Skip to main content

Hitting in a Pinch

Perhaps you saw the highlights of last week's Marlins victory over the Orioles and were astounded when Miguel Cabrera got the game-winning hit on Todd Williams' attempted intentional walk gone awry.

I was more intrigued by the manner in which the Marlins tied that game, on back-to-back pinch-hit home runs in the 9th inning.

The Mets have done that, as recently as May 4, 1991 against the Giants. In fact, they were the last squad to even a contest at that juncture in such a manner.

The story of that game is one of the Giants squandering two two-run leads and the Mets bullpen combo of Wally Whitehurst, Alejandro Pena, John Franco and Pete Schoureck, working a little magic for a couple hours to bail out Ron Darling.

The Giants took a 2-0 lead but the Mets evened it in the 4th inning on an RBI single by Howard Johnson and a sacrifice fly by Kevin Elster. The Giants snatched the lead right back in the 5th on Will Clark's two-run home run and Darling's night was done after 5 innings on the short end of a 4-2 score. The Mets wasted a two-on, no-out scenario in their half of the frame and did little else to try to even the score until the ninth inning.

Jeff Brantley, who had pitched a clean 8th for the Giants, was on to try to get a 2-inning save. If there was one thing that Brantley was known for to that point, it was avoiding the long ball. The previous season, he'd yielded only 3 in 86 2/3 innings, though he had surrendered one in his most recent appearance.

Mackey Sasser, not noted for his power, was Davey Johnson's choice to lead off the 9th inning and he hit a long home run on a 1-2 pitch, one described as a "lunar launch" in the next days newspapers, to make it a 4-3 game. The next batter was the Mets pinch-hitting specialist of the time, Mark Carreon, who had previously hit 7 pinch-hit home runs in his tenure with the team, including 2 among his 4 hits in 6 turns this year. He didn't disappoint, crushing a game-tying shot, marking the first time since 1975 that two NL players had hit back-to-back pinch-hit home runs (Lee Lacy and Willie Davis for the Dodgers).

"I guess I'm like a tiger in a cage, raring to go when I get out. They open the cage and I've got the eye of a tiger," Carreon told the media after the game.

This one made for a lengthy day, as it took 4 hours and 13 minutes to conclude. The Giants had chances to win in the 10th and 12th innings, but on both occasions, a Mets southpaw (Franco and then Schoureck) was able to coax an out from power threat Matt Williams. By this time, the game stories note, the Mets bullpen had not allowed an earned run in its previous 20 1/3 innings.

Howard Johnson ended matters in this one, with a little help from Rick Cerone. With one on and one out, Cerone was safe at first on a potential double-play ball. Johnson followed with a game-ending home run against reliever Mike Lacoss, and the Mets improved their stellar start to 14-9.

True Metspinch know...4 Mets have hit 2 walk-off home runs in the 12th inning or later. They are Howard Johnson, Kevin McReynolds, Dave Kingman, and Tim Harkness.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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 walk-offs...so 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 '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

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