Skip to main content

This Rose Had Thorns

What was the best performance against the Mets by someone who cheated the game of baseball in some way?

I'm not picking the two-homer, seven-RBI game from Alex Rodriguez on July 2, 2006, though that would certainly be timely, worthy and appropriate.

Instead, I'm going to choose one from a game I stumbled across inadvertently, while reading about Joe Torre's Mets managerial career.

I'm referring to that by then-Red Pete Rose on April 29, 1978. In that game, Rose, who was on the verge of reaching 3,000 career hits (the stories the next day were about his desire to do so at home), went 5-for-6 with three home runs against three different Mets pitchers.

I must admit that this is one of the oddest box scores I've come across. This was a game that the Mets led 6-1 after three innings, with the key hit being Bobby Valentine's two-run single to cap a four-run first frame. Over the next six innings, the Mets were outscored, 13-1.

Rose homered in the fourth to cut the Mets lead to 6-3. He homered again in the fifth, and by this time his two-run shot increased Cincinnati's edge to 9-6. His eighth inning home run earned him a standing ovation at Shea (I remember when Mark McGwire got one of those) and accounted for the final score in a 14-7 victory. It is the only time in Mets history that they've allowed the same player to get five hits and three home runs in the same game.

There's another quirk to this contest. I would argue that it should stand as the best-pitched bad performance in Mets history. Starter Nino Espinosa lasted 3 2/3 innings and struck out eight hitters. That was the good part. Unfortunately, there was a bad part.

In the first three innings, Espinosa allowed one run (a home run to Dan Driessen) and struck out seven. In the fourth inning, Espinosa, who entered ahead by five runs, added one more strikeout, giving him eight. Unfortunately he didn't make it through the frame. Joe Torre didn't have a choice, basically, because Espinosa allowed three more home runs. His removal didn't stop the Reds, who scored 10 runs off a bullpen that would have had you wishing for the Mets relievers of 2008.

Those we've Met who smell like a Rose know... Five players have had a pair of 5-hit games against the Mets: Pete Rose, Ron Santo, Terry Pendleton, Sean Casey, and Brett Butler.

Comments

GM-Carson said…
Over the next few weeks WSBGM's will be breaking down each of the NL East teams' rosters. First on the docket is the infield (outfield, rotation, and bullpen to follow). There's a poll to vote on the best NL East infield following the breakdown of each teams' players.

Link: http://pabaseball.blogspot.com/2009/02/nl-east-infields.html

Give it a link if you like it...thanks.

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

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

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