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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.

Comments

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

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

-mark

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