Skip to main content

Shades of Grey

Today is the 13th anniversary of a Mets walk-off win for which I was in attendance, so I shall reminisce.

The highlight of the 1995 season was the Mets finally dumping Bobby Bonilla. Their on-the-field highlight may have been this game, a fun one between the Mets and Pirates, otherwise inconsequential to any pennant race.

What do I remember about myself from 1995? That was the year I began an internship at a local newspaper and became sports director of my college campus radio station (91.3 FM, WTSR, Trenton, "Open Your Mind"). I also remember being prematurely grey. Anytime this then 20-year-old got a haircut, there would be snips of white in between the black strands. It's not a significant issue now though. I guess I was a nervous youngster.

Much like the game we remembered on Monday, this too was a pitcher's duel, though there would be no complete game for Bret Saberhagen or Denny Neagle. As it turned out, it was Saberhagen's final appearance as a Met, as he too would be dumped in trade to the Rockies two days later for Juan Acevedo, and a player whose name came up on a Mets telecast the other day, Arnold Gooch.

Saberhagen made 59 starts for the Mets, most of which were good ones, and this would rank as a solid effort. In eight innings, he did not allow a run and surrendered only three hits.

Neagle matched Saberhagen for the first seven frames and the Mets were happy to see him disappear for a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth. The Mets would take a 1-0 lead on Jason Christiansen's watch in the bottom half on Carl Everett's RBI single.

Dallas Green opted to let John Franco close rather than let Saberhagen finish and that looked like a good decision for the first two outs of the top of the ninth. But Franco specialized in the ill-timed rally at this stage of his Mets career, so it wasn't that big a shock when Steve Pegues singled and was promptly doubled home by Nelson Liriano, tying the score, 1-1.

The home ninth didn't last long, as the Pirates paraded southpaw Ross Powell to the mound. Dallas Green countered with pinch-hitting specialist Chris Jones, and with one whack, the game ended on a walk-off home run.

"That's the way Mets baseball is, a little drama," Manager Dallas Green told the media afterwards. "That's why I've got this white hair."

Me too.

The truly grey Mets fan knows...Chris Jones had more walk-off hits for the Mets (5) then, among others, Keith Hernandez (4), Mike Piazza (4), and Edgardo Alfonzo (3).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cliff Notes

Alright, so it's 2 days later and the challenge for me now, after reading through about a dozen game stories and listening to talk radio, is to provide a fresh perspective on walk-off #324. If you're going to be a serious reader of this blog, you know what happened already, so let's look at what made this particular walk-off stand out. It would seem that the place to start is with the idea that everything broke just right on both sides of the ball. Particularly, I'm talking about Carlos Beltran's catch in the 7th inning, where he went over the center field fence to rob Jose Molina of a home run. Every no-hitter seems to have one defensive gem that makes it possible and perhaps that's true of great walk-off moments as well (We'll be looking into that!) Marlon Anderson's home run required a remarkable combination of events. It was only the sixth inside-the-park home run at Shea Stadium by a Met and the first since Darryl Strawberry in 1989. It required t

The greatness and the frustration of Nolan Ryan the Met

I was looking over dominant pitching versus opponents and over various stretches in Mets history and came upon one I found interesting. In his first six starts in 1971, Nolan Ryan went 5-1 with an 0.77 ERA. In 46 2/3 innings, he allowed 19 hits and struck out 47. Opponents hit .121 and slugged .172 against him. And oh yes, he walked 37 batters (!), or more than 7 per 9 innings. As you go back through those six starts, you can see both the brilliance and the frustration that eventually led to Ryan’s departure in one of the worst trades in baseball history. April 29 at Cardinals – 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 5 K, 8 BB Ryan’s first start of the season was 7-0 win over the Cardinals that completed a four-game sweep, though it wasn’t the most artful of efforts. Ryan walked eight, but held the Cardinals to only two hits. That included the thwarting of Joe Torre’s season-opening 22-game hitting streak. Torre would go on to win the MVP. The big moment in the game came with the score 1-0 in the

Mets Top Postseason Home Runs - The Top 5

No. 5 – Todd Pratt (1999 NLDS Game 4 vs Diamondbacks) Matt Mantei got it right. Watch the Diamondbacks pitcher as soon as Todd Pratt hits the ball in the 10 th inning. Significant chagrin is probably the best way to describe it. The funny thing is that Todd Pratt didn’t know. The fans didn’t know. Steve Finley had a reputation for being a great defensive center fielder who could pull back would-be home runs. He looked like he had a pretty good chance at this one, but for a leap that wasn’t quite Finley-caliber. Much like Finley, I missed Pratt’s home run. I was at a football game in Schenectady N.Y. between my alma mater, The College of New Jersey and Union College. I was TCNJ’s broadcaster then and I errantly didn’t pack a Walkman to keep tabs. I found out what happened when I went to the Sports Information Director’s office and I popped up ESPN.com on my Netscape Navigator browser. My screams of delight were met with the SID running back into the office to ask what was goi