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Showing posts from July 19, 2009

Didja Ever Notice: Rice Storm

It's a good thing those 3-way rumors between the Mets/Dodgers/Red Sox involving Tom Seaver, Don Sutton, and Jim Rice, never came to anything. Otherwise, the Mets may never have won the 1986 World Series. Jim Rice, a legit inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame played a significant role in Mets history, albeit one overlooked because of the actions of others. Rice went 9-for-27 with 6 walks and 6 runs scored in his only World Series appearance. But most significant were his 0 RBI, and the runs he didn't score. The Red Sox scored five runs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. If Rice was a little faster, they might have scored seven. Rice had two chances to add to the Red Sox tally on a day in which he went 0-for-5. His first inning walk put runners on first and second with two outs. On a 1-1 pitch, Dwight Evans launched a double to left center field, plating the first run for Boston. Rice held at third after Len Dykstra played the carom off the fence perfectly. Rich Gedman flied

Rickey, Tom, and Johan

Rickey Henderson's longevity was such that he faced both Tom Seaver and Johan Santana. That's a pretty amazing link from Mets past to Mets present. Rickey Henderson Career vs... Tom Seaver: 4-for-19, 2 RBI, 3 K Johan Santana: 2-for-6, 3 RBI, 2 K Henderson didn't face either in their prime, and it's interesting to see what those battles would have been like. His meetings with Seaver came when he was a prime pup and Seaver was grizzled, and nearing the end. His meetings with Santana came while the youngster was still finding what worked and what didn't. The most significant date on which Seaver and Henderson went head-to-head was August 4, 1985. This was the day in which Seaver won his 300th game, a complete-game six-hitter in a 4-1 victory at Yankee Stadium. You could make the argument that the biggest key to this win was that Seaver kept Henderson, who was hitting .353 entering the game, off the bases. Henderson popped out to lead off the game, grounded out twice, a

Simply Perfect

The last time someone pitched a perfect game in the majors was the day that Twins starter Johan Santana's 20-start unbeaten streak came to an end against the Blue Jays. And the Mets got themselves a walk-off win. May 18, 2004 was a pretty good baseball day even without Johnson's perfect game. From a Mets fan's perspective, there was perfection too. The Mets won, and the Yankees lost. The 5-4 victory over the Cardinals was probably the most dramatic walk-off win of the Art Howe era (error?). The hosts bailed starter Tom Glavine out of a 4-1 hole, but it wasn't easy. They scored twice in the sixth to cut the lead to 4-3, but didn't tally again until the last possible moment. A key double play in the ninth (on Marlon Anderson's bunt attempt) begun by catcher Jason Phillips, kept the score within reach. The bottom of the 9th of this game ran concurrent to Johnson's efforts against the Braves. Walks to Mike Cameron and Karim Garcia gave the Mets a two-on, one-out

Portrait Of The Artist As a Young Man II

"When they put his numbers on the scoreboard (8.16 ERA, 21 walks in 28 innings), I figured we were off to the races..." "When I saw him come out of the bullpen that early, to be honest, I thought, `We're in trouble." Those were the words of Astros manager Larry Dierker and Twins outfielder Matt Lawton to newspaper reporters from the likes of the Houston Chronicle , the St. Paul Pioneer Press , and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune , after their respective teams played a game against each other June 6, 2000. But this wasn't just any game. It was the first major league win for Johan Santana. Yes, those were Santana's numbers when he entered in the third inning in relief of Eric Milton, who was pulled from a scoreless game after being hit with a line drive. And that was Santana whom Lawton was referring to with those comments. Santana had pitched in nine major league games to that point, none of which his team, the Twins, had won. Used most recently in games whi

Shut Out, Again

Working on some long-term projects today, but I'll leave you with this note. The Mets are perilously close to being shut out walk-off wise in the months of June and July. They haven't gone walk-off free in those months since the strike season of 1994. The last non-strike season in which the Mets went without a walk-off in June/July was in 1985.

Just Say No-No

The Mets have never had a walk-off win on July 21st, but that date has had an unusual share of metmorable events, both for good and for bad. On July 21, 1965, Al Jackson took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before it was broken up with one out by future Hall of Famer Willie Stargell. On July 21, 1972, Willie Mays homered in his return to San Francisco as a Met. On July 21, 1975, Joe Torre hit into four double plays in a 4-2 loss to the Astros. ("Tom Seaver said he'd hide me in his trunk to get me out of here," Torre said to reporters afterwards.) Of greater recency, it's the anniversary of a 12-0 pasting of Jake Peavy (2005) and John Maine's first career shutout (2006). July 21 also marks the date of one of the most unusual wins in Mets history, a 3-0 road victory over the Padres in 1970. What was odd about this victory was that it came in a game in which the Mets were being no-hit for the first eight innings. In fact, the Padres pitcher, Clay Kirby, left with

To The Moon(man)

A year ago, on the 50th anniversary of NASA, I wrote about the Mets win on the day of the moon landing. So I need a new hook for today... There seems to be entertainment in the story of Greg "Moon Man" Minton, so we'll venture in that direction. Turns out, according to his bio on baseball-reference, that Minton earned his nickname after getting sunburned while playing for a minor league team in Phoenix. His manager, Rocky Bridges, said Minton's body had more craters than the Moon. Moon Man's baseball claim to fame is that he once went 269 innings between allowing home runs. Then, he allowed two within a one-week span while with the Giants. Both came against the Mets. John Stearns hit the first, and it came with some controversy, in Game 1 of a doubleheader on May 2, 1982. Instead of being a three-run game-tying home run in the eighth, it was a two-run shot that left the Mets a run short (thanks to an ump's di