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Sometimes You Get A Little Lucky

A Mets pitcher has allowed 4+ HR in a game on 26 different occasions.

Only twice has that pitcher been credited with a win.

Like the blogger who writes about the history of 6-5 final scores a few hours before a 6-5 win, Johan Santana may have gotten a little help from some friendly baseball gods.

I think the only other Mets pitcher to allow 4 homers in a game HE won did as well.

The last of Rob Gardner's four wins as a Met came against the Pirates on August 18, 1966. Bill Mazeroski homered twice against Gardner. Donn Clendenon and Jerry May each hit one against him. The Mets didn't homer once. Yet the Mets won, 9-5.

The reason for the victory? The play of Pirates third baseman Jose Pagan, who pulled his team out of first place by going 0-for-4 with four errors. The Mets scored three unearned runs in the first inning, thanks partly to a Pagan miscue, and three unearned runs in the fourth inning thanks to three(!) Pagan misplays.

The Mets added three insurance runs (Eddie Bressoud's two-run double was key) in the eighth inning against the Pirates bullpen.

Poor Pirates rookie starter Woody Fryman, of whom Keith Hernandez says he had much trouble hitting, deserved a better fate than to lose a game in which he allowed no earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Ah yes, I think the fickle fingers, and not just those of Pagan, played a hand in this one. My favorite detail from the New York Times story of that day is this one from writer Deane McGowan's notes.

"About 250 nuns sat behind the Mets dugout and seemed to enjoy their outing very much."

True Metdners know...The Mets are 5-21 all-time when they have a pitcher allow four home runs in a game, but to reiterate: Santana and Rob Gardner are the only ones to allow four home runs AND get credit for the win in that game.

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