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I Would Walk(off) 500 Miles

Fistbumps all around to commemorate the t-shirt I wore to Friday's game, Gary Sheffield's 500th career home run, Omir Santos' successful debut, and Mets walk-off win #357, the first at Citi Field.

* A little piece of me wants to think that (inside joke regarding the fellow who sat behind my friend, Paul) it was meant to be that I attend both the last walk-off win at Shea Stadium (September 24, 2008, Carlos Beltran single vs Cubs) and the first walk-off win at Citi Field, which happened to come 45 years to the day of the first game played at Shea Stadium (April 17, 1964, Mets vs Pirates). I'm a believer (also an inside joke) in the friendliness of baseball gods, so I wouldn't rule it out.

* This was Luis Castillo's 7th career walk-off RBI and 6th career walk-off hit (the other was a walk-off walk). It was his 2nd walk-off hit for the Mets, the first coming versus injured Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman, then of the Padres, on August 21, 2007.

* This was the Mets 5th walk-off win against the Brewers, the first since Mike Piazza beat them via walk-off walk on August 2, 2005. It came nearly nine years to the day of the Mets first walk-off win against the Brewers, April 20, 2000, via a Melvin Mora 10th-inning homer (Jay Payton has the Mets other walk-off HR against the Brewers).

* The Mets also have had April 17 walk-off wins in 1966 (Ron Swoboda bases-loaded walk vs Braves), 1988 (Kevin Elster single vs Cardinals), and 2008 vs the Nationals (Joel Hanrahan's 14th-inning wild pitch to beat the Nationals).

* It took the Mets 4 home games to get their first walk-off win at Citi Field. That's better than the 7 it took to get their first walk-off win at Shea Stadium, and the 13 it took to get their first walk-off win at the Polo Grounds. For those keeping score, the walk-off tally by ballpark now reads:

336-Shea Stadium
20- Polo Grounds
1- Citi Field

* J.J. Putz earned his first walk-off win for the Mets, the 14th time in his career that he's earned a walk-off win.

* Gary Sheffield's 500th home run (probably worthy of its own post, in the near-future, as is a description of the Citi Field experience) was his first as a Met. Sheffield hit 30 home runs against the Mets, the second-most he's had against any team (34 against the Giants). None of Gary Sheffield's previous home runs came in a Mets walk-off win.

* My friend Paul nicknamed Omir Santos "President" in tribute to Jimmy Smits' character on West Wing (I've seen 1 or 2 episodes). While I was slightly disappointed that Santos didn't join Rodney McCray and Jim Beauchamp as Mets to get a walk-off hit in their first Mets AB (a colleague tipped me off to this nugget a few days ago), I was glad that his contribution was noteworthy. This marked the first time that Santos, who has now played in 12 MLB games, appeared in a game his team won. Santos played in 11 games for the 2008 Orioles and they lost all 11

* Two other players have hit their 500th career home run in a game their team won by walk-off: Ernie Banks (1970 vs Braves) and Jim Thome (2007 vs Angels). Thome's 500th home run was actually the game-ending home run. Thanks to Baseball-Almanac.com which has box scores for almost every 500 HR game.

* Obscure jersey spotting of the night (gonna try to do this every so often)...a Tim Teufel road gray, seen while walking back to the No. 7 train. Teufel had 5 walk-off RBI in his Mets career.

True Metclaimers know... "I'm Gonna Be" (the song containing the lyric used in the title of this blog), a 1988 hit from The Proclaimers has been featured in the movie Benny and Joon (which has nothing to do with Agbayani) and the TV show How I Met Your Mother. Wikipedia notes "The song is popular in Scotland, where, at Hampden Park, every time the national football team scores, the song is played and sung along to by Scotland fans."

Comments

Dirk said…
Glad we didn't have to wait too long for your first walk-off post ... wow, a Teufel jersey. Might be time time to break out the ol' "Espinosa 39" soon.

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