Jun 13

Today in Mets History: Strawberry delivers vs. Pirates.

Championship teams find a way to win and that’s the way it was for the 1986 Mets, a team loaded with stars and role players.

STRAWBERRY: Clutch in 86.

The Mets won with power and pitching, speed and defense. They were fundamentally sound, and played with grit and guile, but always with a confidence that they knew they were going to win.

On this date in 1986, they defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-5, at Shea Stadium. Dwight Gooden gave up three runs on three hits, but didn’t coast because he walked five. Mookie Wilson and Keith Hernandez homered of Rick Reuschel, but the Mets needed Darryl Strawberry’s RBI single off Pat Clements in the ninth inning for the game-winner.

After Pittsburgh tied the game with two runs off Jesse Orosco in the ninth, the Mets turned to small ball. Wilson singled with one out, advanced to second on a grounder, then after an intentional walk to Hernandez – the Pirates, like most teams then, feared Mex in the clutch – Strawberry delivered.

And, Strawberry did it frequently. Of his 93 RBI, 19 came in the seventh inning or later when the score was tied or the Mets were ahead or behind by a run. He drove in 28 total when the game was tied at any time.

BOX SCORE

Jun 06

Today in Mets History: A typical mauling.

The Mets finally recognized the 1986 team this weekend. I’m bad, too. I should have had more on that dynamic team, also. I’ll rectify that beginning today.

DANNY HEEP: Remember him?

The 1986 Mets mauled opponents. They dominated. The steamrolled them. Such as on this date in Pittsburgh with a 10-4 rout that featured 15 hits.

The first four hitters in the order, Mookie Wilson, Wally Backman, Darryl Strawberry and Danny Heep went a combined 9-for-18 with seven runs scored.

The Mets hit only three homers that day – Rick Aguilera, Strawberry and Wilson – to move 20 gaves (35-15) over .500.

Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez were off that day.

Aguilera started and lasted 4.1 innings, and Roger McDowell worked 3.2 innings of relief to earn the victory.

On a side note, Barry Bonds went 0-for-5 for the Pirates.

BOX SCORE

 

Jun 02

Mets rally to win; don’t go overboard on Collins’ speech.

The easy thing to do would be credit this afternoon’s startling comeback on Terry Collins’ blistering rant last night.

Maybe Collins shamed them somewhat, but it didn’t seem that way from the outset when Mike Pelfrey gave it up early. I think falling behind 7-0 had more to do with sparking the Mets than anything Collins said last night.

When you’re a professional athlete, sometimes it takes being pushed around to catch your attention, and that’s what happened today. Maybe for one day at least, enough was enough.

Pelfrey did nothing yesterday to prove he’s a No. 1 starter, but Carlos Beltran showed his mettle with a three-run homer hit early enough in the game to make a comeback a realistic thought.

After their early hole, the Mets played an aggressive, sound game, something they should be doing all the time. That was the essence of Collins’ message in the first place.

It’s an oversimplification to say Collins going off carried the Mets. If it was that easy, he’d rail all the time. In baseball, where they play 162 games, results are rarely attained by yelling.

Maybe the Mets were just due today. Maybe it was playing the Pirates, a team as Willie Harris said, “is not much better than them.’’

The Mets have had games like this before, but weren’t able to build on them. This weekend it’s the Braves coming in and we’ll see if the Mets are able to feed off today or just burp and regress.

Jun 02

Willie Harris …. zip it.

HARRIS: Tone it down.

Just who is Willie Harris to call out anybody or any team, let alone the one who just beat him?

“No disrespect, but the Pirates aren’t much better than we are right now,’’ Harris said after last night’s meltdown.

That’s total disrespect and such a quote should nail down for him “Idiot of the Week Award.’’

The Mets’ late-inning collapse was again attributable to the bullpen, and Harris’ shoddy defense. First, in not getting to a ball and second not knowing where the bag was which failed to get a force, and, well you know the rest.

Maybe Harris was trying to be positive, but he’s not helping his team by calling out the Pirates, who play the Mets this afternoon and next week in Pittsburgh.

When you’re playing bad, just own up to it and don’t give the other team any ammunition. A team such as the Pirates, which has been losing for the better part of two decades, takes its motivation where it can and Harris just gave them a little more.

 

NEXT UP: Collins’ rant.

May 31

Davis still ailing; notebook; tonight’s lineup vs. Pirates.

Some two weeks for Ike Davis, huh? The Mets are now saying he might be able to return by the All-Star break.

Davis will be wearing a protective boot and will be shut down for at least three weeks.

“The only baseball activities he can do, basically, is play catch, and he’ll be able to swing,’’ manager Terry Collins told reporters today at Citi Field. “But he’s not to do any running whatsoever for the next three weeks. There’s still a hot spot where the bone bruise is. So we’re going to pretty much shut him down from that type of activity.’’

Meanwhile, David Wright will have an X-ray Thursday to determine a timetable for when he can resume baseball activities. Wright in on the DL with a stress fracture in his lower back.

The Mets say Jose Reyes is expected to return from bereavement leave for Thursday’s game.

On a positive note, Johan Santana is throwing off the mound in 15-pitch intervals in Port St. Lucie. The next step will be throwing batting practice.

Here’s tonight’s starting lineup against Pittsburgh:

Angel Pagan, CF

Justin Turner, 2B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF

Daniel Murphy, 3B

Nick Evans, 1B

Josh Thole, C

Ruben Tejada, SS

RA Dickey, RP

COMMENTS: Dickey will get the start despite leaving his last start in Chicago early with an injury to his right heel. No doubt, the Mets will keep him on a short leash. Dale Thayer is first in line should Dickey falter. …. Pat Misch cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Buffalo.