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Walk This Way

If you came straight to this post, please check out my other post today at
http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2008/04/were-number-won.html

There was some major weirdness in that Friday night game, in which the Mets drew 3 CONSECUTIVE bases-loaded walks, producing their only runs of the night.

Three bases-loaded walks, while unusual, is not unheard of in Mets history. I'm guessing more than a few readers will recall the 10-run eighth inning against the Braves on June 30, 2000, capped by Mike Piazza's go-ahead home run. What you may have forgotten in the rally from that 8-1 deficit is that the reason the Mets got close in that game is because they drew 3 consecutive bases-loaded walks (Mark Johnson, Melvin Mora, and Derek Bell).

However, I'm guessing most readers here will not recall another such occurrence, the one from June 29 , 1962.

You could argue that this game, between the Mets and the Dodgers, was one that had major implications on the pennant race, since the Dodgers finished the season even with the Giants, before falling in a 3-game playoff.

This was a case of men against boys, though not that which you would think would occur when a 20-51 team plays at a 50-28 squad. No, this was a case in which the crusty, aging Mets, beat up on 19-year-old starter Joe Moeller, striking fear into his delivery with their mere presence.

The top of the first inning, I kid you not, went like this:

Walk
Flyout
Walk
Walk
Walk (Bases-loaded walk #1)
Walk (Bases-loaded walk #2)
Walk (Bases-loaded walk #3)
Strikeout
Walk (Bases-loaded walk #4, albeit not consecutive with the others)
2-run single
Popout

In all, six runs, one hit, and seven walks, the last three of which came from Dodgers ace reliever Ron Perranoski, who was as equally allergic to the strike zone as Moeller was.

By the time the game was concluded, the Mets had a 10-4 victory, despite managing only four hits. They ended up with 16 walks! That is a club record that has stood for 46 years. Baseball-Reference.com's PI function goes back to 1956 and has no other 9-inning game in which the visiting team drew 16 or more walks. And there is only one other game (1996, Tigers vs Mariners) in which a team scored 10 runs with AS FEW AS four hits.

The 1962 club was actually a very patient bunch. They also had a 15-walk game (won on a walk-off walk, of course), three 12-walk games, an 11-walk game, and a 10-walk game. It's no surprise that they led the National League in walks. It's just too bad that they couldn't do anything else. Let's hope we don't wind up saying something like that about the current team, one that I'm starting to feel a little better about after the weekend's developments.

Those Who Truly Walk The Mets Way Know... That the next Mets team to lead the NL in walks was the 1986 Mets. The only other Mets squad to lead the NL in walks did so in 1992.

Comments

Anonymous said…
i was at the game June 30, 2000 and the game last friday night where there were 3 stratight bases loaded, weird.... b/c its just not a common thing
Anonymous said…
I was at both games as well, and I have probably only been to about 10 mets games.

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