May 12

Mets History Today: Sweeping the Braves behind Hobie and Gil

It was one of the few times when the Mets had their way with the Braves. On this date in 1962 in the Polo Grounds, the Mets got ninth-inning homers from Hobie Landrith and Gil Hodges for their first-ever doubleheader sweep of the Braves.

Landrith’s homer won the first game, 3-2, and Hodges’ homer won the nightcap, 8-7.

LANDRITH: A shining moment.

Landrith hit a two-run pinch homer on the first pitch, but it was almost voided with runner Rod Kanehl nearly missed touching third base.

Landrith was a journeyman reserve catcher who played for Cincinnati, the Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Mets, Orioles and Senators. However, he’ll always be a trivia question answer to Mets fans for being the first pick of the team in the 1961 expansion draft.

It was after Landrith’s selection that then manager Casey Stengel said, “You gotta have a catcher or you’re going to have a lot of passed balls.’’

Landrith earned $75,000 that year. He returned his initial contract to team president George Weiss, saying it was a $3,000 paycut. Weiss sent that same contract back to Landrith three times before the catcher releneted.

Landrith was the Mets’ Opening Day catcher in 1962, but went 0-for-4, made an error and had the Cardinals steal three bases on him. He was replaced after that game by Joe Ginsberg.

Hodges, of course, was a New York legend, first as a player with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and then as manager of the 1969 Mets.

Hodges had his No. 14 retired by the Mets, and to this day it is a mystery to me why he isn’t in the Hall of Fame.

GAME ONE BOX

GAME TWO BOX

 

Jul 29

Mets Chat Room; getting critical.

Game #102 vs. Cardinals

Even if defeat, you have to admire how the Mets played last night. Their ace was hammered for six runs in the first inning, yet they fought back to tie the game. There was an extraordinary amount of pressure on Ike Davis, but he came off the bench to hit a game-tying single.

Still, there is no such thing as a moral victory in baseball. It remains a loss, one in which is difficult to rebound against. But, they have to do so with R.A. Dickey if they are to prevent spinning out of control as is often the case with these types of losses.

Even if they win, it remains doubtful the Mets can fix all that ails them in time to make the playoffs. They might make a run, but they don’t have enough, and now there’s word they won’t make a move for Ted Lilly or Brett Myers, the middle-tier pitchers in the market.

Oh yes, and the Phillies are closing in on a deal for Roy Oswalt.

After today,  there are 60 games remaining to the season. To win 90 games, what it would probably take to make it as a wild card, the Mets would have to go 40-20, a pace they’ve never reached this season.

But for now, it’s all they can do to reach 52 wins.

Jul 28

Mets Chat Room; Santana goes for series win.

Isn’t that the way it always is?

Game #101 vs. Cardinals

When the Mets flourished in June, Johan Santana struggled, going 1-3 with a 4.68 ERA. Then as the Mets hit the skids in July Santana has been brilliant at 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA.

But all that talk of him losing it in June was just that as Santana proves that on any given night he can be as great as anybody.

At 8-5, his record is mediocre, but his 2.79 ERA suggests he’s anything but.

Santana has a no decision in eight of his 21 starts, with the Mets going on to lose five of those games.  And in those games he’s given up a total of nine runs, three times not given up a run. There have been nine games in which the Mets scored three or less runs.

The Mets are currently 6 ½ games behind Atlanta. Reverse the outcome of the no-decisions in games lost by the Mets in which he’s pitched then the race has a different complexion to it.

Jul 28

Tonight’s lineup vs. Cardinals

Ike Davis gets the night off, to be replaced by Mike Hessman. Jason Bay’s concussion will keep him sidelined for the second straight game.

Here’s the lineup:

Jose Reyes, SS

Luis Castillo, 2B

Angel Pagan, LF

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, CF

Mike Hessman, 1B

Jeff Francoeur, RF

Henry Blanco, C

Johan Santana, LP