Jul 04

Today in Mets’ History: A wild one in Atlanta.

This game was like one of those car wrecks you seen on the highway. A rubberneck game, because once you started watching you couldn’t take your eyes off it.

And, you watched until 3:55 in the morning. Just in time to go out for breakfast, or, if you were in Atlanta on this day in 1985, you called the police because you thought your neighborhood near Fulton County Stadium was being attacked.

GORMAN: The game he'll never forget.

In arguably one of the most fascinating games in club history, and one of the wildest of all time, the Mets outlasted the Braves, 16-13, in 19 innings, a July 4 game featuring two rain delays; Keith Hernandez hitting for the cycle; seven players getting at least nine at-bat; the Braves tying the game twice in extra innings; Mets reliever Tom Gorman working six innings; and following the game a fireworks display that prompted a flood of emergency calls to the Atlanta police.

It all began with an all-day rain that delayed the game, and another one followed that forced Davey Johnson to pull Dwight Gooden from the game and replace him with Roger McDowell.

The early part of the game was non-descript as the Mets held, then blew a 7-4 lead behind Jesse Orosco, who gave up four runs in the eighth inning.

The Mets tied the game in the ninth on Lenny Dykstra’s RBI single scored Howard Johnson, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter and singled. Johnson would go on and have the unbelievable line of going 3-for-5 with four runs scored.

Johnson homered with a man on to give the Mets a two-run lead in the 13th inning, but the Braves rallied in the bottom of the inning on Terry Harper’s two-run homer off Tom Gorman.

The game continued to crawl into the late night, and five innings later the Mets scored again on pitcher Rick Camp’s throwing error. However, with the Braves down to their final out, Camp homered to tie the game.

VIDEO OF CAMP’S HOMER

The Mets finally got to Camp with five runs in the 19th inning, on run-scoring hits from Ray Knight, Danny Heep and Wally Backman. The win went to Gorman.

Ron Darling worked the 19th to close out the game, and the fireworks began at 4:01 a.m.

BOX SCORE THAT WOULDN’T END

 

Jul 03

Today in Mets’ History: Mets, Straw, outlast Astros.

Resiliency was one of the best descriptors of the 1986 Mets. They dominated with an attitude that they were never beaten.

STRAWBERRY: Big in the clutch in 86.

On this day against future playoff opponent Houston, the Mets overcame two two-run deficits to beat the Astros, 6-5, in 10 innings.

Down 2-0 with Ron Darling pitching, the Mets tied the game, 3-3, in the fifth inning on Darryl Strawberry’s two-run homer off Jim Deshaies.

Houston regained the lead, 5-3, in the 10th against Jesse Orosco on Phil Garner’s two-run homer, but the Mets came back with three on Strawberry’s two-run, game-tying homer and Ray Knight’s game-winner off Frank DiPino.

BOX SCORE

Strawberry was such a clutch player that season, driving in 24 runs with two outs and runners in scoring position and 60 runs with the game within two runs either way.

 

Jun 25

Today in Mets’ History: Sid stars for ’86 powerhouse.

While the 1969 Mets gathered steam and rolled late in the second half, the 1986 team steamrolled the National League from start to finish as that team dominated as manager Davey Johnson projected.

FERNANDEZ: Had great stuff.

On this date in 1986, Sid Fernandez and Roger McDowell combined to stuff the Montreal Expos, 5-2, at Shea Stadium.

While Doc Gooden was the headliner, the 86 staff was solid with Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda, Fernandez and Rick Aguilera.

All but Aguilera made at least 30 starts with over 200 innings pitched. There were no 20-game winners on that staff, but six pitchers all won in double digits, including McDowell, who was 14-9 in relief with 22 saves and 128 innings pitched.

Fernandez was 16-6 that season, and all indications were he was going to be a special pitcher. In many ways, Fernandez personified the Mets from that era in that he had loads of talent, but never developed into a big winner.

Fernandez never won more than the 16 games that season and finished his career in 1997 at 114-96 in 15 years with the Mets, Dodgers, Orioles, Phillies and Astros.

FERNANDEZ CAREER

BOX SCORE

 

 

 

Jun 15

Complaining about field helps Mets.

The Mets whining about the field last night might have been the turning point in the game. After Jose Reyes slipped leading off first, the Mets complained the field was too soggy and asked the umpires to have the grounds crew apply a drying agent.

REYES: Scoring in the first.

Reyes promptly stole second and scored, which turned out to be a big play as the Mets won by one run.

Although this worked out for the Mets, I don’t really like it. So the Braves watered down the infield to slow down Reyes. Get over it. It’s gamesmanship and teams have always tailored their field to their own advantage.

Wear the metal spikes Jose and move on. To complain makes the Mets look like whiners.

Teams have forever let the grass grow in the infield to slow down ground balls, sloped the baselines to help their bunters and watered down the infield to slow the opposition.

 

Ron Darling made an interesting comment when he said are they going to next make them cut the grass.

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Nov 24

Que Keith ….

Word is the SNY has reached a deal in principle with Keith Hernandez on a new contract. I obviously haven’t heard them all, but I find it difficult to imagine a better group than Hernandez, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling.

HERNANDEZ: He's coming back. That's great.

HERNANDEZ: He's coming back. That's great.


They provide insight with humor. Of the three, Hernandez comes across as the least polished and at times a bit spacy … but that’s his delight. Yeah, I don’t mind hearing about Hernandez’s travel plans and Cohen busting his chops by saying, “it’s all about you, isn’t it?”

Hernandez is witty and honest and pulls no punches. He’s not afraid to rip the home team, and this year they needed it for sure. That’s honesty and it is rare from team announcers.

What’s best about them is they don’t come across as blatant homers like you get from the team across town. We’re not stupid. We know what we’re watching, and Hernandez doesn’t come across as patronizing or condescending.