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Showing posts from April 5, 2009

Hit The Sac

A Hernandez and a Fernandez now share the Mets club record for sacrifices in a game.

Livan got the job done in more ways than one (won?) on Saturday. Sir Sidney was the master on the mound and at bat 22 years prior.

The Mets hosted the Astros in a doubleheader on July 24, 1987 and the opener was a rather appealing mound matchup between Sid Fernandez and Nolan Ryan, though the latter was riding a six-game losing streak, and the former was struggling as well.

The Astros took a 1-0 lead on Glenn Davis' home run on a 3-0 pitch, but the Mets evened the score in the third, when a Fernandez bunt moved Bill Almon to second, and Almon would score on a Wally Backman single.

Fernandez set up the Mets second run with his second sacrifice, this one advancing Almon in the fifth inning, just prior to an RBI single by Len Dykstra.

The Mets had two chances to pad the lead, but double plays killed a pair of rallies, including one that came after Fernandez dropped his third successful sacrifice of the da…

Reed It and Weep

* The Marlins 5-4 win over the Mets on April 10, 2009, was Mets walk-off loss #381, their first of the 2009 season. The Mets all-time walk-off record falls to 356-381 (including postseason).

* In the span of a little more than 2 years and 8 months, the Marlins have 5 walk-off wins against the Mets. They had one in 2006, one in 2007, two in 2008, and now one in 2009. It was their 15th walk-off win against the Mets overall. The Mets are now 13-15 all-time in walk-offs against the Marlins.

* The walk-off loss comes six years to the day of another walk-off loss to the Marlins- April 10, 2003, when Juan Pierre beat the Mets with a 2-run single against Armando Benitez.

* It was the first time in Darren O'Day's brief MLB career that he allowed a walk-off RBI. Jorge Cantu now has four career walk-off hits, three coming in the span of less than a year.

* Jeremy Reed's ninth-inning two-out RBI single marked the 85th time in team history that the Mets tied a game with two outs in the nin…

The Armando Junior

The good news is that after Game #2, we've used up our quota.

What am I talking about?

I'm referring to the 1-inning, 30-pitch save the Mets got from Francisco Rodriguez on Wednesday.

That rather torturous exercise is the sort of thing that happens about once a year, according to data found on Baseball-Reference.

It happened once in 2006 (31 Billy Wagner pitches to dispense the Blue Jays)

It happened once in 2007 ("The Chip Ambres Game" necessitated 30 Wagner pitches in the 10th to stall the Dodgers.

And it happened once in 2008 (32 pitches, and 2 runs from Luis Ayala to dispatch the Marlins).

I'm referring to such a save as the "Armando Junior," named in honor of the former Mets closer, who, since 1990, is the only Mets pitcher to record 2 such saves in a season (2001). John Franco has the most of any Mets pitcher since 1990, with 5.

True Metriguezs know...The most pitches Francisco Rodriguez has ever needed for a 1-inning save is 37, against the Royals in 200…

The Pen is Mightier Than the Word

"What you witnessed on Monday was not just the first one-run Opening Day road win in Mets history, but also arguably the best performance by a Mets bullpen in an Opening Day game in a long time, if not all-time."
-- Me, after the Mets 2009 Opening Day win.

Seems like a good time to dissect the other candidates...

March 31, 1998
Greg McMichael, Dennis Cook, John Franco, Mel Rojas, Turk Wendell
8 innings, 0 runs, 5 hits, 4 walks in a 1-0 14-inning win vs the Phillies

Major kudos to this combo, and if you wanted to say it's the best, I couldn't argue. The quintet fought gamely to preserve this scoreless tie before Alberto Castillo won it with a walk-off hit in the 14th. Go figure that the escape artist of the day would be Mel Rojas, who struck out Bobby Abreu as part of an inning-ending double play in the 11th, and coaxed a Scott Rolen flyout with two on to end the 12th.

April 1, 1996
Blas Minor, Jerry Dipoto, Doug Henry, John Franco
5 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 5 hits, 1 walk in a 7-…

Author Interview: Faith and Fear In Flushing

You've probably seen me make a few references on this blog to my favorite Mets blog, Faith and Fear in Flushing, which touts itself as the blog "for Mets fans who like to read."

One-half of the Faith duo, Greg Prince, has taken his passion for the Mets and turned it into a book with the same title as the blog. It's well worth your time to read it.

Faith and Fear is Greg's story of what it's like to root for the Mets. There's plenty in this tale to entertain the diehard fan, and it's the kind of book your mom will like too. The Mets lend themselves to good stories, and there are plenty for Greg to choose from, as he tells you about himself, and his team.

Greg, like myself, is a Mets fan who likes to write, and we asked him a few questions about his work here.

--Why do you like to write? What's different about your writing from that of others
I have absolutely no idea about the first part. I've always liked to write. I like to talk, too, but writing…

Road Worriers

You can't win by walk-off when you're playing on the road, and that's one reason that you get more one-run wins at home than you do away from home.

By my quick count at this late hour, the 2008 Mets were 6-14 in road games decided by one run.

The 2009 Mets are 1-0.

What you witnessed on Monday was not just the first one-run Opening Day road win in Mets history, but also arguably the best performance by a Mets bullpen in an Opening Day game in a long time, if not all-time (maybe I'll check into that later in the day).

3 1/3 innings of no-run, no-hit baseball, capped by a 10-pitch, eight-strike. angst-free effort from the new closer. Not too shabby.

Someone who knows the game well told me last year that the reason he really liked Francisco Rodriguez was because Rodriguez was a great road pitcher. The numbers bore that out. In 2008, Rodriguez was 36-for-39 in save chances that came on the road. That's a 92 percent closeout rate. Of those saves, 17 came in instances like th…

How Many ROD in a ROOD?

We're going to invent some more terminology here, as we've been known to do on occasion, and as Sally Brown once did when she asked her brother Charlie about fictionalized units of measurement, "How many Rods in a Rood."

You may recall that we once referred to home openers that weren't on Opening Day as "HOTWOODS."

A ROD, for our purposes, doesn't stand for any players nickname, but is an abbreviation for "Road Opening Day," and the Mets will have one of those on Monday afternoon in Cincinnati.

* The Mets are 13-9 all-time in RODs, but are 0-2 on them in Cincinnati, having lost in 1984 and 2005.

* In those 22 RODS, the Mets have outscored their opponents, 123-111, meaning you can expect a high-scoring game. The Mets are averaging 5.6 runs per ROD and their opponents are averaging 5.0.

* The Mets have scored at least 6 runs in each of the 5 RODs they've played in this decade. They are 4-1 in those 5, with the only loss coming in Cincinnati.

*…