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Clippard and Save

Two out of three ain't bad, though it would have been nice to have been a little more formidable in Sunday's loss to the Yankees. Before anyone goes gaga over Tyler Clippard though, we should heed the story of George Gerberman.

Gerberman had the distinction of making his major league debut for the Cubs, against the Mets, on September 23, 1962. It was believed that this would be the final home date for the Polo Grounds, as the new Flushing ballpark would supposedly be ready in time for opening 1963, though this turned out not to be the case.

The fine commentary of Robert Lipsyte, who penned the game story that day for the New York Times tells of a pre-game softball encounter between some local radio personalities and "a team of tasty pastries from various Broadway shows" but fails to mention much of Gerberman, whose line of 5 1/3 innings, one run, and three hits was similar to Clippard's, except that Gerberman didn't get a win for his efforts.

Nor did Bob Miller, whose 0-12 mark to this point did not foreshadow his pitching performance on this date. Miller worked eight fine frames, yielding one run and three hits, striking out nine.

Victory would be earned by Roger Craig, who worked a scoreless ninth inning and was rewarded as such when Choo Choo Coleman doubled and then scored on a game-ending two-out single by Frank Thomas versus reliever Bob Anderson.

The fine efforts of Gerberman and Miller went unrewarded but at least Miller had other opportunities to work again. Gerberman, despite a Clippard-esque performance in his major-league debut (other than that he walked 5), never pitched in the big leagues again.

True Metpards know...Only twice in 21 tries have the Mets won via walk-off when the opposing starter was making his major-league debut. The first was this game. The second was on May 10, 2003, when Padres starter Roger Deago debuted with six worthy innings, but the Mets beat the Padres on Mike Piazza's 10th inning home run vs Jaret Wright. Deago made only one other start in his MLB career after that game.


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