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Oh Doctor (Taylor)

My parents are visiting Nova Scotia and other parts of Canada this week, and while the trip doesn't particularly interest me on its own merits (I'm sorry...I don't like to travel), it does give me an excuse to blog about the best Canadian Met.

That would be Dr. Ron Taylor, the former reliever who hails from Toronto, the one Canadian city I've visited previously (The SkyDome gets an A+...the rest of the city, eh...).

Purchased from the Astros after he had a mediocre 1966 season, Taylor was a key component of the Mets bullpen from 1967 to 1971.

Taylor had a rough stretch early in his Mets career, allowing runs in six of his first 12 appearances in that 1967 season. But then he settled down rather nicely. Over his next 17 appearances, he allowed but one run in 24 2/3 innings.

Among his successful appearances was an exciting walk-off win against the Pirates on June 26. It sounded like a rather entertaining game from the newspaper accounts I've read, one that would fit in well with the 2008 season.

The Mets trailed 2-0 with two outs and nobody on in the eighth inning, when Cleon Jones singled. The next batter, Ken Boyer, Taylor's former Cardinals teammate, came up clutch, tying the score with a two-run home run.

In the top of the ninth, the Pirates put a man on base with one out against Taylor for Al Luplow, a former Met traded a week earlier. The New York Times notes that Luplow said prior to the game that he'd "kill the Mets" if he had the chance, though that line sounds now like it was said in jest. He almost did, hitting a foul home run off Taylor, before flying harmlessly to centerfield. The sign that it was going good for Taylor was that the baserunner wandered way too far off first base and was easily doubled off.

Three straight hits brought in the winning run, the last a pinch-hit single by Ed Charles, who was batting for Taylor at the time. It would be the first of 11 times in his Mets career that Taylor would come up with a walk-off victory.

True Metnadians know...Ron Taylor pitched 10 1/3 postseason innings in his career and allowed no earned runs. He is not considered to have enough innings to be qualified as a postseason leader with his 0.00 ERA, but if he did, among those who he would be tied with are Joe Niekro (20 innings, 0.00 ERA) and John Rocker (20 2/3 innings, 0.00 ERA)


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