Skip to main content

Worth the wait

Jeff Reardon's first major-league win occurred under rather bizarre circumstances, ones that defy typical baseball explanation. Let us explain.

Reardon was still a product of the Mets farm system when the Mets and Braves wrapped up a three-game series on June 17, 1979, on a yucky day at Shea Stadium. Lefthander Pete Falcone was looking to complete a series sweep by picking up his first triumph as a Met and gave the Mets five innings of one-run ball before the contest was interrupted by rain. There would be a second rain delay, the two lasting a combined two hours.

The bad weather put the Mets into a predicament. They needed to catch the last available plane of the day to Houston for their next series, for which they had to be on board at 7:30 p.m. (guess they weren't flying charter) . Even though, once play resumed, the game moved at a rapid pace, the possibility of not finishing the game became an issue. At some point, the two teams reached agreement on a curfew, deciding that no inning would begin after 6 p.m. Shortly after that time the Mets were retired in the last of the eighth and the contest was suspended. The teams would meet again, but the resolution of this game wouldn't occur until August 27.

The Mets got to Houston on time, but probably wished they hadn't. The next day, they lost to the Astros in 18 innings, on a walk-off hit by Craig Reynolds.

Reardon was recalled in late August and took the loss in his debut on August 25. Two days later, manager Joe Torre elected to use Reardon to start the ninth inning of the suspended game, so that he would have fresh bodies available for the contest that would follow. It took only 12 minutes for the game to conclude. Reardon escaped trouble in the top of the ninth, and in the bottom of the frame Lee Mazzilli singled, went to second on a groundout, stole third, and scored on a single down the left field line by third baseman Alex Trevino (who was usually a catcher).

The interesting thing here is the resumption of this game interrupted a skid in which the Mets lost nine consecutive "regularly-scheduled" games. Technically speaking, my sources report, that this win is credited as taking place on June 17, so it would actually be proper baseball English to say the following: Jeff Reardon's first major-league win (he finished with 73, and 367 saves-- 357 after being traded away by the Mets) came in a game in which he wasn't even on the original roster, and ended in the midst of, but didn't stop, a nine-game losing streak. That make sense to anyone else?

True Metaphysicists knows...The official time of this game was 2 hours and 18 minutes, though technically it took 71 days to complete.


seaveggie said…
Hysterical! Great writing, as always.
TheCzar said…
A must read! Better than Cats!
metswalkoffs said…

Drop me an e-mail and id yourself...thanks for the compliment...


Popular posts from this blog

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 t

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 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

The greatness and the frustration of Nolan Ryan the Met

I was looking over dominant pitching versus opponents and over various stretches in Mets history and came upon one I found interesting. In his first six starts in 1971, Nolan Ryan went 5-1 with an 0.77 ERA. In 46 2/3 innings, he allowed 19 hits and struck out 47. Opponents hit .121 and slugged .172 against him. And oh yes, he walked 37 batters (!), or more than 7 per 9 innings. As you go back through those six starts, you can see both the brilliance and the frustration that eventually led to Ryan’s departure in one of the worst trades in baseball history. April 29 at Cardinals – 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 5 K, 8 BB Ryan’s first start of the season was 7-0 win over the Cardinals that completed a four-game sweep, though it wasn’t the most artful of efforts. Ryan walked eight, but held the Cardinals to only two hits. That included the thwarting of Joe Torre’s season-opening 22-game hitting streak. Torre would go on to win the MVP. The big moment in the game came with the score 1-0 in the