Skip to main content

Cliff Notes

Alright, so it's 2 days later and the challenge for me now, after reading through about a dozen game stories and listening to talk radio, is to provide a fresh perspective on walk-off #324. If you're going to be a serious reader of this blog, you know what happened already, so let's look at what made this particular walk-off stand out.

It would seem that the place to start is with the idea that everything broke just right on both sides of the ball. Particularly, I'm talking about Carlos Beltran's catch in the 7th inning, where he went over the center field fence to rob Jose Molina of a home run. Every no-hitter seems to have one defensive gem that makes it possible and perhaps that's true of great walk-off moments as well (We'll be looking into that!)

Marlon Anderson's home run required a remarkable combination of events. It was only the sixth inside-the-park home run at Shea Stadium by a Met and the first since Darryl Strawberry in 1989. It required that a 5-time Gold Glove winning centerfielder kick the ball away after barely missing the type of shoestring catch that he usually makes. It required that a rightfielder with the strongest throwing arm in the league be out of position to chase the ball down. It required the Mets third base coach, the most aggressive since Bobby Valentine, never hesitating in sending his baserunner, even though a perfect throw probably nails his man at the plate.

There was a lot of good luck involved in Anderson's 13th pinch-hit of the season and there was some bad luck involved in Doug Mientkiewicz's second error of the season, which set up the deficit the Mets faced in the bottom of the 10th. Hard to figure that something like that was going to happen, considering how good Mientkiewicz has been defensively all season.

Moving ahead to the bottom of the 10th, let me start by simply saying that Jose Reyes' at-bat to lead off the inning was Dunston-esque, and if you know your Mets walk-off history, you'll get the comparison (see 15th inning 1999 NLCS, Game 5). Reyes battled Brendan Donnelly through a host of two-strike fouls, in a situation in which he normally strikes out, to get a base hit. Once he got on base, what followed made a little more sense, even the idea that Mike Cameron would walk by resisting a pitch that was inches off the plate on 3-and-2, and that Carlos Beltran and Mike Piazza would both strike out.

A lot has been made of the long foul ball that Cliff Floyd hit, in the middle of his at-bat. There is a prevailing feeling in this sport that the baseball Gods dictate that a strikeout follow any foul home run. However, as one astute observer pointed out to me on Sunday, it is not totally unprecedented for something good to happen. Rusty Staub's last Mets home run, on June 22, 1985, came after a tantalizing long foul ball down the right field line. Staub's home run was merely game-tying, and not game-winning, but was nearly as dramatic as the one on Saturday night, because it seemed just about as unlikely at the time.

Floyd's at-bat was a heck of a battle, similar in nature to one between Derrek Lee and Heath Bell at Wrigley Field a few weeks ago. The longer the at-bat goes, it always seems that the edge goes to the hitter big-time. Floyd alluded to that in his postgame comments, noting that even though he had struck out three times previously that in this appearance "It felt like I was starting over, like it was the first inning. He threw some pitches that locked me in."

Floyd had a lot to say as he was peppered with postgame questions. He talked about wishing his foul ball was a home run because he could see fans in the stands cringing. He talked about the character of the team being such that it could come back in such scenarios. He talked about wanting to pick up a teammate who was down because of an error, but right before he did so, he said what might have been the best statement about the way things ended up.

"It felt like it was meant to be."

True Metsamaniacs know- Floyd's home run came on the 25th anniversary of Mike Jorgensen's walk-off grand slam, which came in a 6-2 10-inning Mets win over the Dodgers on June 11, 1980


TheCzar said…
The Czar actually saw Darryl's inside-the-parker in person, and it was tremendous.

Kepp up the good work!

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 , 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

The 'Duca of Earl (and walk-offs)

If I told you that the Mets had just obtained a guy who is a career .316 hitter with runners in scoring position? How about if I told you that the Mets just traded for a hitter who has consistently ranked among the toughest in baseball to strike out? Or if I mentioned that the Mets just dealt for a player who was selected to the NL All-Star team the last three seasons, with the last honor coming via a vote by his peers? So, although he's on the down side age wise, his throwing arm isn't as good as it used to be, and he doesn't provide much power, there are a lot of good things that Paul Lo Duca brings to the New York Mets. For example: He'll sacrifice his body for the good of the team The Dodgers and Braves squared off on August 23, 2002 and Lo Duca made an impact both on the start and finish of this game. Three pitches after being dusted by Greg Maddux, Lo Duca made him pay with a first-inning home run. The Braves rallied to tie the game, 3-3 in the ninth, but thei