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Land of the Lost Mets

There's a new Will Ferrell movie coming out today, and though I'm someone who thinks he's very hit-or-miss, I've gained a new appreciation for him recently.

A couple of weeks ago, Ferrell was on Saturday Night Live, and one reran sketch featured him as an attorney named Wade Blasingame, best known for filing lawsuits against misbehaving dogs.

Those who know Ferrell's work know he is a legit sports fan (favorite player: Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillen), and it made me laugh to see that he made it a point within the sketch to note that he was not playing the baseball player sharing the name of that attorney.

Turns out that Wade Blasingame dogged the Mets pretty good during his day, of the ilk of a Josh Johnson or fellow southpaw Randy Tomlin.

From 1964 to 1970, Blasingame went 9-0 against the Mets. That run of starts included May 20, 1965, in which he beat Warren Spahn, 7-1, and was kept from a no-hitter only by a Ron Swoboda seventh-inning single.

One of the reasons the Mets may have been so successful in 1969: Perhaps it was that it was the only year in that seven-season period in which they didn't face Blasingame once.

Much like Tomlin had issues with some other teams, so did Blasingame. His bark was worse than his bite. Keep this in mind

From 1964 to 1970
Wade Blasingame vs Mets: 9-0
Wade Blasingame vs others: 28-39

It wasn't until Blasingame's 20th and final appearance against the Mets that the team gained a measure of satisfaction. On May 10, 1971, the Mets were so hot, at 17-9 entering, that not even the ace of aces could stop them.

It wasn't easy though. Blasingame took a shutout and 1-0 lead into the seventh inning before being touched for a two-run, two-out single by Bud Harrelson, putting the Mets ahead to stay. Tug McGraw got the last six outs to wrap up the one. Leonard Koppett of the New York Times noted that it made the Mets 18-9, a win percentage (.667) they'd only previously encountered in their history when they had a mark of 2-1.

The Mets would not have to face Blasingame again after that. After the 1971 season, he was traded to the Yankees, for whom he spent his final major league season. His final record: 46-51. And no, I don't think he became a dog attorney in his post-baseball career.

True Metsingames know...

Best Regular Season Win Percentage vs Mets
Minimum 10 career decisions

.909 Larry Jackson (21-2)
.900 Bruce Hurst (9-1)<<
.900 Wade Blasingame (9-1)
>> Does not include 2 World Series wins

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