Skip to main content

Grand Slam Something

There are few questions that the folks at Retrosheet can't answer. So when I asked about plays in which four runs scored without the scoring being a grand slam, David Smith came through big-time.

Since the Mets inception in 1962, that play has happened 54 times, with Ryan Braun being the most recent slammer. It was the fourth involving the Mets in some manner, and the first AGAINST them in 35 years.

That doesn't include the time it happened in my little league career, a series of blunders by our team, the Cougars, against the No. 2 team, the Panthers. Fortunately, we rallied from the 4-0 first-inning hole to win, 5-4, on a walk-off hit, the most difficult win of our unbeaten season.

As for the Mets, here are the details on the other instances.

Howard Johnson- Mets at Expos, April 19, 1992
New York Times writer Joe Sexton called it a "grand scram." With the Mets trailing, 4-3 in the 7th inning, Johnson lined a bases-loaded double into the left field corner. Expos left fielder Ivan Calderon could not field the ball cleanly and Johnson was able to circle the bases completely.

"By second base, my mind was made up. Nothing was going to stop me," Johnson said afterwards.

The play sparked a rally that led to an eventual 11-6 Mets win.

Ivan Murrell- Braves at Mets, June 18, 1974
As part of a year in which it seemed that everything that could go wrong, did, the Mets lost to the Braves at Shea, 6-1, thanks to a multiple-miscue scenario.

The botched handling of a popup by catcher Ron Hodges in the third inning led to an eventual bases-clearing triple by Murrell, who subsequently scored when shortstop Ted Martinez mismanaged the relay throw.

Donn Clendenon- Mets at Pirates, September 22, 1965
It doesn't appear that The New York Times even covered the game, somewhat understandable since the Mets were 48-105 at this time, so we relied on the Valley Independent of Monessen, Pa., to assist us.

The Mets trailed the Pirates, 2-1 in the fifth inning, with the bases loaded and two outs against starter Tug McGraw. The Mets had already committed an error and a passed ball, so it wasn't exactly a promising inning for them when Clendenon, then with Pittsburgh, came up.

Clendenon singled cleanly to center and the Mets made two more errors on the play, allowing four runs to score. One was by third baseman Charley Smith. The other was by McGraw.

According to the UPI photos in the Valley Independent, the following happened:

"A comedy of errors gets underway in last night's game when Mets Charlie Smith misses ball as Clemente slides into third. Clemente then raced home but missed the plate. Smith's throw to home plate eludes catcher Gus(??) Goossen so Clemente returns to touch plate. Then Donn Clendenon streaks for home as pitcher Tug McGraw covers, but misses Goossen's throw, allowing Clendenon to score on a "grand slam" single which provided four runs in the fifth inning and eventually a 6-2 victory."

A game story on the same page, provided by UPI, has basically the same account (although it says Smith made the throw that McGraw missed), with the following fun addition, which served as the lead to the game story.

"Correspondence between friends. Dear Mets. We love you. Signed the Pittsburgh Pirates."

I should note that the Associated Press account of the play differs slightly, stating that McGraw's error came on a throw to third, trying to nail Clendenon. Can anyone provide further help?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Minutiae Break: Worst Mets Relievers

It occurs to me after 79 straight walk-off related posts and some fatigue still remaining from Saturday's finish that I did promise to bring Metspective on other issues related to the Flushing 9, so I offer this posting up as a "Minutiae Break." This came about after several discussions related to the offhand Dick Tidrow/Danny Graves remark the other day , the conclusion of which indicated that it would be fun to create a list of the worst Mets relievers of all-time. I don't want to step on the territory of other bloggers, like " Faith and Fear in Flushing ," Mets Guy in Michigan " and " Metstradamus ," so I'll tread carefully here, aided by their influence. Should any friends, family members, or fans of these pitchers visit this site, I mean no harm. I'm just here to have a little fun with this topic. The ground rules are as follows: The pitcher must have had a Mets stint as long as Dick Tidrow's (11 games, 15 2/3 innings), for

The best Mets ejections I know

When you think of the Mets and famous ejections, I'm guessing you first think of the famous Bobby Valentine mustache game, when after Valentine got tossed, he returned to the dugout in disguise. You know it. You love it. I remember being amused when I asked Bobby V about it while we were working on Baseball Tonight, how he simply said "It worked. We won the game." (true) But the Bobby V mustache game of June 9, 1999 is one of many, many memorable Mets ejection stories. And now thanks to Retrosheet and the magic of Newspapers.com , we have a convenient means for being able to share them. Ever since Retrosheet's David Smith recently announced that the Retrosheet ejection database was posted online , I've been a kid in a candy store. I've organized the data and done some lookups of media coverage around the games that interested me post. Those newspaper accounts fill in a lot of blanks. Without further ado (and with more work to do), here are some of my findings

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry walk-offs...so if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls