5 win over the Blue Jays, September 2, 1997.

The Mets scored seven runs against the Blue Jays starter that day, the most that Roger Clemens would allow in any start that season. Wendell survived despite yielding a pair of home runs to the same hitter, Jose Cruz Jr. Rey Ordonez, of all people, was the Mets hitting star that day, with a home run and three RBI.

* The last four-inning save in which a Mets reliever allowed no runs was by Toby Borland on April 15, 1997, in a 5-0 win over the Dodgers. Of greater sig…

Go Ahead, Make My Day

In their history, the Mets have been the beneficiary of a go-ahead hit by pitch on 13 occasions.

* Damion Easley was the first Mets player to have a go-ahead HBP since Jae Seo got one in the fourth inning, against the Cardinals, on May 20, 2004.

* It was the first time that the Mets were recipients of a go-ahead HBP against the Nationals/Expos since none other than Willie Randolph was plunked with the bases loaded in a tie game in the 5th inning on June 9, 1992.

* It was tied for the second-latest into a game that the Mets have been beneficiaries of a go-ahead HBP. The only Met to get hit by a pitch later in a game was Darryl Boston, who got a walk-off HBP in the 13th inning against the Cardinals on April 23, 1992.

* The only other 8th-inning go-ahead HBP in Mets history was by Ken Boswell against the Braves on May 14, 1969. The HBP came as part of an eight-run inning in which the Mets rallied to beat the Braves, 9-3. Damion Easley was born a little more than six months later.

* The Mets w…

PITfall

Today isn't a good day to be a Mets fan, and tomorrow isn't looking so hot either.

I'm not referring to the status of the current team, but rather its history. The Mets are 0-4 in walk-off scenarios on August 12 and 0-3 in walk-off scenarios on August 13.

The first of the four defeats on this date came against the team the Mets faced Monday, the Pirates, and there was a frustration factor associated with that one too.

Granted, the Mets were 19 under .500 and in a helpless malaise on August 12, 1977, and the Pirates were the team to whom the game had pennant significance, but losses are losses, and this one wasn't much fun.

The Mets had leads in this one of 3-2 and 5-4 in Game 2 of this doubleheader, but didn't hold either for long. The latter was in the eighth inning (thanks to a Bobby Valentine RBI) and the Pirates tied it after two were out and nobody was on base, when Bobby Tolan doubled, Al Oliver was intentionally walked, and Omar Moreno singled home the run to ma…

Murphy's Law

How Player A began his career

10 H, 20 AB, 5 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 K, 4 BB

How Player B began his career

10 H, 20 AB, 6 R, 1 2B, 0 RBI, 3 K, 2 BB

Player A is Daniel Murphy, 2008

Player B is Alex Ochoa, 1995

Hopefully things work out better for Player A than they did for Player B. Alex Ochoa finished 1995 1-for-17. Stardom was not to be.

Another comparison for you (thanks: Baseball-Reference)

The beginnings of Danny Heep's time with the Mets, circa 1983.

14 H, 28 AB, 8 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 K, 8 BB (.500 BA)

Let the record reflect that I'm already a big Murphy fan. He's already got a better place in my heart than Roberto Alomar ever did. I bring this up because upon getting off the No. 7 train at Shea on Saturday, we saw two people wearing Alomar attire (amazingly, standing a few feet apart, but not together).

I'm trying to recall the times I've been to a game in which a player hit his first major league homer. Both my recollections are of pitchers- Dwight Gooden and…