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Even Seaver Had Days Like This

OK, so we're all a little nervous about Mr. Santana's health. The numbers aren't good across the board lately. He hasn't quite been the same pitcher since slipping while fielding that bunt in Pittsburgh. Our memories of the spring training arm issues are a little too fresh for our liking.

But at least for now, I'm here to offer comfort, not to fret.

What can I offer in the way of a remedy? How about the game of September 16, 1972?

That contest was played in a ballpark that could be as home run friendly as the joke that is Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field on a day where the wind was blowing out big-time.

Tom Seaver was starting for the Mets and there were some concerns. Seaver had aggravated a muscle injury in his buttock in his previous start, which limited him to five innings. I'm guessing there were some lingering effects based on the way Seaver pitched.

The line was Johan-esque:
2 1/3 innings
8 runs
6 hits
5 walks

The ultimate blow: a grand slam by Cubs pitcher Burt Hooton (shades of Felix Hernandez '08), who was the last batter Seaver faced in the third inning.

It was a part of what was probably the worst-pitched game in Mets history, until the 26-run debacle against the Phillies in 1985.

The Cubs beat the Mets, 18-5, which at the time set a Mets record for most runs allowed.

The Cubs had 17 hits (including five home runs) and 15 walks. Jose Cardenal had 5 RBI. Elrod Hendricks walked 5 times. Cubs pitchers had 3 hits other than the grand slam. It's all pretty grim.

So why would I tell you about this game?

Well, what's most important about it is what happened afterwards.

Tom Seaver pitched 4 more games in the 1972 season.

He won all 4.

Not only did Seaver win, he dominated. Seaver pitched 35 1/3 out of a possible 36 innings. He beat the division champion Pirates twice, striking out 15 the first time and 13 the next.

Tom Seaver
Last 4 starts of 1972

W-L: 4-0
ERA: 1.02
Opp BA: .157
K-BB: 42-6

So why waste the worry about Santana's health? It's not worth the trouble. Be a Seaver believer instead.

The Mets fan who yells "Ooh, I've been hit..." knows...Sunday's game marked the 40th time a Mets pitched allowed 9+ runs in a game. Tom Seaver never did it, but among those besides Johan Santana who did: Tom Glavine, Orel Hershiser, Dwight Gooden, and David Cone (Cy Young winners all).

June 14 also the fictional 22nd anniversary of the spitting incident in which Roger McDowell loogied Kramer and Newman, the Seinfeld characters, and escaped undetected until outed by Keith Hernandez.

Comments

Thunderdang said…
You should make one change. For the Mariners it should say:

How do I feel about em? Love em for '95.

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