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Our Special Bonds

If I had to pick a way for the Mets to win a game in this upcoming series against the Giants, it would, of course, be for them to get a walk-off win, but it would be even better if they were to do so when trailing entering their final at-bat.

I say that not just because this has been a relatively angst-free season thusfar, and I'm looking to stir the pot a bit, nor am I saying it because it's my father's favorite way for the Mets to win a game (see 1999 NLCS Game 5).

I say this because I noticed a trend when studying the Mets walk-off wins in which Barry Bonds has played. They've had an unusual penchant for snatching victory from would-be defeat.

I counted four instances of said scenario, in which a Bonds-led team went from victor to walk-off victim against the Mets.

June 7, 1987: Bonds went 1-for-5 in the opener of a doubleheader, one in which Andy Van Slyke's go-ahead home run in the 10th inning was wiped out by Lee Mazilli's 2-run win-clinching double in the bottom of the frame.

June 2, 1989: Bonds went 0-for-5 against the combination of Dwight Gooden, Randy Myers, and Rick Aguilera, leaving two runners stranded in an attempt to add on to a 2-1 Pirates lead in the 11th inning. That failure was magnified when Dave Magadan hit a two-run game-ending home run in the home 11th for the victory.

August 21, 1995: Bonds drove in one run and scored another in the eighth inning, as the Giants forced bonus baseball with a two-run rally. They would take the lead on, of all things, a balk in the visitors 11th inning. One out from triumph, Rod Beck would cough up the lead, allowing a game-tying RBI double to Joe Orsulak, followed by a walk-off RBI single by Jose Vizcaino.

September 1, 1996: On the day that the Mets inducted Mookie Wilson into their Hall of Fame, they pulled out a rather bizarre, improbable victory. Bonds was 2-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, a run scored, and an error on a Bobby Jones fly ball that led to a run, but that had nothing to do with the game's final outcome.

Giants catcher Rich Wilkins snapped a 4-4 10th-inning tie with a two-out, two-strike, RBI double off John Franco. After Franco escaped further damage, he was subsequently ejected from the contest for protesting a pitch on which he'd thought he had Wilkins whiffed.

Alas, there is sometimes justice in baseball, at least for those who thought that Franco was in the right with his argument. With one on and one out in the home 10th, Andy Tomberlin doubled to left. Pinch-runner Tim Bogar bowled over Wilkins to score the tying run, allowing Tomberlin to get to third base. That proved vital because after an intentional walk to Rey Ordonez, the Giants threw home on Carl Everett's ground ball to second base and Tomberlin scored the victorious run when Wilkins could not hold on to the throw.

True Metonds know...Barry Bonds has played for the opposing team in 11 Mets walk-off wins.


Anonymous said…
Wow, I was at the last three of those wins. Never made the Bonds connection.

But that's what we have Mets Walkoffs for.

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