May 26, 2015

Remembering Mets History: (1996) Todd Hundley Homers From Both Sides of the Plate

Saturday May 18, 1996: Todd Hundley was one of the bright spots on the 1996 Mets team. became the fourth Met to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. Hundley had done it before, two years earlier.

The '96 Mets were already struggling in fifth place (17-23) under manager Dallas Green. Now in San Francisco on their annual West Coast trip. That week the San Diego Padres had taken three of four from New York in San Diego and they were facing a third place Dusty Baker Giants team (20-20).

The Mets sent Mark Clark (1-5) to the mound against William Van Landingham (2-5). The Mets pounded Van Landingham early, in the 1st Rico Brogna hit a HR to make it 2-0 Mets. In the 3rd Brogna drove in two more runs with a nase hit & Rey Ordonez added a two run single as well. This combined with a hit by pitch made it 7-1 Mets after three innings.

In the top of the 4th, Brogna reached on an error & Todd Hundley batting left handed came to bat. Hundley blasted a two run HR off reliever; Jose Bautista to dead center field putting New York up 10-3.It was his tenth HR of the year.

Later, in the top of the 9th, Hundley came up, this time batting right handed. With Bernard Gilkey on third & Jeff Kent on first base, Hundley connected once again, this HR to left center field, his 11th of the season.

This put the Mets up 14-4 on their way to the win. It was That year Todd Hundley went into the record books, setting a single season HR mark for catchers, as well as setting an all time Mets single season mark with 41 HRs.

In 1996 he hit .256 with career highs in HRs (41) doubles (32) hits 9140) & RBIs (112). Hundley spent nine seasons with the Mets (1990-1998) & was the last catcher before Mike Piazza took over behind the dish.

Mets Number Three All Time Catcher In Game Caught: Todd Hundley (1990-1998)

Todd Randolph Hundley was born May 27, 1969 in Martinsville, Virginia. That year his father Randy Hundley was the catcher of the Chicago Cubs battling the Mets for first place. 

Todd Hundley was highly touted prospect from the start of his career, throughout his school days growing up in Illinois. He was originally drafted by the New York Mets in 1987 in the second round round, but never really tore up the minor leagues hitting.

He arrived at Shea Stadium in May of 1990 with a lot of hype & anticipation. At first he showed great defensive skills, but just like in the minors, didn’t hit right away. Hundley's first career game was in San Diego, on May 18th 1990; he doubled in off the Padres, Bruce Hurst in his second at bat. But from there he batted just .167 through the end of July & was sent back down to AA Jackson to work things out. He returned at the end of August & in limited time through the end of the season batted .209 with six extra base hits, all doubles.

In 1991 he spent most of the year at AAA Tidewater, where he batted .273, leading the club with 14 HRs & 66 RBIs. He arrived back with the Mets in September. On September 26th, he hit his first career HR, off Bill Landrum, in a 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Shea Stadium. In 21 games he batted a meek .133 with one HR, no doubles & seven RBIs.

In 1992 he got the job as the Mets main catcher ahead of Charlie O'Brien & Mackey Sasser. He caught 121 games while posting a .996 fielding % (both fourth best in the NL) with 700 put outs (third in the NL). He allowed 89 stolen bases (second most in the NL). In early April he hit HRs in back to back games against Montreal & St. Louis, but didn't hit another HR until a month later.

He didn't get over the .200 mark until the start of August, and his struggles continued through the end of the season. With the exception of a five game stretch in late June, where he drove in runs in each game, his season was uneventful at the plate. Hundley batted just .209 with 7 HRs 17 doubles & 32 RBIs with a .256 on base %.

In 1993 he had a little better start to the season, beginning with a four RBI day in Colorado on April 18th leading the Mets to an 8-4 win. On an early home stand against the West Coast San Francisco Giants & San Diego Padres, he hit HRs in three straight games, while driving in runs in four straight games.

He was still struggling at the plate for the last place '93 Mets, by the end of June he hit his seventh HR, but was only hitting .219. He had a four RBI day on July 10th, coming against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Shea Stadium. In that game he led the Mets to a 7-6 win, including a two run HR off Pedro Astacio.

On September 2nd, he had a big five RBI day at Wrigley Field, including a grand slam HR off Juan Guzman in a 8-3 Met win. Hundley drove in twelve runs on the month of September finishing up with 53 RBIs. He batted .228 on the year, with 11 HRs 17 doubles & a .269 on base %. Behind the plate he allowed 101 stolen bases (second in the NL) & made eight errors (fifth most in the NL).

In 1994 he began the year with two hits & an Opening Day HR in a wild 12-8 Mets win at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Later that week he hit another HR at Houston, driving in three runs in an 8-2 Mets win. Todd had his best month to date in April 1994, with six HRs, 13 RBIs & a .333 batting average entering May. On May 1st he hit a pair of HRs, leading the Mets to a 7-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. In that series at Shea, he had five hits off Dodger pitching, with three HRs & five RBIs.

On June 18th, he hit another two HRs in a game at Florida, driving in four runs to beat the Marlins 6-1. That week Hundley, drove in seven runs & had twelve in the month. The baseball strike ended the season in August, Hundley hit just .237 on the year, but showed some improved with power, hitting 16 HRs with 10 doubles & 42 RBIs playing in just 91 games.

Injuries kept nagging Hundley throughout his career, his hitting was developing slowly, but The Mets organization, as well as the fans had patience with him. The potential always seemed to be there & as well as future expectations. By 1995 he was healthier and started out Opening Day with a HR & four RBIs in the 11-9 loss at Colorado.

On May 4th, he hit a grand slam HR at Montreal, leading the Mets to a 5-1 win over the Expos. Hundley hit three HRs in the first week of that May & kept his batting average up over .290 into June. On June 18th he hit a three run HR, while driving in three runs in a 10-4 win over the Astros at Shea. But in the month his average fell off in to the .240's. To enter July he hit six HRs in the first ten days of the month, two in a three game set against the Cincinnati Reds & then two more against the Chicago Cubs. He then hit two HRs in a three game set at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium.

Then on July 22nd he got injured & would go on the DL for six weeks, putting a big halt to a decent season. He returned in September finishing out the year batting .280 with 15 HRs 11 doubles & 51 RBIs. His on base % improved to .382% as he got more patient & drew 42 walks.

Although the Mets finished under .500 (69-75) they finished in second place behind the Atlanta Braves, who went on to win the World Series.

In 1996 he had his career year, setting a single season record for most HRs by a catcher with 41, breaking Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer Roy Campanella’s previous mark of 40. The 41 HRs were also a Mets single season record & fourth best in the NL on the year.

He made the first of his two All Star teams, and set career highs in most offensive categories; 112 RBIs, 32 doubles, 140 hits, 85 runs scored, 540 at bats and he also drew more walks, 79 (9th most in the league) playing in 152 games. Behind the plate he was second in the NL assists (72) & third in put outs with 700. That season he struck out 146 times & would strike out over 100 times three times in his career.

Hundley started the '96 season with a bang, going down in Mets history for hitting HRs in four straight Opening Days from 1994-1997. In the 1996 Opener at Shea Stadium, he hit a two run shot in a 7-6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

After hitting two more HRs on the first road trip of the year, Hundley returned to Shea & blasted HRs in back to back games against the Astros. He then added a HR in each of the next two series against Colorado & Cincinnati. Overall he had a monster April, with eight HRs 21 & RBIs while batting .305.

On May 17th he had huge day in San Francisco as he bashed two HRs & drove in seven runs in a Mets 14-5 win over the Giants. He hit four HR in a four game span while driving in seven runs. In the first two weeks of June he had five multi hit games, with hit six HRs & 18 RBIs. On June 4th he hit a 1st inning two run HR, off the Braves Jason Schmidt in Atlanta. He drove in five runs that day in the Mets 12-6 win. When the Braves came to Shea, on June 10th he had a big four hit game, where he hit a pair of HRs & drove in another five runs in an 8-3 win.

On June 13th he hit a 7th inning lead off HR in St. Louis, off Andy Benes. The next batter Jeff Kent followed with a solo HR of his own, leading the Mets & Robert Person to a 2-1 win.

On June 24th, Hundley hit two HRs in a game against the Reds driving in four of the Mets nine runs in the 9-4 win. In July he hit HRs in three games, of a four game series at Montreal. That week he drove in runs in six straight games as well.

That July he hit ten HRs & drove in 22 runs in the month, capped off with four round trippers in the last week of the month. On July 30th, he hit a walk off game winner against the Pittsburgh Pirates, to finish off a Mets double header sweep. On August 1st he had yet another five RBI game, although the Mets fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates at home 13-9. Hundley hit six HRs in the first eleven days of the month, including three straight games against the Cardinals at home & the Cubs in Chicago. Hundley drove in twenty runs that month but cooled off in September driving in just ten with three HRs.

The 1996 Mets finished up in 4th place (71-91), manager Dallas Green was replaced by Bobby Valentine in August, starting a new Mets era. 1996 was a tough act for Todd to follow, and although he did put up good numbers, 1997 wasn’t the same.

There were changes in New York as Bobby Valentine was now the manager for the entire season running things his way. He publicly criticized Hundley for drinking, smoking & partying too late in the New York night clubs. In 1997 Hundley even did a cameo sketch on Saturday Night Live. Needless to say, Valentine & Hundley did not get along too well.

On Opening day in San Diego, the Mets took a 12-5 beating but Hundley highlighted the Mets offense with a two run HR. On April 23rd he hit his fourth & fifth HRs of the month, driving in five runs in a 10-6 win in Cincinnati. On May 5th in Colorado Coors Field, he hit two more HRs & had another five RRBI day in a 6-1 Mets win. The next night he hit another HR & drove in three more runs, although the Mets lost 12-11 in the high scoring contest. In the first eight games of May, Hundley drove in 14 runs. He continued to hit well, with seven HRs in June & seven multi hit games.

In July he got his average over the .300 mark, adding another two HR, five RBI day on July 20th against the Reds in a 10-1 Mets win at Shea. On August 23rd he blasted a grand slam HR, in the 7th inning off the Padres Sean Bergman, in a 9-5 Mets win at Shea. The 1997 Mets improved to a third place finish, at 88-74 under Valentine. Hundley hit 30 HRs with 21 doubles 86 RBIs & hit for a better average (.273). He posted career highs in on base % (.394%) & walks (83). Behind the plate he threw out 24% of would be base stealers.

In 1998 he had a career threatening elbow injury that put him on the DL for a long while. Next thing he knew the Mets acquired Mike Piazza, and although the team said Hundley was still in their plans the writing was on the wall. Piazza was here to stay and change the face of the organization.

Hundley made a brief attempt to play left field (34 games) but that didn’t work out, he made five errors in 49 chances (4th most for left fielders). After playing in only 53 games with a .151 average he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Roger Cedeno & Charles Johnson.

In his Mets career he played in 829 games with 124 HRs 118 doubles 397 RBIs & a .323 on base %. Hundley has caught the third most games all time in Mets history with 745.

In L.A. he did hit 24 HRs two years in a row, but only drove in 55 runs and batted a lowly .207 in 1999.

In 2000 he brought his average up to .284 with 24 HRs & 70 RBIs playing in only 90 games. That season he became the first visiting player to hit a home run into McCovey Cove at San Francisco’s new Pac Bell Park. He went to his dad’s old team the Chicago Cubs in 2001, and like father like son became the teams catcher sharing time with Joe Girardi.

In two years at Wrigley he averaged 14 HRs but only managed to hit a bat .211 in 2002. He had an ugly situation & angered the Cubs fans when they got on him when he wasn't hitting.

Drama: In a game against the Cincinnati Reds he gave the fans the middle finger after rounding third base on a HR. He said he aimed it at the Reds fans who were heckling him but no one seemed to buy the story. He had one final chance at a comeback in L.A. playing in 21 games in 2003 but was done after hitting .189.

In 2007 he was named in the Mitchell Report for steroid use.

In 1225 lifetime games spanning 14 seasons, he batted .234 with 883 hits with 202 HRs 167 doubles 599 RBIs and a .320 on base %.

Behind the plate he has a lifetime .988 fielding %, throwing out 25% of would be base stealers, while allowing 793 stolen bases (61st most all time). He caught 1096 games caught (89th all time) with 6535 put outs (51st all time).

todd hundley's father: randy hundley:

Cecil Randolph Hundley known as Randy with the nick name of Rebel. He began his career with brief appearances for the San Francisco Giants in 1964 & 1965. In December of '65 he was involved in a big trade going to the Cubs with pitcher Bill Hands, for Don Landrum & Lindy McDaniel.

He then was the Chicago Cubs main catcher from 1966- 1973 before moving on to the Minnesota Twins (1974) San Diego Padres (1975) & back to Chicago (1976 & 1977) finishing his career in 1977. He was a lifetime .236 hitter with 813 hits 82 HRs 118 doubles 13 triples & 381 RBIs. He had one of his best seasons in the classic 1969 season, with 18 HRs 15 doubles 64 RBIs & a .255 batting average.

Hundley came in fourth in 1966 for the Rookie of the Year voting, hitting a career high 19 HRs with 22 doubles & 63 RBIs batting .236. He was a onetime Gold Glove winner (1967) & All Star catcher (1969) with great defensive abilities. He threw out 50% of would be base stealers four different times in his career, leading the league twice in throwing out base stealers.

From 1966-1969 he led the league each year in most games behind the plate. He would also lead the league in assists twice (1966/1969) put outs once (1967), caught stealing % once (1974) & fielding one time as well (1972).

In 14 seasons total he threw out 42% of runners trying to steal, while posting a .988 fielding percentage (80th all time) in 1026 games caught.

Retirement: Randy has been a part time radio broadcaster for the Cubs for many years.

The First Canadian Born Mets Player: Ray Daviault (1962)

Raymond Joseph Robert Daviault was born May 27, 1934 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The right handed pitcher had ties with all three National League New York baseball teams at one time or another in his career. The six foot one, right hand pitcher was originally signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954. He pitched in their organization for six seasons mostly at the A ball levels or lower.

In 1960 he went to the San Francisco Giants organization & pitched in there for two seasons. He was a best 13-5 with a 2.76 ERA in 1960 at AAA Rio Grande Valley. He was a ten game winner (10-9) in 1961 for the AAA Pacific Coast League Tacoma club, before getting drafted by the New York Mets in the 1961 expansion draft.

Daviault was an original 1962 Met & became the first Canadian born player to don a Mets uniform. He became known as "Frenchy" due to his Quebec background & was remembered as a good natured guy with a fine sense of humor.

Daviault debuted in the second game in Mets history in relief of pitcher Herb Moford. He finished out the game & although he didn’t allow any hits in two innings of work, he walked four batters allowing a run. He briefly pitched at AA Syracuse in May but returned to the ’62 Mets staff on June 10th. On July 7th he earned his first & only MLB win, it came in the first game of a double header, pitching two innings against the St. Louis Cardinals at the Polo Grounds.

Although he gave up the go ahead run in the top of the 9th he was saved as the Mets won it in the bottom of the 9th on a dramatic walk off HR by "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry. The rest of the year he earned four losing decisions & blew a save.

On the year Daviault would make 36 appearances going 1-5 with a 6.22 ERA,. He had 51 strike outs allowing 14 HRs & 48 walks in 81 innings of work.

He spent 1963 with the AAA Buffalo Bison's retiring from baseball the following year due to arm injuries.

Retirement: He appeared in Canada playing baseball for the Lachine Mets in 1967 under manager (former Met) Tim Harkness.

Former Eighties Mets Broadcaster: Steve Zabriske (1983-1989)

Steve Zabriske was born May13, 1947 in Palo Alto California. After college, Zabriskie began covering sports for a television station in Austin, Texas during the early 1970's.

The station made him change his name to Steve Zanon, saying his real name sounded to Polish. He then moved on to doing sports news in Tulsa, Oklahoma and became known as “the Big Z”.

He started doing MLB baseball games on the USA Network in the early days of cable television. In 1980, MLB did an early TV experiment that had 22 teams take part in Thursday Night Games of the week on the USA Network. Zabriskie did broadcasts for the last two years of its run from 1981-1982.

From there he joined the New York Mets broadcast team in 1983. Steve was the Mets Channel 9 & Sports Channel announcer along with Ralph Kiner & Tim McCarver from 1983 -1989. He was a very straight forward announcer with a dry sense of humor, his style worked well with Ralph Kiner.

His most famous broadcast was doing the play by play in the 9th inning in September 1986, when the Mets clinched the N.L. Eastern Title. As more games got onto cable TV, Zabriske fell out of the picture.

He had a brief stint on ESPN then disappeared from the broadcasting scene. In 2003 he wrote a children’s baseball book called “Be A Hitter”. These days Zabriske is the news director on KZST radio in Sonoma County California.

May 25, 2015

Remembering Mets History: (1984) Doc Gooden Strike Out 14 Dodgers

Friday Night May 25th 1984: Davey Johnson's third place Mets (21-18) hosted Tommy Lasorda's first place Los Angeles Dodgers (25-22). A good crowd of 27, 340 came out to Shea Stadium to watch the Mets new young, 19 year old pitcher; Dwight Gooden, whom everyone was starting to talk about.

This youngster not only had one of the games best blazing fastballs, but a curve so good, Mets Broadcaster; Ralph Kiner named it- "Lord Charles".

At this point Gooden had a 3-3 record with a 4.15 ERA in eight career starts. He had struck out 59 batters in 43 innings pitched & already had three games where he struck out ten or more batters.

Looking back you could say it was tonight that Gooden came into the spotlight for good, Doctor K established himself in the National League. He would allow just one run & three hits to the mighty Dodgers while striking out a career high up that point 14 batters. In September Gooden would have back to back 16 strike out games. The "K Korner" in the upper deck was now on the Shea Stadium map in history as well.

Gooden began the game striking out Pedro Guerrero & Franklin Stubbs to end the 1st inning. He struck out Terry Whitfield in the second, then struck out two more batters in both the 3rd & 4th innings. In the  6th he began the inning striking out Steve Sax & ended it with a another K on Franklin Stubbs.

In the 7th he got Mike Scioscia & Terry Whitfield to go down on strikes for the first two outs. He added another strike out in the 8th & began the 9th inning with a 2-0 lead.

The Mets offense was provided by George Foster who hit a solo HR & Keith Hernandez who drove in Mookie Wilson with a base hit. He surrendered a lead off HR to Guerrero & Davey Johnson rushed out to remove Gooden. He left the field with a standing ovation. Jesse Orosco came on for the save.

Trivia: Gooden would win the 1984 Rookie of the Year Award, leading the league in strikeouts (289) strike outs per nine innings (11.4) & WHIP (1.073). He would go 17-9 with a 2.60 ERA.

Mets Reserve Infielder: Danny Muno (2015)

Daniel Muno was born February 9th, 1989 in Long Beach California. The five foot eleven, switch hitting infielder attended California State University at Fresno.

In his Freshman year he hit .322 with 62 runs scored, helping lead Fresno State to a win in the 2008 College World Series. That year he was named All Western State. In his junior year he became the schools All Time walks leader, as well as batting .379 with 25 doubles & 74 runs scored.

In 2010 he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 26th round, but he did not sign. He played out his senior year & hit .348 with 52 RBIs in 56 games. In 2011 he signed with the New York Mets, as an eighth round pick.

In 2011 he played for the A Ball Brooklyn Cyclones & led the New York Penn. League in batting (.355) as well as on base % (.466%). Muno was noted the leagues 18th best prospect, made the All Star team & struck out just 39 times in 220 at bats while hitting 23 doubles.

In 2012 he was promoted to A ball St. Lucie but tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. He returned in 2013 playing at AAA Binghamton where e hit just .249.

In 2014 he was promoted to AAA Las Vegas where he hit a career high 14 HRs with 62 RBIs, batting .259. He is considered one of the best disciplined hitters in the Mets systems. 

In 2015 he was batting .280 in two stints at AAA Las Vegas as the Mets main third baseman there. On April  17th he was called up to the majors, making his MLB debut in a 4-1 win against the Miami Marlins. In that game he came to bat as a pinch hitter in the 7th inning, earning a single off Sam Dyson. In that game he also got his first career steal.

On April 26th he got his first start, it came in a subway series loss to the AL New York team, where he went 0-3 playing in a designated hitter role. After that game he was sent back down to Vegas. 

On May 24th, the Mets recalled Muno from AAA Las Vegas sending down catcher Johnny Monell.

Early Eighties Mets Pitcher: Dyar Miller (1980-1981)

Dyar Miller was born on May 29, 1946 in Batesville, Indiana. The Indiana farmer attended Utah State University and got signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1968.

The tall right hander was soon released & then signed on with the Baltimore Orioles. He was 12-10 with a 3.23 ERA at AA Dallas / Fort Worth in 1970 but remained at that level until 1973 due to the talented Orioles pitching depth at AAA. At AAA Rochester in 1974 he won another 12 games & then was 5-0 in 1975 posting a 2.20 ERA. He finally got a call up to the Orioles staff at age 29 that season.

As an Orioles reliever out of Earl Weaver’s bull pen, Miller was 6-3 with eight saves and a 2.72 ERA. In 1976 was second to O's reliever Tippy Martinez in saves by one game, as he posted seven saves going 2-4 while posting a 2.94 ERA. At the trade deadline in 1977 he was traded to the California Angels for Dick Drago.

He pitched well in Anaheim in 1978 going 6-2 with a save & a 2.66 ERA, out of their bull pen. His contract was purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays then he was sent to the Montreal Expos to complete an earlier deal. He was released after Spring Training 1980 & then signed as a free agent with the New York Mets that April.

He pitched 31 games as a middle reliever for the 1980 Mets, posting a strong 1.93 ERA going 1-2 with one save. Miller was usually good for two or even three innings of solid relief work. In 1981 he appeared in 23 games of the strike shortened season (1-0) with a 3.23 ERA. During the '81 baseball strike he worked on his Indiana farm, returning to the team after play resumed.

But Miller pitched his final game by early September & retired from the game at age 35. In his seven year career he went 23 -17 with 22 saves, a 3.23 ERA & 235 strike outs in 465 innings pitched over 251 appearances.

Retirement: Miller began a long career of coahing in 1985 starting within the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He became a coach for the 1987 & 1988 Chicago White Sox under Jim Fregosi.

In 1996 he began a long stretch coaching in the St. Louis Cardinals organization where he would work with his old frien Tony LaRussa. After a stint as manager of the AAA Memphis Rd Birds, Miller became Cardinals minor league pitching coordinator. In 2012 he had a rief stint as Cardnials bullpen coach. After that he let go by the organization for no apparent reason.

In 2014 he was named minor league pitching coordinator for the Houston Astros.

Former Mets Top 2006 Draft Pick: Kevin Mulvey

Kevin John Mulvey was born on May 26th 1985 in Parlin, New Jersey. Parlin is located in Midlesex County between Old Bridge & Sayrevillle. After attending Bishop Ahr high school in Edison, New Jersey, the six foot one right hander went to Villanova, University.

Mulvey had been a star pitcher & hitter in high school. At Villanova he was an overall 15-14 in his four years, striking out 222 batters, the most in school history. He was a two time All Big East pitcher, throwing a no hitter vs. UConn in his sophnore year.

In 2006 he posted the Big East's fifth best ERA although he was 3-8. He was drafted by the New York Mets in the second round of the 2006 draft, as the 62nd overall pick. The Mets had lost their first round round pick that year, so technically Mulvey was their first.

After pitching in just one game with the A ball, Gulf Coast Mets, he was promoted to AA. In 2007 he was 11-10 with a 3.32 ERA at AA Binghamton getting called up to AAA New Orleans later in the season. That year he pitched in the Futures Game replacing Matt Garza who had made it to the Big Leagues. In his AAAA debut, Mulvey pitched six shut out innings of two hit ball, helping New Orleans clinch the PCL divisional title. 

Mulvey was considered a fine pitching prospect, voted as the Mets fourth best prospect & was used in the deal to get Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins. Mulvey went to the Twins along with Carlos Gomez & Philip Humber.

In 2009 Mulvey pitched just two games for the Twins, allowing four runs on six hits in his final outing on July 22nd, against Oakland. After two games he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks as a player to be named later. He went 0-3 that season, and returned for justtwo games in 2010, posting a 14.08 ERA in three innings. Mulvey would pitch two more years in the minors never returning to the major leagues again.

In 2012 he returned to the Mets organization, playing 13 games at AA Binghamton going 0-1 with a 5.59 ERA. In his two year MLB career he is 0-3 with a 7.90 ERA in ten games.

Retirement: Mulvey has been an assistant pitching coah at Villanova since 2013.

May 24, 2015

Remembering Mets History: (1986 & 1987) Looking Back At Two of Current Mets Coach Tim Teufel's Walk Offs

Monday May 12th 1986:  Chuck Tanner's Atlanta Braves (13-17) came to Shea Stadium for a night game against Davey Johnson's first place Mets (21-5).

The Mets starter; Sid Fernandez was outstanding tonight. Through seven innings he shut out the Braves, allowing just four hits, with one walk while striking out ten. The Braves Rick Mahler shut the Mets out through six innings, allowing seven hits & walking three but always got out of a jam when needed.

Roger McDowell came on for the Mets & shut out the Braves in the 8th & 9th innings. The Braves reliever Paul Assenmacher had come on in the 7th inning with the bases loaded & one out. He got Kevin Mitchell to ground out & then struck out Howard Johnson.

In the bottom of the 9th inning, the Shea crowd of 25,906 began their "Lets Go Mets" chants. Ray Knight who was hot, was batting .326 & led off with a double. Knight had hit just .218 in 1985 and was almost let go by upper management, but Davey Johnson asked to keep him around one more year. It sure paid off.

Mets second base man; Tim Teufel stepped in, he had already singled in the 2nd & again in the 7th innings. Teufel delivered again with a base hit to score Knight with the winning walk off run. The win was the Mets 12th in their last 14 games.

Friday May 1st 1987:  Davey Johnson's second place Mets (12-9) hosted Buck Rodgers fifth place Montreal Expos (8-13) in front of 28,808 fans at Shea Stadium.

The Mets got to Expo starter Bryn Smith with HRs by Daryl Strawberry (two run shot) & catcher Barry Lyons. In the home 3rd the Mets Kevin McReynolds doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch & scored on a fielders choice. Mets pitcher Ron Darling doubled bringing in another run & Lenny Dykstra's base hit made it 6-4 Mets.

Darling had his own troubles, giving up HRs to former Met Mike Fitzgerald, Wallace Johnson & a three run shot to Tom Foley. A 6th inning RBI double to Tim Wallach tied it up at six.

In the 9th, Jesse Orosco got out of a bases loaded jam & Montreal's Bob McLure came on to try to get to extra innings. After Len Dykstra flied out, Tim Teufel came up as a pinch hitter for Wally
Backman. Teufel came through with a dramatic walk off HR to give the Mets an exciting win.

In 1987 Teufel would play 97 games for the Mets, the most in his five seasons in New York. He hit a career best .308 matching career highs in HRs (14) & RBIs (61).

2013 National League Stolen Base Leader: Eric Young Jr. (2013-2014)

Eric Orlando Young was born on May 25th 1985 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. 

Young is the son of former MLB player Eric Young Sr. who was just 18 at the time of his sons birth. Young & his girlfriend never married, but he kept close contact with his son spending summers with him & teaching him baseball.

Eric  Young Jr. attended Piscataway High School in Jersey & then moved on to Community College in Arizona. The speedy five foot ten switch hitter was signed by the Colorado Rockies in the 30th round of the 2003 amateur draft.  
In 2006 he swiped 87 bases at A ball Asheville, the most of all minor leaguers, while batting .295. He was also caught stealing more than any other player as well. 

He followed up batting .291 with 73 steals in 2007 at A ball Modesto. He led the California League in triples, sacrifice hits (12), steals, times caught stealing and errors at second base (25). He made the All-Star team at second, as Baseball America rated him the #14 prospect in the California League.

Young remained consistent when promoted to AA Tulsa in 2008, batting .290 with 46 stolen bases.

In 2009 he made it to the big leagues, debuting with the Rockies on August 25th. He got a hit in that game a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the time the Rockies were just two games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. Although he did show his speed, stealing four of four bases, he didn't show much power. On September 8th he hit his only HR of the year off the Reds Pedro Viola in a 3-1 Rockies victory.

In 2010 he began the year at Colorado, but was sent back down from mid May until mid August. That year he stole 17 bases getting caught six times, while batting .244 in 51 games. In 2011 he played in 77 games batting .247 while leading the Rockies, stealing 27 bases & posting a 87% stolen base percentage (5th best in the league).

In 2012 he had his best season playing in a career high 98 games, with 55 hits in 174 at bats, for a .316 batting average. On August 8th, he led off a game against the Dodgers by hitting an inside-the-park homer against Chad Billingsley. On the year he hit four HRs with two triples 15 RBIs & a .316 on base %.

In 2013 he batted .242 with 9 doubles & three triples in 57 games at Colorado, but with Michael Cuddyer, Dexter Fowler & Carlos Gonzalez all doing better, there was no room for Young. On June 12th he was designated for assignment & a week later got traded to the New York Mets for Collin McHugh. His roster spot was opened up as Collin Cowgill, who began the year as the Mets main centerfielder was sent back down for a second time.

Young debuted with the Mets on June 19th, batting leadoff & playing centerfield during a 5-3 loss to Atlanta. He got one hit that day, & went hitless in the Mets 4-3 win the next day. As the Mets went to Philadelphia, Young impressed with a big series.

On Friday June 21st, he doubled in the 4th inning scoring on David Wright's base hit. In the 5th he singled to centerfield off Cole Hamels bringing in two Mets runs & tying up the game. The Mets went on to a 4-3 win. In a heartbreaking 8-7 walk off loss on Saturday, after the Mets had come back from being down 7-1, Young had two more hits with two more RBIs.

On Sunday June 23rd, as Matt Harvey won his seventh game beating the Philadelphia Phillies, Young led off the game with a base hit & scored on Marlon Byrd's sac fly. In his next at bat he hit a single, then in the 5th he doubled to left field scoring Harvey after his RBI double, putting the Mets up 4-0. He would cross the plate on David Wright's double making it 5-0 as the Mets went on to a 8-0 victory.

Young is an exciting player to watch. He is a great addition to a team with no speed & no true lead off hitter, since Jose Reyes left town. Young not only specializes in base stealing but bunt base hits as well. 

Young hit safely in 19 of his first 25 Mets games. In July the speedster stole bases in five straight games, with 13 overall in the month. 

On August 2nd, Young won the game with a walk off HR in the bottom of the 11th inning off the Royals Luis Mendoza. It was only his second HR of the year. 

In the last two weeks of August he had three games where stole two bases & swiped ten in that span. He also had four games where he scored two runs or more. In September he stole 13 more bases which gave him enough to lead the NL on the year.

If Young can improve his hitting as well as his on base %, he is a threat to steal a lot of bases & score many runs. Terry Collins said he has the potential to score 120 runs.

In 2013 he hit .251 with New York & stole 38 bases in 91 games, batting a total .249 on the year, with a league leading 46 bases. On the year he had 134 hits with 27 doubles 7 triples (7th in the NL), two HRs, 32 RBIs, 10 sac hits (8th in the NL) & 70 runs scored.  

In the outfield he was very good as well, making seven assists (4th in the NL) posting a .989 fielding %.

In the off season the Mets signed Curtis Granderson & Chris Young. Along with Juan Lagures it made for a crowded outfield. 

Young was the Mets regular left fielder & lead off man to start out the 2014 season. He didn't get his first hit until his fourth game but when he did start getting on base he stole bases. 

On April 10th, he had three hist in Atlanta, with a triple, three stolen bases & four runs scored in the 6-4 Met . This came during a stretch where Young scored runs in 10 of 12 games. By the end of April he was already leading the league in stolen bases. Unfortunately he struck out in every game through April 21st (18). 

After Juan Lagares & Chris Young came off the DL, Eric Young saw a bit less playing time, mostly due to the fact he was batting just .218 though May 11th. But Chris Young fell into a slump & the way Eric Young made things happen when he did get on base, couldn't be ignored. He came back with back to back three hit games & hit his first HR in the Mets 9-7 subway series win over the A.L. club. In that game he had three hits, a HR, drove in two runs, scored two runs & stole a base.

On June 18th in St. Louis, Young doubled with Bartolo Colon on second base after his own double. Colon ran the bases & scored much to the comic delight of his team mates & the fans alike. Young drove in two runs helping Colon win the game 3-2 over the Cards.

On June 28th he stole three bases in a 5-3 over the Pirates in Pittsburgh. On July 13th he stole two more bases in a -1 win over the Miami Marlins. In the next two months he saw ample playing time, stole just four bases & did not hit much. 
Young Jr. ended the year stealing 30 bases (6th in the NL) batting .229 with 48 runs scored, ten doubles, five triples, one HR & 17 RBIs.His six assists as a left fielder were second best in that position. In the off season he signed on with the Atlanta Braves.

Former Korean Born Met: Jay Seo: (2002-2005)

Jae Weong Seo was born May 24, 1977 in Gwangju, South Korea. He brought his South Koren Inha University team all the way to a Korean College championship in 1997. He pitched one season in the Korean Baseball league before getting signed by the New York Mets in 1998.

He went 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA for the St. Lucie Mets at the A ball level that season. The next year he was 2-0 & needed reconstructive elbow surgery missing all of the 2000 season. The surgery took a lot of speed off his fastball & although he had a good change it effected his pitching. At times he showed good control when he was pitching well other times he struggled. He got to the Mets staff by 2002 for one game after a 6-9 minor league season.

In 2003 he made the Mets rotation debuting against the Montreal Expos on April 6th earning no decision after allowing three runs over 4.2 innings. He had a personal four game win streak at the end of May which included a one hit seven inning performance on June 17th. In front of 10,000 South Florida fans, Seo shut down the Marlins with no runs on just one hit & four strike outs when he was removed by manager Art Howe in the 7th inning. Seo had not allowed any walks in the game either.

The Mets went on to win the game 5-0 as David Weathers & Armondo Benitez combined with Seo on the 25th one hitter in Mets history. The one hitter lowered his ERA to 2.66 one of the best on the staff. Seo would be streaky the rest of the way, losing six in a row then winning three straight before losing another four straight.

He started out 2004 going 0-3 but battled to best his record at 4-5 at the end of June. Things just got worse for him as he lost five straight not earning another victory untiol his last outing of the year. He finished up the 2004 season at 5-10 with a 4.90 ERA. In 2005 he began the year at AAA Norfolk getting called up in early August.

He was popular in Flushing with the large Korean population, as many of his native people would come to watch him pitch. He did not get along well with Mets pitching Coach Rick Peterson who tried to keep changing his pitching style to make up for his lack of a good fastball. He finally seemed to use Peterson’s advice and developed a splitter & good slider. He soon had the most success of his career, going 8-2 with a 2.59 ERA in 90 innings pitched over 14 starts.

In January of 2006 he was traded with Tim Hamulack to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Duaner Sanchez and Steve Schmoll. Seo would struggle going 3-12 with a 5.33 ERA pitching for the Dodgers & Tampa Rays that season. In 2007 he pitched in just eleven games closing out his big league career, In six seasons he was 28-40 with a 4.60 ERA in 118 games pitched. He pitched for South Korea in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, pitching six scoreless innings against Japan in the semi finals.