Mar 23, 2019

Hall of Fame Pitcher: Tom Glavine (The Mets Years: 2003-2008)

Thomas Michael Glavine was born on March 25th, 1966 in Concord, Massachusetts. The six foot left handed pitcher was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January of 2014.

He was the winningest pitcher of the 1990's, a two time Cy Young Award winner, a five time twenty game winner, a five time NL Pennant winner, an eight time All Star & onetime World Series champion. Glavine was also a long time Player Union Representative since 1991 replacing the Braves Dale Murphy in the position.

Glavine was an excellent control pitcher, with the ability to fool hitters by changing speeds & location of his pitches often during an at bat. He was also a good hitting pitcher with a career .186 batting average, one HR 25 doubles, two triples, 93 runs scored & 90 RBIs. After falling off in the second part of the 2002 season & losing two games in the post season, the Braves refused to offer Glavine the extra year he wanted in his contract.

Fred Wilpon pampered Glavine & his wife around New York & offered him a four year 42.5 million dollar deal to come to New York. All of a sudden the former Mets rival was now a team mate & the fans had to root for him.

The calm soft spoken Glavine came to New York, making his Mets debut wearing uniform #47, on Opening Day 2003 at a cold windy Shea Stadium game against the Chicago Cubs. There was a lot of excitement in the air but it didn't go that well. Glavine walked the lead off batter & gave up three straight hits, it was 2-0 before the first out & 4-0 by the end of the first inning. The Mets lost 15-2 that day with Glavine taking the loss. centerfieldmaz was there.

His next outing was better, he allowed one run over five innings as New York beat the Montreal Expos 3-1 for his first Mets win. Glavine won his next two starts as well, including a seven inning , three run outing to beat the Florida Marlins on April 20th. In May he had a strong outing in San Francisco, going into the 9th inning allowing just one run, as the Mets beat the Giants 5-1.

On May 24th he returned to Atlanta wearing a Mets uniform, receiving mixed reviews from the crowd. Mostly they were appreciative of his years of service & winning efforts with the Braves. He pitched his heart out that day, but was knocked out in the 4th inning after serving up six runs, taking another loss. From there he lost five straight decisions, eight of nine & was at 6-11 at the start of August.

On September 19th he served up the first & only grand slam of his career, to Jose Vidro in a loss to the EXpos. It was clear the Mets were going nowhere this year as they finished 66-95 last in the NL East. Glavine went 3-3 the final two months finishing up a disappointing 9-14 with a 4.52 ERA in 32 starts.

He improved a bit in 2004, starting out the season by beating his old Braves team mates in Atlanta, with a two run two hit, six inning performance. He earned win #2 in Montreal later that week, with a one run seven inning outing to beat the Expos 4-1.

On April 16th he shut out the Pirates over seven innings but got no decision after the bullpen (Orber Moreno, Mike Stanton & David Weathers) allowed seven runs in the 8th inning, blowing his shut out.

On May 23rd, Glavine threw a spectacular one hitter at Shea Stadium, to beat the Colorado Rockies 4-0. He struck out a season high eight batters while walking only one. He bested his record to 6-2 was named to the All Star team in a Mets uniform & things were looking good. Then he was involved in a taxi cab car accident, getting slightly injured while losing his front tooth. He was shaken up off the field & on the field his second half went downhill.

Unfortunately he would win just five more games all year & lose twelve. At the end of June into early July he lost five straight games, while giving up four runs or more three times in a row.

He closed out August with a six inning one run victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 27th. He also closed out the season on October 3rd, with another one run six inning performance, this time beating the Montreal Expos.

The Mets finished the year in fourth place & the Art Howe era came to an end. Glavine went 11-14 with a 3.60 ERA, striking out 109 batters while walking 70 in 212 innings pitched (tenth most in the NL) over 33 starts.

In 2005 the Mets showed much improvement going into the season, some of the credit goes to Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson who suggested he pitch more inside & use a curve ball more often. The new manager was Willie Randolph & the GM Omar Minaya landed Pedro Martinez as the new ace of the staff as well as star outfielder Carlos Beltran.

Pedro began the year as the Opening Day starter & Glavine pitched the second game of the year, getting knocked out by after four innings, taking a 9-5 loss to the Reds in Cincinnati. After starting out 0-2, he pitched a strong game on April 22nd against the Washington Nationals. Glavine went seven innings allowing just one run on two hits, striking out seven batters.

On April 27th the Braves came to town & beat Glavine once again, knocking him out in the 5th inning after he served up seven runs including HRs to Andru Jones & William Betemit. In May when the Mets went to Atlanta, the Braves beat Glavine again, although he did pitch into the 7th inning before giving up four runs. By the All Star break he was 6-7 & then beat the Nationals again to get to the .500 mark. He remained at .500 the rest of the year until mid September when he dropped to 10-13.

But he finished strong, starting out with a complete game win over the Braves at Shea Stadium, for a 4-1 six hit victory.

On September 24th he pitched eight innings in Washington, allowing just two runs to beat the Nats 5-2. Glavine closed out the year with another complete game, the second in two weeks & earned the Pitcher of the Month Award. This time he shut out the Colorado Rockies at Shea, with a spectacular two hitter, striking out a season high eleven batters.

Glavine finished out the year at 13-13 with a 3.53 ERA (both second to Pedro Martinez) striking out 105 batters & walking 61 in 211 innings of work in 33 starts. That season he was a spokesperson for Volunteers of Americas: Operation Backpack, helping homeless children as well as Katrina victims.

2006 started with lots of excitement as the team had acquired Carlos Delgado, Paul Loduca, Jose Valentin & Xavier Nady in the off season. It proved to be the best year for the Mets since 2000 as they won the N.L. Eastern crown, staying on top of the pack all year long.

With Pedro Martinez sidelined, Glavine got the Opening Day start. He out dueled the Nationals; Livan Hernandez for 3-2 victory. Glavine went six innings allowing just one run on six scattered hits. On April 14th he beat the Milwaukee Brewers & then suffered a tough loss on his next start.

On April 19th, he pitched eight innings against the Atlanta Braves, allowing just one earned run but lost to Tim Hudson who threw a complete game 2-1 win. On April 29th in Atlanta, Glavine threw another gem; he went out & shut out the Braves for seven innings, beating John Thomson 1-0. Paul Loduca's solo HR was the only run of the game.

From that point on the Mets & Glavine caught fire. Glavine won six straight games through May & nine straight decisions into July. On May 4th he shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates for seven innings, as he went into stretch of throwing 17 straight scoreless innings over three games.

On May 21st, he beat the A.L. New York team in the subway series, helped out by back to back HRs by David Wright & Carlos Delgado. On May 27th he went into the 8th inning in Florida, allowing three runs in the 7-4 victory.

A month later on June 23rd, he pitched a seven inning one run game in Toronto beating the Blue Jays 11-2 in inter-league play. In July he had three outings were he allowed five runs or more & was just 1-4 through the summer months of July & August.

He had a big scare that August when he felt coldness in his left ring finger & was tested for a possible dangerous blod clot. The results were negative & he was back to work for September.

On September 18th the Mets clinched their first NL East title in 18 years, the next night Glavine beat the Marlins with an eight inning two run performance. On September 30th he closed out the year with a win in Washington, giving him his 15th win of the year.

It was Glavine's best year as a Met, as he tied with Steve Trachsel for most wins on the club, went 15-7 (2nd most wins in the NL, tied with five other pitchers) with 131 strike outs (all his Mets bests) posting a 3.82 ERA in 198 innings over 32 starts. He became the first Mets left hander in thirty years to make thirty or more starts in four consecutive seasons.

Post Season: Glavine got the start in Game #2 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, at Shea Stadium (a game centerfieldmaz was in attendance at).

Glavine was in his usual post season form, throwing six innings of shut out ball, allowing just four hits, two walks & striking out two. He left with a 2-0 lead after Endy Chavez scored the first run, with a single, advancing on a wild pitch & Glavine force play, leading to a Jose Reyes ground out run.

Paul Loduca added a sac fly in the 5th as well. In the bottom of the 6th inning the Mets tacked on two more runs, with a Julio Franco ground out & a Jose Reyes single. Glavine got the win as the Mets went up two games to nothing, on their way to the sweep.

In the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals he got the start in the Game One Opener at Shea Stadium. Once again he stepped up & was spectacular; pitching seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits & two walks, striking out two. Carlos Beltran hit a two run HR providing the Mets with all they needed in the 2-0 win over Jeff Weaver.

With a depleted Mets pitching staff, missing Pedro Martinez & Orlando Hernandez, Glavine got the call for Game #5 in St. Louis, as well. Although the Mets scored first, the Cards struck. In the home 4th, Albert Pujols hit a HR off Glavine & Rafael Belliard singled home another run. Glavine allowed one more run before his exit in the 5th & was the losing pitcher. The Mets lost the game & the series in seven games, ending a heartbreaking series after a fine season.

Glavine felt good about the Mets chances in the next few years & signed a two year deal with them in hopes of winning another championship as well as winning his 300th game. He entered the 2007 season with 290 wins & the Mets were proud that he would accomplish this feat in a New York uniform.

In 2007 the Mets returned to carry out a mission to get to the World Series & avenge their NLCS lost from the previous year. It was a strong year but the team collapsed in the final month & lost a playoff berth on the last day of the season. Glavine got the Opening Day win in St. Louis, after the Mets saw the Cards raise their World Championship flag.

Christine Glavine
In his next start, his friend John Smoltz beat him in Atlanta. But Glavine was strong from their winning four straight decisions until the end of May. He then lost four straight decisions, including two inter league game walloping's by the Tigers in Detroit (nine runs in 4.1 innings) & the A.L. New York club (seven runs in 4 innings).

On June 22nd he pitched a strong one run eight inning performance against the Oakland A's at Shea Stadium. In his next start on June 27th, he shut out the Cardinals for six innings earning his seventh win of the year (7-5). On July 14th Glavine beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-1, as he out dueled Matt Beslisle. The Mets won the game as Lastings Milledge singled off Mike Stanton in the bottom of the 8th inning. Glavine rolled along with six straight wins into mid September.

300th Victory: The biggest win of his personal career came on August 5th at Wrigley Field in Chicago. On a nationally broadcast game, he pitched six & a third innings, allowing just two runs on six hits, exiting with a 5-1 lead.

He went on to get the win & become just the fifth left hander in history to win 300 games over the course of a fabulous career. He & his family were honored by the organization, as well as the media, at a post game press conference & festivities.

On September 30th he pitched his final game with the Mets. It was the Mets final game of the year & they needed the win to get to the playoffs after a disastrous week. The day before John Maine pitched the game of his life, flirting with a no hitter into the 8th inning giving the Mets life & a much needed win.

But in the last game, Glavine was shelled for seven runs in the first inning, as the Mets playoff hopes ended as did Glavines career in New York. Many felt he went out their lax & showed no emotion as well as no heart in the game. After a bad start to his Mets career to a promising playoff run, it now ended just as bad as it began.

In his five year Mets career; Glavine was 61-56 with a 3.41 ERA. He struck out 516 batters, walked 114 while pitching 1005 innings in 164 games.

He closed out his career in Atlanta going 2-4 in 13 games in 2008.

In his 22 year career Glavine won two Cy Young Awards, a TSN Pitcher of the Year Award & made ten All Star Games. He was 305-203 (21st in wins) with a 3.54 ERA. He has 2607 strike outs (24th all time) 1500 walks (12th most all time) in 4413 innings (30th all time) in 682 starts (12th all time). He has thrown 22 shut outs (173rd all time) & has 52 complete games.

Retirement: Since his playing days he has become a color analyst for Atlanta Braves games.

Honors: In 2010 the Braves retired his uniform #47 at Turner Field. In 2014 he was elected to Cooperstown into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Family: He & his second wife Christine have five children, they reside in Johns Creek, Georgia. tom coaches his sons baseball & hockey teams.

Glavine is a Catholic & has done a piece for Catholic Athletes for Christ. He has always been very active in charity work, from the Rally Foundation, to CURE to the Georgia Transplant Foundation.

Remembering Mets History: (2004) Tom Glavine Tosses One Hitter

Sunday May 23rd 2004: A nice crowd of 37,486 came out for a Sunday matinee at Shea, to see Art Howe's .500 Mets (22-22) host Clint Hurdle's Colorado Rockies (17-26).

Today's starters were Tom Glavine for New York & former Met starter of "the Roger Clemens Game"  at Shea, Sean Estes, now with the Rockies.

Starting Lineups

In the home 1st inning, Kaz Matsui led off with a HR to make it 1-0 Mets. Matsui had also homered to lead off the previous days game as well. Two batters later Cliff Floyd added a solo HR & it was 2-0 Mets.

In the 3rd Matsui led off with a double & two batters later scored on a Cliff Floyd ground out.

In the home 6th inning, Shane Spencer singled & eventually got to third base. Pitcher Tom Glavine then singled off Estes to bring in the Mets fourth run.

Glavine had himself an outstanding evening on the mound. He retired the first twenty three batters he face, flirting with a no hitter until two outs in the 8th inning. The Rockies had just one base runner all night up to that point, as Glavine had allowed one walk to Denny Hocking in the 7th.

But with two outs in the 8th, first base man Kit Pellow doubled to right field . Pellow would just play three years in the majors (2002-2004) play in 99 games & bat a career .257 hit 4 HRs with 52 hits 9 doubles & 19 RBIs. Another Mets no hit bid foiled.

Glavine reared back & struck out Rene Reyes to end the inning. The crowd gave him a huge standing ovation as he exited. Glavine came on & retired the side in order in the 9th finishing off his one hitter.

It was the 27th one hitter in Mets history & one of two that Glavine would toss in a Mets uniform. Glavine went to 6-2 with a 2.13 ERA on the year & would finish up 11-14 with a 3.60 ERA on the 71-91 fourth place Mets.

Remembering Mets History (2007): Tom Glavine One Hits St. Louis In a Rain Shortened Game (2007)

June 27th 2007: In this rematch of the 2006 NLCS, the First place New York Mets (43-33) under Willie Randolph, faced off against Tony Larussa's reigning World Champion Cardinals. The Cards were 10.5 games out of first place at 34-41 at this point.

Tom Glavine (6-5) went up against Anthony Reyes (0-9) to an excited Shea Stadium crowd of 40,948. The Mets started off scoring right away, in the 1st inning Paul Loduca singled,& with two out, David Wright blasted a two run HR. It would be all the Mets needed in the 2-0 win.

Tom Glavine, gave up a 2nd inning single to Scott Rolen which would be the only hit he would allow. The rains came down & shortened the game after six innings. It was an official game as the Mets won it 2-0. In six innings, Glavine allowed no runs, on one hit, three strike outs & two walks for his 7th win of the year (4.12 ERA).

It was the 30th one hitter in Mets history. The latest one since the September 3rd, 2006 combined one hitter by; Orlando Hernandez, Roberto Hernandez, Darren Oliver & Guillermo Mota. He finished the year at 13-8 with a 4.45 ERA.

Mar 22, 2019

Remembering Mets History: (1962) The First Meeting Between The Mets & the AL New York team

Spring Training- March 22nd 1962: The brand new New York Mets, were an expansion team in their first Spring Training. A rag tag bunch of has been players beyond their prime & some very young new kids made up the team, headed by manager Casey Stengel. 

Stengel had been fired from the AL New York team after losing the 1960 World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. These Mets were about to head North, bringing Nation League baseball back to fans who had lost their Giants & Dodgers to California just five years prior.

This was the first meeting between the two New York clubs, the first subway series game, albeit a spring training exhibition one. Casey's Mets were 5-7 that spring, not bad for a team that would lose 120 games in the regular season. On the other side, Casey's old team was 10-1 just coming off a World Series win. For Casey this was a big game, he wanted some kind of revenge.

There already was some drama going on, even in 1962 with the Mets not even have played a game in New York yet. There were many fans who gravitated toward the Mets, mostly National Leaguers of the old Giants & Dodgers. There were even some AL fans that switched allegiances. 

Rogers Hornsby
In Florida there always was snow bird New Yorkers or transplants, and these fans were at Al Lang Stadium on this day. All of a sudden what was the long time home of those AL guys, were now rooting for these new Mets.

The Mets hitting instructor then, (there were no official batting coaches yet) was the great Rogers Hornsby, one of the game's all time best hitters. "Rajah" as he was known, was a life time .358 hitter (second only to Ty Cobb) who had batted .400 or better three times. 

In his new book, he commented on slugger Roger Maris, who had just hit 61 HRs in 1961, saying "he's a mediocre hitter, who couldn't bat .400 if you added all his averages up.

Quotes- Rogers Hornsby: "It will be unfortunate if Ruth's record is broken by a .270 hitter."

Then there was Casey's anger at his old club, as well as George Weis who had also been fired with Stengel & was now the Mets president.

 When Casey was seen on the field the 6000 fans in attendance cheered him on & the newspaper men followed him all around the field. He greeted his old team & their new manager Ralph Houck greeted Casey warmly, after all he was his mentor.

The Mets started Roger Craig the former Brooklyn / L.A. Dodger pitcher who would lead the NL in losses in the next two seasons. He faced off against Bill Stafford. The AL New York team were sloppy & made a few errors to say the least. The Mets were ahead 3-2 going into the 9th inning, but a pinch hit HR from Tommy Tresh tied it up at three.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Mets Joe Christopher tripled. Casey sent, maybe his best hitter, the first Met to bat .300, Richie Ashburn to the plate to pinch hit for Howie Nunn. He wanted to win this one. 

Richie Ashburn
Ashburn delivered with a base hit, in what is now known as a walk off hit. The game winner gave Casey & the Mets some bragging rights in the two teams first meeting.

After the game, Casey was holding court in his usual hotel, stocked with booze & deli foods. He rambled on as he usually did, entertaining the newspaper men & baseball people. He said that he was never more excited to win a ball game.

Late 2000's Mets Relief Pitcher: Joe Smith (2007-2008) & His Wife Sports Reporter Allie LaForce

Joseph Michael Smith was born on March 22, 1984 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The six foot, two right handed Smith was the New York Mets third round draft pick in 2006 (the 94th pick overall).

He pitched on the A ball Brooklyn Cyclones team in 2006 earning nine saves with an 0.45 ERA in 17 appearances. He was named one of the Top twenty Prospects in the minor leagues by Baseball America. 

photo by centerfieldmaz
 When Duaner Sanchez went down after his taxi cab accident in Miami during the 2006 season, General Manager Omar Minaya, considered bringing up Smith, but chose to make the trade for Roberto Hernandez & Oliver Perez instead.

Smith had an outstanding Spring Training in 2007 and surprised everyone when he made the team going north. He became a popular player and was known as an all around good guy at Shea Stadium. I had the pleasure of meeting him at a batting practice session before an interleague game against the Minnesota Twins & he was a gentleman. 

Smith made his MLB debut on Opening Day 2007, pitching in relief of Tom Glavine in a 6-1 win against the St. Louis Cardinals. He would pitch his first 16 2/3 innings before allowing a run, which didn't come until May 13th against the Milwaukee Brewers.

On April 24th he earned his first win, in an extra inning victory vs. the Colorado Rockies. On May 2th he allowed a run in the top of the 12th inning to the San Francisco Giants, but came up with a win as Armondo Benitez balked home a run in the bottom of the inning, followed by a Carlos Delgado walk off HR. Smith pitched well in the first few months of the season, keeping his ERA under two until mid June. 

He earned his ninth hold of the season on June 15th, holding down the A.L. New York club in a 2-0 Oliver Perez shut out saved by Billy Wagner. He began to wear down in July, allowing runs in three of five games taking a loss to the San Diego Padres as well.

Smith was sent back to the minors for a tune up. returning in September, for the pennant run. The Mets fell short again, missing the post season with a loss on the final day of the season. Smith finished the year 3-2 with ten holds, 45 strike outs, 21 walks in 44 innings over 54 appearances, posting a 3.45 ERA. 

In 2008 he was one of the best Met pitchers out of the bullpen, and one of the only relievers to actually be successful. His pitching motion is somewhere between a side armed & submarine style delivery, which can be especially tough on right handed hitters. He began April with four holds, but blew two saves in May.

On June 10th he took a loss to Arizona, serving up a HR to Chris Snyder. On July 6th he closed out the final three innings in an extra inning game at Philadelphia, the Mets won the game on Fernando Tatis HR, giving Smith the win. 

In August he recorded seven holds & closed out the month with a win in a 5-4 game at Florida over the Marlins. From September 2nd through the 10th, he was credited with three relief wins & added another against the Chicago Cubs on September 25th.

He appeared in 82 games (second on the club to Pedro Feliciano) posting a 6-3 record with a 3.55 ERA. He struck out 52 batters in 63 innings pitched. HIs .637 winning percent was third best on the club behind Duaner Sanchez & Johan Santana.

In the 2008 off season he was part of a 12 player deal, going to the Cleveland Indians, with the Mets getting J.J. Putz, Jeremy Reed & Sean Green. In Cleveland he appeared in 37 games posting a 3.44 ERA in 2009. 

He spent five solid seasons in the Indians bullpen, as a fine middle reliever, earning a reputation as reliable work horse. In 2012 was second in the A.L. in appearances with 71. He would appear in 70 plus games in each of the next four seasons. In 2012 Smith was 7-4 posting a 2.96 ERA, recording 21 holds. 

His manager in his early days in Cleveland (2010-2012) was Manny Acta, whom he knew from their days with

Trivia: In 2012 he attempted to enter a bar in Cleveland but was stopped for not having proper ID. He said he was a pitcher for the Indians but no one believed him, a shoving, shouting match followed & the police were called in to break it up.

At this time he also began dating FOX 8 sports personality & sideline reporter Allie LaForce.

In 2013 Smith started out the year 4-0, for new manager Terry Francona, not taking a loss until mid July. He ended the year at 6-2 with three saves & 25 holds to his credit. 

He led the AL Wild Card Indian staff in ERA (2.29) and was tied for second to Cody Allen in appearances with 70. Smith was part of a fine Indians bullpen that went 25-11 with a 3.30 ERA. That year he made it to his first post season.

In 2014 he signed on with the LA Angels of Anaheim & continued his fine pitching. Smith was second in the league in appearances with 76. 

He went 7-2 with 15 saves & 17 holds, posting a 1.81 ERA striking out 68 batters while walking just 15 in 173 innings. He took over the set up role when Huston Street went out with injury.

Post season: Smith pitched two scoreless innings in two games of the ALDS loss to the Kansas City Royals.

For 2015 Smith went back to the set up role to, shining with 32 holds to his credit, as Street went on to 40 saves & Smith notched five more of his own. He also went 5-5 with a 3.58 ERA making 70 appearances (9th most in the AL).

In August of 2016 he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for a minor leaguer, to help the Cubs in the post season run. He pitched 16 games for the Cubs, earning a win on September 1st against the San Francisco Giants.

He recorded a loss & hold as well in September. Overall in the regular season, he posted a 2.51 ERA in 14 innings. He did not pitch in the post season but earned a Championship ring. 

In the winter of 2017 he signed on with the Toronto Blue Jays. After 38 games there he was back with the Cleveland Indians, pitching 21 games of middle to late relief, finishing off two games. He posted a 3.44 ERA with 20 strike outs & no walks in 18 innings of work.

Post Season: He pitched in four games of the 2017 ALDS finishing off two of those games, not allowing a hit or run in 2.1 innings of work.

In November 2017 Smith signed as a free agent with the Houston Astros. He continued to be a fine reliever going 5-1 with 10 holds posting a 3.74 ERA. 

Post Season: Smith got to his fourth post season in 2018, seeing action in one game of the ALCS loss to the Boston Red Sox.

In his twelve year career, Smith is 49-29 with a 3.02 ERA. He has appeared in 754 games striking out 593 batters & walking 232 in 754 innings pitched. He has 30 saves & finished off 157 games.

Family: Smith married FOX Sports personality & sideline reporter, Allie DeForce whom he has been dating since 2012.

Allie DeForce was born in Vermillion Ohio in 1988. Her mother was Moss Ohio 1977 & she herself was Miss Teen USA in 2005.

She earned a degree in journalism, eventually working as a sideline reporter for Sportstime Ohio & then at WLW Channel 8 in Cleveland as a Sports reporter. 

She is currently a reporter & anchor for CBS Sports & Turner Sports as lead reporter for SEC college football. He is host of We Need To Talk on CBS Sports network & works TNT for NBA games.

Mar 21, 2019

Remembering Mets History: (2015) Juan Uribe Has A Walk Off Hit In His Second Mets Game

Sunday July 26th 2015: Terry Collins New York Mets (51-48) had just come off a much needed victory after a week of losing five of eight games. They were in second place two games behind the Washington Nationals. The Mets had gotten a shot in the arm this week as they had just acquired veterans, Kelly Johnson & Juan Uribe.

On this matinee at Citi, the Mets hosted Don Mattingly's first place Los Angeles Dodgers (56-44) in front of 36,093 fans. Jacob deGrom went up against Zack Greinke in a much anticipated pitching match.

Starting Lineups

In the home 3rd, Kirk Nieuwenhuis was hit by a pitch, advanced to third base on Kevin Plawecki's base hit. Nieuwenhuis then scored on Jacob deGroms fielders choice. deGrom sailed along blanking the Dodgers as did Greinke.

But in the home 6th, Curtis Granderson led off with a base hit, stole second & was sacrificed over to third. Daniel Murphy was walked intentionally and Kelly Johnson bounced one to first base. Adrian Gonzales threw home & got Granderson out at home. But then Lucas Duda walked to load the bases & Greinke hit his second batter, plunking Michael Conforto. Murphy scored from third making it 2-0.

Jacob deGrom pitched into the 8th inning (7.2 innings) shutting out L.A. allowing just two hits with eight strike outs & a pair of walks.

Jeurys Familia came on to save it but didn't have it today, he blew his fourth save on the year as the Dodgers tied it up scoring two runs. Doubles to Gonzalez & then ex Met Justin Turner made it 2-1, then Yasmil Grandal's base hit tied it.

Jenrry Mejia pitched a scoreless 10th inning & the Mets came to bat. Granderson led off with a double off pitcher Juan Nicasio. After a failed bunt attempt by Ruben Tejada Murphy was walked again. Kenley Jansen came in to pitch for the Dodgers & Juan Uribe who had struck out in the 8th inning as a pinch hitter came to bat.

In just his second game as a Met, Uribe became an instant hero. He hit a fly ball over the centerfielder's head scoring Granderson with the game winning, walk off run.

In 44 games with the 2015 Mets, Uribe hit 6 HRs drove in 20 runs & hit 9 doubles.

2015 NL Champion Mets Big Time Utility Player: Juan Uribe (2015)

Juan Cespedes Uribe Tena was born March 22nd 1979 in the Dominican Republic. The right handed infielder would go on to play second, third & short stop in his long career. He began playing professionally in 1997 at just 18 years old.

Uribe would debut with the 2001 Colorado Rockies, hitting 11 triples in his rookie year. He played three years there, with 2002 being his only full season.

He then moved on to the Chicago White Sox being the starting short stop on the teams 2005 World Championship team. He he hit over twenty HRs & drove in over 70 runs in three of his five seasons there.

Post Season: In the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox, Uribe homered in Game #1 driving in three runs in the Sox 14-2 rout. He hit safely in every game of the series sweep & drove in another run in the clinching 5-3 game #3 victory. In the ALCS he hit safely in four of the five games against the Anaheim Angels.

In the World Series against the Houston Astros, he drove in runs in the first two games of the series sweep. Overall he collected 12 post season hits. In Game #4 he made a leaping catch diving into the stands for a pop fly.

In 2009 he signed a two year deal with the San Francisco Giants, where he won another a World Series. Uribe  put up his best season power numbers in the Giants 2010 Championship Season with career highs in HRs (24) & RBIs (85). 

Post Season: In Game # of the NLCS he broke an 8th inning 2-2 tie, with a HR off the Phillies Ryan Madson at Citizens Bank Park. The HR won the game for the Giants as they won the series four games to one, advancing to the World Series. Uribe drove in three runs in that NLCS.

World Series: In the World Series against the Texas Rangers he hit a three run HR in Game #1 at San Francisco, in a wild 11-7 Giants win. He drove in two more runs in Game #2 in the Giants 9-0 shut out, behind Matt Cain.

Uribe's next stop was with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he spent parts of five seasons making two more post seasons. He became more of a reserve player in those years.

Post Season: In 2013 he had another fine post season, hitting two HRs against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.

In Game #4, with LA down 3-2, he hit a two run 8th inning HR off David Carpenter which proved to be the game winner & series clinching win. He would drive in three ore runs in the NLCS loss to the St. Louis Cards.

In 2015 he went from the Dodgers to the Atlanta Braves, then on July 24th he was traded along with Kelly Johnson to the New York Mets. He & Johnson would play key roles in participating to the Mets NL Championship.

At first when the deal was made the team was criticized for not making a bigger deal, that all changed on July 31st when they acquired Yoenis Cespedes.

In just his second game as a Met, Uribe delivered a walk off base hit against his old Dodgers team mates for an exciting 3-2 Mets win. Just two days later he hit his first Mets HR. In August he began to get more playing time, and hit HRs in back to back games in Florida vs the Marlins & Rays.

In mid August he drove in runs in three of four games, hitting his fourth Mets HR as well.  Before August was done, Uribe would hit two more HRs. In the Mets big month of August where they too over first place, Uribe was a huge contributor, hitting 5 HRs & driving in 13 runs.

In September he had a big three hit, three RBI day on September 10th in a 7-2 Mets win at Atlanta. On September 18th, he came into the game late & hit a two run HR in the subway series, helping the Mets in a 5-1 win over the AL New York team. From there he suffered a chest contusion & missed out on the final days of the season & had to be left off the initial post season roster.

2015 World Series: Uribe was activated for the World Series, and as usual made the most of being on the big stage.

He made a pinch hit appearance in the World Series Game #3, in the 6th inning where he singled bringing in Juan Lagares for the Mets sixth run of the game. He would score on David Wright's two run single.

In 2016 he closed out his career with the Cleveland Indians, playing until August when he was released by the AL Champions.

In his16 year career he batted .255 with 199 HRs 1568 hits 323 doubles 43 triples & 816 RBIs with 388 walks 1224 strike outs & a .301 on base % in 1826 games.

He has played 917 games at short, 644 at third & 228 at second base with 7 games as a DH.

He won two World Series titles, played in three World Series & played in six post seasons, while winning two defensive Player Awards.