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Golden Opportunity

Well, at least the good news after a tough-to-take loss on Wednesday is that at least Hong Chih Kuo isn't pitching against the Mets tonight. The Mets were embarassed in their first series in Los Angeles this season and had Kuo been pitching, I would have thunk this was a guaranteed loss day. But I'll give the Mets at least a small chance of triumph against sometimes-capable-of-imploding sinkerballer Derek Lowe.

Anyway, I got intrigued after seeing Wednesday's trivia question regarding which pitcher has beaten the Mets the most over their career (I got tricked into thinking it was second-place Steve Carlton), so I did a few look-ups on until I found something worth writing about. I came upon a list of pitchers to beat the Mets five times in a season, a single-year record.

The names are all fairly recognizable and respectable, with one exception: Jim Golden.

Golden was apparently the Hong Chih Kuo of his time. Kuo, on the DL with an elbow strain, is 2-0 against the Mets in regular-season play (yes, 0-1 in the postseason) and 0-10 with an ERA of like a bazillion against the rest of the human baseball world.

Golden was cut from a similar ilk. In 1962, the second of his two full big league seasons, Golden went 7-11 with a 4.06 ERA. That splits up into 5-0 with a 2.32 ERA against the Mets, 2-11 with a 4.51 ERA against the rest of baseball civilization. His career was done after a brief big-league stint in 1963 and I'm guessing injuries were involved. Though, if the only team you can beat in that era is the Mets, chances are you're not sticking around very long.

I actually noted Golden's most noteworthy accomplishment in an earlier blog post, as he's the only pitcher in the last 50 years with a multi-triple game, a feat accomplished in a 16-3 triumph against the Mets on June 22, 1962. There were no walk-offs among the other wins, the most interesting of which was a cheapie on April 17, 1962 (the 5th game in Mets history), in which Golden blew a 2-0 8th inning lead while working in relief, but triumphed when the Mets missed a couple of walk-off opportunities, then lost 5-2 in 11 innings.

I wasn't going to write today, as I was hurting for something interesting but I figured that this little blurb would be entertaining. I guess you could say I found something more Golden than silence.

True Gold Club Metbers know...Greg Maddux has a lot of wins against the Mets, but he's never beaten them 5 times in a season. The full list of those who have: Jack Sanford (1962), Jim Golden (1962), Bob Friend (1962), Jm Maloney (1963), Jim Bunning (1964), Don Drysdale (1964, 1965), Bob Gibson (1965), Juan Marichal (1965), Gary Nolan (1967), and Larry Christenson (1976).


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