Skip to main content

'Bear' Facts

June 9 (Saturday) marks the second anniversary of our first blog posting. It also marks the anniversary of three Mets walk-off wins and while you're bowing your head in shame after the events of the past three days, I figured I'd share the story of one of the two that I haven't written about in my previous 448 posts.

Some people have told me that my blog is unappreciated by the masses (recent day tallies include fewer than two dozen visitors)and that's okay, because I've got a hit counter of 61,000+ that keeps me pretty happy. But to appease those folks, I thought I'd draw the parallel with a Met for whom June 9, 1964 is a day of significance. Well, maybe not really, but I find it so.

On that date, Larry Bearnarth set a Mets record that has yet to be broken. In fact, in the last 30 years, no one has come close to approaching it. In the first game of a doubleheader against the Cubs, Bearnarth labored through 10 innings- as a RELIEVER..

In this day and age clubs carry seven bullpen moundsman, pitch counts are maintained and a day's work rarely lasts more than three frames. But Bearnarth didn't live by those rules and earned his way into the Great Big Book of Minutiae (not to be confused with one Mets blogger's "Holy Books") on the way to becoming the first Met to register a four-game win streak.

This was not an easy task by any means. Getting through these Cubs required fighting through a lineup in which the two through five hitters were Lou Brock, Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Ernie Banks. Bearnarth did so with great aplomb (second time this week we've used that word) though the three who preceded him in this contest struggled mightily.

With the score tied 4-4 in the third inning, Bearnarth relieved Tom Sturdivant, who was ineffective in replacing Bill Wakefield, who was reasonably decent after relieving Al Jackson, who was just plain lousy. The Mets had already used three pitchers and had another game following this one, so the ball was placed in Bearnarth's hands for the long term. He was a good caretaker.

The Cubs did not score in the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th and in fact, they didn't muster even a single hit in those six frames. The Mets didn't do much better and their failure to score meant a day of bonus baseball beyond the two-for-one plans of the day.

The Cubs finally tagged Bearnarth for two hits in the 10th but he was able to escape that inning and the next one without damage, as did Cubs starter Dick Ellsworth, whose 4-run 12-hit line through 11 innings showed he was more lucky than good in this game.

In the visitors 12th, Bearnarth finally yielded, as back-to-back singles by Santo and Banks set a table which Dick Bertell cleaned off with an RBI single to put the Cubs in front, 5-4.

Thankfully for the Mets, they had the heart of the lineup due up in the home half and though the trio of Ron Hunt, Joe Christopher and Charley Smith doesn't strike the same kind of fear as Beltran-Delgado-Wright, it was made up of enough quality and heart to reward Bearnarth for his performance.

Such a triumph did not come without assistance though. With one on and one out, Santo booted Smith's grounder, giving the Mets a real good scoring chance rather than put them on the throes of defeat.

The Mets went 10-42 in Amado Samuel's appearances this season, but on that day, his appearance provided a pleasant spark. Subbing at the plate for Bearnarth against reliever Lindy McDaniel, Samuel rapped what I'm guessing was the most clutch of his 79 big league hits, a single that scored Christopher with the tying run and sent Smith scampering to third. Then, following an intentional walk to Roy McMillan, reserve catcher Jesse Gonder produced a hit of his own, one that brought home the winning run, and one that made Bearnarth's efforts well worth the trouble.

True Metnarths know...The Mets other June 9 walk-off wins took place in 1982 (the high drama of a Hubie Brooks game-ending fielder's choice) and 1999 (Rey Ordonez beats the Blue Jays). If you want to read about the excitement of the latter and how it was overshadowed, feel free to click on the following link.

http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2006/11/devil-rey.html

Comments

Anonymous said…
Dude, you've got some of the most desirable demographics in the business. Happy anniversary!

Popular posts from this blog

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

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

Didja Ever Notice: How well do you know the bottom of the 10th?

The answers to all of these can be found from a viewing of the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, or in the comments section of this blog. 1- What was the last name of the Red Sox pitching coach, Bill, who visited the mound to talk to Calvin Schiraldi in the middle of the Mets comeback? His last name is spelled differently from that of a chunky Mets pitcher of the early 1960s. This coach's claim to fame is that he once pitched 84 1/3 straight innings without issuing a walk. 2- The attendance for Game 6 of the World Series was 55-thousand and ____. You can fill in the blank with the last 2 digits being the same as a season that haunts Red Sox fans. 3- This former Met, who teamed with Calvin Schiraldi to pitch badly in the 26-7 loss to the Phillies in 1985, was standing with Bob Stanley in the bullpen during the inning, though Vin Scully noted he was not throwing at that moment. Name him. 4- How much money did each player get for winning the World Series in 1918? 5-