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Showing posts from May 24, 2009

O My!

Three fistbumps for Friday, and they go to Gary Sheffield, Omir (President) Santos and Mike Pelfrey. * Mets walk-off win #359 was their third walk-off win of the season and second this month. They are 3-3 in walk-off games this season. It is the third time in the last four seasons that the Mets won a May 29 game via walk-off. Those are the only three walk-off wins in Mets history that took place on May 29. * The Mets have had a walk-off on the 29th day of a month in each of the last four seasons. Last year, they had one on April 29 against the Pirates. * The Mets actually had a May 28 walk-off win against the Marlins last season, so this one nearly came a year to the day of that one. * Omir Santos gets his first career walk-off hit. It was the first walk-off hit by a Mets catcher since Ramon Castro (how about that?) beat the Marlins with one on April 16, 2005. Coincidentally, Castro homered in that game, as Santos did in this one. * The last three Mets catchers to win a game with a walk-…

In the Summer of '69 (Part I)

It has been mentioned that Jon Niese was born the day the Mets clinched the 1986 World Series, and it was said during the game the other day that Fernando Martinez was born during the 1988 NLCS (the day of Game 5, actually).

That got me stirring with a new tool, recently obtained from the good folks at the Metstats website- the Mets birthday database- to see which current and former Mets were born during the championship season of 1969. Here's what I found for April and May, and we'll follow up with the rest of the season in a subsequent post.

April 8, 1969 (Pete Walker)

This was Opening Day 1969, the first game in the history of the Expos franchise, which happened to be an 11-10 win over the Mets at Shea. The Mets scored four runs in the bottom of the 9th in hopes of a walk-off win, but came up one tally short.

Those celebrating a happy Mets birthday know...Walker's lone Mets win was the walk-off win of October 1, 1995, a 1-0 victory over the Braves in the season's final…

This Subway Was A Ryan Express

Warning to Johan Santana:

Strike out 11 and walk 6 too many times and you'll wind up making history for someone else.

Only one other pitcher has done what Santana did in Wednesday's win...strike out at least 11 and walk at least 6. That would be Nolan Ryan.

Nolan Ryan didn't just do it once. He did it three times (without the benefit of replay)as a Met and than 34 more times after his Mets career ended.

A quick summary of the three Mets instances, with mucho assistance from New York Times game stories.

June 18, 1968 vs Astros, 3-2 loss (12 K, 7 BB)
Jimmy Wynn's 7th-inning homer snapped a 2-2 tie in Game 1 of this doubleheader, the first in the managerial tenure of Astros skipper Harry Walker. Ryan pitched a complete game, one in which strikeouts were contagious. Astros starter Denny Lemaster whiffed 10 Mets. Ryan's 7 walks tied the Met record at the time.

May 30, 1970 vs Astros, 4-3 win (11 K, 6 BB)
The Mets treated the Helmet Day crowd to a walk-up win, scoring three time…

Livan On a Prayer

We don't do the fistbumps thing unless it's a walk-off, walk-up, or road win 9th inning or later, so Livan Hernandez will just have to settle on just getting a thank you for a job well-done.

* Not only was it a complete game (yes, the first since Santana on the final Saturday at Shea), but it was a 127-pitch complete game. Baseball-Reference tells us that's the most pitches by a Met in a complete game since Al Leiter threw a 128-pitch CG in the second game of a doubleheader against the Braves on September 11, 2002.

Leiter actually had the Mets last three complete games of 127 pitches or more.

* The last Mets pitcher to throw a complete game, allowing 9 hits or more: Kenny Rogers in a 12-5 road win over the Giants on August 15, 1999 (12-hitter). The last one at Shea was thrown by Masato Yoshii in a 6-1 win over the Reds, May 21, 1998.

* This was the 7th time that Livan struck a batter out to end a game, but the first time in 5 years. His last was Jeromy Burnitz in a 3-1 win ove…

Last-Chance Harvey

You may have noticed that I've added the "This Date in History" gadget to my sidebar. I hope you find it interesting, and worth the trouble to check in with it every day.

An addendum to today's: May 26 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most famous walk-off wins of all-time, though it's not remembered for that.

On this date in 1959, Pirates pitcher Harvey Haddix took a perfect game into the 13th inning against the Milwaukee Braves.

He lost the perfecto bid on an error, than lost the game on what was thought to be a Joe Adcock game-ending home run. However, Hank Aaron, on base at the time, thought the ball had bounced off the wall (no instant-replay then), and ran astray. Adcock passed Aaron on the basepaths and was thus called out. The home run became a single (somewhat akin to the "Grand Slam Single."), and Haddix lost, 1-0.

Two future Mets played in this game...Joe Christopher made his MLB debut that day as a reserve outfielder. Felix Mantilla was t…

Didja Ever Notice: How well do you know the bottom of the 10th?

The answers to all of these can be found from a viewing of the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, or in the comments section of this blog.

1- What was the last name of the Red Sox pitching coach, Bill, who visited the mound to talk to Calvin Schiraldi in the middle of the Mets comeback? His last name is spelled differently from that of a chunky Mets pitcher of the early 1960s. This coach's claim to fame is that he once pitched 84 1/3 straight innings without issuing a walk.

2- The attendance for Game 6 of the World Series was 55-thousand and ____. You can fill in the blank with the last 2 digits being the same as a season that haunts Red Sox fans.

3- This former Met, who teamed with Calvin Schiraldi to pitch badly in the 26-7 loss to the Phillies in 1985, was standing with Bob Stanley in the bullpen during the inning, though Vin Scully noted he was not throwing at that moment. Name him.

4- How much money did each player get for winning the World Series in 1918?

5- Fill in …

El Presidente, El Perfecto

At the rate Omir (President) Santos is going, he's going to be our Fistbumps Player of the Year, hands down. Let's just say that the approval rating for the current catching administration is favorable.

We'll give the fistbumps for Saturday (awarded after walk-off wins, walk-up wins, and road wins in the 9th inning or later) to Santos, Ramon Martinez, and Mike Pelfrey for their supporting the cause.

Honorary fistbumps as well to the fellow who sat next to me at Fenway. When discussing why Martinez was in the on-deck circle (instead of Fernando Tatis) as Santos came to the plate, this gentleman said "He's there for when this guy (ie: Santos) puts them ahead."

Nice prognostication. Nice victory.
(I should also note that earlier in the afternoon, I said of Martinez: "Get him the (Glavine) off the field," using an inappropriate word in place of the pitcher's name.)

* This was the 136th time that the Mets won a road game by scoring the go-ahead run(s) in …