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Showing posts from August 17, 2008

Pilot Episode: The Mets Box Score Challenge

Trying something out here, please indulge. If you wish to answer, please do so in the comments section. I'll post the answers there the morning after I post. Questions provided with the help of the wonderful Baseball-Reference.com Play Index

1) Johan Santana had his 2nd start of 7 innings, no runs for the Mets. Who is the Mets all-time leader in starts of exactly 7 innings, without allowing a run. He had 9.

A) Al Leiter
B) Ron Darling
C) Sid Fernandez
D) Dwight Gooden

2) Roy Oswalt got a complete-game loss against the Mets on Friday. Before him, who was the last Astros pitcher to get a complete game loss against the Mets. My hint would be that he pitched a "game of significance" against the Mets during his career.

A) Mike Scott
B) Darryl Kile
C) Nolan Ryan
D) Larry Dierker

3) David Wright got his 99th RBI of the season on Friday. Three Mets have finished a season with 99 RBI, which really sucks, because no one remembers 99-RBI seasons. Who are the three?

A) Dave Kingman, Howard John…

Payback is a Botch

Memo to Omar Infante: Just as yelling at Tom Glavine for two hours in his adopted hometown is a bad way to toy with the karma gods, so is teasing a fan in the Shea bleachers.

* Mets walk-off win #355 is their 7th this season, with the most recent coming via David Wright's two-run home run against the Padres on August 7.

* Mets walk-off win #355 was historic, as it marked the first time that a Mets player had five hits, including a walk-off hit in the same game. So kudos to Carlos Delgado on that, and his first five-hit game since 1998. It was the 30th time a Met has collected 5+ hits in a game.

The previous "record" of four hits, including a walk-off hit, was shared by this odd combo:
Rico Brogna, Steve Henderson, Carl Everett, Eddie Murray, Butch Huskey, Mookie Wilson, and Tim Harkness. Henderson's four-hit game, on May 18, 1978, also came against the Braves.

* Delgado now has 5 walk-off RBI for the Mets, coming via four hits and a walk.

* Official scorer Bill Shannon awa…

Didja Ever Notice: Nifty 50

Part of a continuing, neverending series, related to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

Nineteen dollars and 95 cents provides you the ability to purchase 50 archived newspaper articles within a 30-day span at NewsLibrary.com.

Guess what I used it to find?

Shocker, as Billy Wagner might say, that I purchased 41 articles published on October 26, 1986.

You may recall that I've done this with newspaper databases before, but I found the archives at NewsLibrary to have a little more variety to them. I was able to span the Boston Globe, get my curiosity satisfied by the Philadelphia Inquirer, and breeze through the Torrance (Calif.) Breeze among others.

They fill 77 pages of 12-point Times New Roman type in my word processor, and without indented paragraphs, they're going to be a pain in the arse to sift through. But I've begun to peruse. Here are some of my favorite sentences.

"Bill Buckner has bone spurs on his ankles, an Achilles stretched like linguini and feet as sore as beat …

Hi-Ho, Silver

Today we are here to honor the silver anniversary of one of the most exciting teams in Mets history, the 1983 team.

I'm not kidding. Let me explain.

There are three ways to win a game in your last at-bat.

Via walk-off: You score the winning run in the bottom of the last inning.

Via walk-up: You score the winning run in the bottom of the next-to-last inning.

Via walk-down: You score the winning run in the top of the last inning.

I recently completed the logging of every Mets walk-down win, so I have a complete database of every Mets last at-bat win. If you were to rank the Mets seasons by last at-bat wins, you'd have the following list.

Most Mets Last At-Bat Wins
Single-Season (includes postseason)

26- 2000
26-1986
24-1997
23- 1969
23- 1983

Let's make another list. This is a list of most last at-bat wins at home.

Most Mets Last At-Bat Wins At Home
Single Season (includes postseason)

17- 1983
16- 2000
16- 1971
16- 1969

And one last last, that of most walk-off wins by season.

Most Mets Walk-Off Wi…

Oh My 'Gado

* Mets "walk-up" win #168 (walk-up=game-winning run scores in bottom 8) was their 4th of 2008, matching their 2007 total.

* It was the 2nd straight Mets walk-up win in which the go-ahead hit was a Carlos Delgado double against a lefthanded pitcher, one that scored David Wright with the go-ahead run, and gave Aaron Heilman a victory. The last was against the Phillies (and J.C. Romero) on July 24.

* It was the Mets 3rd walk-up win against the Braves in a little more than a calendar year.

* Carlos Delgado now has 2 career Mets walk-up hits.

* The last time the Mets beat the Braves, 7-3, was September 22, 2001, the day after Mike Piazza's walk-up homer gave the Mets a win in the first game back home after September 11.

* This game and that game mark the only 7-3 wins over the Braves in Mets history. Their would be another game to include, but Robin Ventura's grand slam became a grand slam single, and the Mets won Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS, 4-3, and not 7-3.

* In what might be th…

Braver Than You Think

The Mets won three out of four games against the Braves from September 4-7, 1998. My dad and I went to the one they lost.

But what a pitching performance it was by John Smoltz, an effortless 12-strikeout, 103-pitch, 3-hit shutout, the best game I've ever seen anyone pitch against the Mets in person.

I think I would have preferred one of the three other games.

In the series opener, Mike Piazza's two-run home run in the fourth inning stood up as the difference in a 2-1 win. Al Leiter went the distance, besting Tom "He's Ducking Us Now" Glavine, surviving a ninth inning in which he had to face both Jones' and Javy Lopez.

The other two games fit our definition of "walk-up" wins- games in which the Mets scored the go-ahead runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The first was the Saturday affair, a game in which the Mets trailed 4-2 in the seventh inning, scored once then to make the game a little closer, then got a dramatic home run in the next frame from a…

Not a No-Hitter, a One-Hitter, or a Two-Hitter

There is nothing wrong with a three-hit complete game shutout.

* The Mets have had 52 of them actually (including postseason), now that Johan Santana threw one on Sunday afternoon.

*It was the first three-hit shutout by a Mets starter since Mike Hampton finished off the Cardinals with one in Game 5 of the 2000 NLCS.

* It was the first three-hit shutout by a Mets starter in the regular season since Rick Reed put the Mets into a tie for the wild card with one game remaining, beating the Pirates, 7-0 on October 2, 1999.

* On September 12, 1969, the Mets beat the Pirates in a doubleheader, 1-0, and 1-0, with the pitcher driving in the winning run in each game. In the opener of the doubleheader, Jerry Koosman pitched a three-hit shutout.

* David Cone struck out 19 Phillies in pitching a three-hit shutout on October 6, 1991.

* I attended a three-hit shutout by a Mets starter, when Bob Ojeda blanked the Pirates, 1-0, on July 29, 1988, with the lone run coming on Kevin Elster's eighth-inning ho…

The Pirates Massacre

The series that took place September 8-10 1978 between the Mets and Pirates at Shea that weekend is one of the most amazing in club history. It is also one of the most ignored series' for two reasons.

a) There was a newspaper strike.

b) It happened the same weekend as the famous "Boston Massacre" in which the Yankees swept the Red Sox four straight games at Fenway Park.

In all three games in this series, the Mets won in "walk-up" fashion, scoring the winning runs in the bottom of the eighth. I must say, that's a lot more interesting than winning 15-3, 13-2, 7-0, 7-4.

In the series opener, Willie Montanez snapped a 2-2 tie with an RBI double against Bert Blyleven.

In the second game, Mets starter Kevin Kobel pitched a gem, retiring 18 straight in one stretch. Willie Stargell snapped that with the Pirates second, and last, hit of the game, a home run that tied the score, 1-1 in the top of the eighth.

Undaunted, Doug Flynn put the Mets back ahead with a two-run trip…