Nov 19, 2017

Mets Short Stop: Amed Rosario (2017)

German Amed Rosario was born November 20th 1995 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  Growing up he was a fan of the Boston Red Sox with his two favorite players being Hanley Ramirez & the Mets own Jose Reyes.

The six foot two short stop was signed by the New York Mets in July 2012 for $1.75 million, the largest international signing bonus ever given out by the Mets. Rosario is considered an outstanding defensive short stop, fleet footed, with wide range & a strong arm. He has the potential to hit .300 with some power & walks.

In 2013 at age 17, he began his career with the Kingsport Mets going to Savannah & then the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2014. He hit .289 in Brooklyn playing great defense. In 2015 he began the year with A ball St. Lucie where he played the most games of his career with a single team (103). At the end of the season he was promoted to AA Binghamton for two games.

In 2016 he got to play in the Future's Game at San Diego on the World Team. Rosario started out back with A ball St. Lucie batting .309 with 40 RBIs, 13 steals & a .357 on base % in 66 games. He spent the latter part of the year at up at AA Binghamton where he batted a career best .341 with a .392 on base % in 54 games.

Overall he stole 19 bases getting caught just eight times, he increased his walks, showed a bit more power (5 HRs) but did increase his strike out totals. Rosario was developing to everything the Mets hoped he'd be- their short stop of the future.

He became the Mets top prospect and jumped to #3 on MLB's top prospect list. After the 2016 season ended he was promoted to the Mets 40 man roster & got a Spring Training invite in 2017.

During the 2016-2017 off season the Mets got many teams asking his availability in trades, but GM Sandy Alderson made it clear he is not available. Rosario is the cover boy of Baseball America's magazine January 2017 edition. 

Quotes: Sandy Alderson- He can be an outstanding player, I think that is why he is considered our No. 1 prospect, at a premium position. And, I think it's going to be exciting to see him in spring training."

Quotes: Rosario on his 2016 season. "I got to do a lot of development. Just based off that, I would call it an excellent year. It didn’t seem like any big adjustment.”

Rosario began the 2017 season at AAA Las Vegas, there in 94 games he batted .328 with 129 hits 19 doubles 7 triples 7 HRs 58 RBIs 19 stolen bases & a .367 on base % while playing a superior short stop.

In the dismal 2017 New York Mets season, where injuries & bad play decimated the team, it was only a matter of time for Roasario to be brought up. Mets short stop Asdrubal Cabrerra was moved out of the short stop position. & didn't like moving from the short stop position & asked for a trade before turning his thoughts around when it finally hit him no other team wanted him at short either. Overall Cabrerra & Jose Reyes, Rosario's hero growing up would help in his big league transition.
Amed Rosario made his MLB debut on August 1st in a 5-2 Mets loss at Coors Field in Colorado. In his fourth at bat that night, he collected his first career hit. In his next game he collected his first RBI with his first career triple. He then hit another triple the next night, starting out his career with a four game hit streak.

He found himself batting .161 until a three hit night on August 11th, got his average up to .229. In that game he hit his first career HR, coming off Hector Neris. His second HR came in the debacle of a subway series on August 15th.

At the end of August he enjoyed a small six game hit streak, where he had two multi hit games with another HR. On August 20th, Rosario's botched ground ball help cost the Mets a 6-4 loss to the Marlins at Citi. After his 7th inning error on a routine grounder led to a Dee Gordon it, bring up MLB HR leader Giancarlo Stanton with two men on. Of course Stanton connected for a three run HR.

In September he hit no HRs & drove in just two runs while stealing two bases. He had four muli hit games highlighted by a three hit day at Wrigley Field on September 13th. On September 17th he was hospitalized in Miami with a violent stomach flu, it was the second time that season he had to be hospitalized for stomach issues.

There is certainly plenty of room for improvement both at bat & on the field for the young Rosario, especially with all the hype surrounding him. He & Dominic Smith were the teams top prospects & are now at the big league level on a team  with lots of question marks in New York.

He ended 2017 playing in 46 games batting .248 with 4 HRs 4 triples 4 doubles 7 stolen bases 10 RBIs & a .371 on base %. At short he made six errors turned 22 double plays with a .965 fielding %.

1999 N.L. Wild Card Champion Mets Pitcher: Kenny Rogers (1999)

Kenneth Scott Rogers was born on November 10th 1964 in Savannah Georgia. He grew up on a farm in Western Florida, in a town called Dover. The tall six foot one left hander was signed in 1982 by the Texas Rangers down in the 39th round. He spent seven seasons in the minor leagues, never winning more than six games in a season. He was brought up to the Rangers as a reliever in 1989, and saved 15 games the next season.

Rogers won ten games two straight seasons in relief & led the AL in appearances (81) in 1992.
In 1993 he became a starting pitcher and the ace of the Ranger staff. He won 16 games (7th in the league) striking out 140 batters pitching in 204 innings, although he posted a high 4.10 ERA.

Perfect Game: In July of 1994 he pitched the fourteenth perfect game in MLB history, the first ever thrown by a Texas Ranger pitcher. It is also the last no hitter recorded in the organization. It came in a game at Arlington against the California Angels & was his second shut out of the season. The perfect game brought him fame, as Rogers appeared on David Letterman & Good Morning America television shows. He even did a function with the country singer Kenny Rogers in Texas.

Rogers has earned himself the nick name “the gambler” in reference to the famous song by the other Kenny Rogers the singer. An injury cut his season short in early August as he finished the year at 11-8.

In 1995 he had his best Rangers season, making the All Star team winning 17 games (4th in the league) posting a 3.38 ERA (5th in the league) making 31 starts (4th in the league). After the season he signed on with the AL New York club as a free agent, going 12-8 with a 4.68 ERA.

In the post season he was roughed up, allowing eleven earned runs in just seven innings pitched in all three playoff series. The Braves hit him hardest in the World Series allowing five runs on five hits in just two innings of work. He posted no record in that post season. The following season he struggled and ended up in the bull pen, going 6-7 overall. In the off season he was traded to the Oakland A’s for Scot Brosius.

In Oakland he made a great comeback going 16-8 with a 3.17 ERA & seven complete games (3rd in the AL). A’s GM Billy Beane called Rogers the best fielding pitcher he ever saw. In 1999 he was 5-3 after 19 games when he was traded to the New York Mets for Terrance Long & a minor leaguer in late July.

As the Mets were chasing the wild card Rodgers joined an already talented staff. He debuted on July 28th at Shea Stadium pitching six innings of one hit ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates. On August 4th he got his first start & although he allowed five runs still got the win in a 9-5 Mets victory at Milwaukee.

From August through mid July he was fantastic, going 5-0 pitching two complete games. The first came on August 15th in San Francisco where he struck out nine batters, walking just one batter. The second was a four hit shutout against those same Giants at Shea Stadium on September 8th. On September 25th Rogers lost his last decision a 4-2 loss to the Phillies in Philadelphia.

He then pitched to the eighth inning in his final start which came on October 1st, he allowed just two runs & struck out a season high ten batters. He left the game earning no decision as the Mets went on to win the game 3-2 & remain in the wild card hunt with the Cincinnati Reds. Rogers finished the season with an overall 10-4 record. Since arriving with the Mets he was 5-1 with a 4.03 ERA, striking out 58 batters in 76 innings pitched. 

Post Season: Rogers did not have a good post season for the '99 Mets & unfortunately it is what is remembered as his Mets legacy. He began by taking the loss in Game #2 of the NLDS at Arizona to the Diamondbacks. He allowed four runs in 4.1 innings of work, with five hits, two walks & six strike outs.

He got the start in Game #2 of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. He allowed four runs, on nine hits taking a loss there aswell, as the Mets went down 2-0 in the series.

In the classic 15 inning Game #5 at Shea Stadium, the game where Robin Ventura hit his famous walk off grand slam single, Rogers had his best post season outing. He pitched two scoreless innings ( the 11th & 12th) giving up just one hit.

In Game #6 he had his most remembered outing, a horrible one that ended the Mets season. The Mets had come back from a 5-0 deficit & went ahead 9-8 in the tenth inning. But Armando Benitez blew the Mets lead & Rogers entered the game in the bottom of the 11th inning with the score tied at 9-9.

He allowed a leadoff double to Gerald Williams, then a sac bunt to Bret Boone. He then intentionally walked Chipper Jones & Brian Jordan to load the bases. Rogers couldn't find the plate & then walked Andru Jones on five pitches giving the Braves the win, sending them to the World Series.

Rogers was granted free agency, & signed a three year deal once again with the Texas Rangers. In 2000, at age 36 he won the first of five gold gloves on the mound, as he was one of the best fielding pitchers of his era.

He remained in Texas for three years, winning 13 games twice but the team finished fourth each year. He then signed a one year deal with the Minnesota Twins, once again winning on 13 games (13-8) with a .47 ERA. 

In 2004 he once again signed with Texas as a free agent. He revived his career, becoming the Rangers top pitcher by winning 18 games (third most in the AL) leading the league in starts (35) pitching 211 innings striking out 126 batters, while posting a 4.76 ERA.
Battle With the Media: That year the media began to report that although he was winning, he was having a problem getting a contract extension from the Rangers. As a result he stopped giving interviews & chose not to speak to the press.

On June 29th he walked on the field in a pre game warm up & got into an altercation with some members of the media. He shoved two camera men & kicked a camera to the ground while he was being filmed. 

Rogers was restrained & the team sent him home. One reporter claimed he suffered injuries, was hospitalized & filed a lawsuit. 

On October 5, 2005, he filed a civil suit against Rogers and the Texas Rangers, seeking money for personal damages. Rogers was charged with class A & class C misdemeanors, getting released on a bond.

He was suspended for twenty games & was fined $50,000 by the Commissioner. He appeared in the 2005 All Star Game as his court appeal was pending. He ended up served a thirteen game suspension before returning to the mound.

Through it all he finished 2005 at 14-8 lowering his ERA to 3.46. At age 41 Rogers was not resigned by Texas instead he went to the Detroit Tigers, signing a three year deal. 

In 2006 he won his fifth & final Gold Glove having yet another fine season. He went 17-8 (4th most wins in the AL) tied with Justin Vernlander on the staff, leading the Tigers to a wild card finish. He pitched 204 innings posting a 3.84 ERA.

Post Season: In the ALDS he won Game #3 pitching 7.2 innings of shutout ball while striking out eight, defeating the AL New York team. 

In the ALCS he once again pitched into the eighth inning, allowing just two hits while throwing shut out baseball & striking out six. He earned the win, putting the Tigers up three games to none against the Oakland A’s.

In the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, he was the winning pitcher in the only game Detroit won in the Series. In Game #2 Rogers shut out the Cardinals for eight innings earning his first World Series win.

Overall in the
2006 post season he was 3-0 allowing no runs in 23 innings of work with 19 strike outs.

The next year he needed surgery after doctors found a blood clot in his pitching arm. He missed the first three months of the season, pitching in just eleven games on the year. In 2008 he was the oldest player in the league & finished out his career going 9-13 for the disappointing 5th place Tigers.

In a twenty year career Rogers won five gold gloves & made four All Star teams. He was 219-156 (79th most wins all time & 140th in losses) in 762 games (64th all time) with 28 saves.

He had 1968 strike outs with 1175 walks in 3302 innings pitched (94th all time) with a 4.27 ERA, nine shut outs & 36 complete games.

Known for one of the best pick off moves of all time, he is second in MLB history in pick offs with 93.

He has allowed 339 career HRs (35th all time). 

Retirement: In 2010 he was a Tigers Spring Training pitching coach, especially helping the staff in fielding. He also threw out the ceremonial first pitch in Game #3 of the 2011 ALDS at Comercia Park in Detroit.

Nov 18, 2017

Remembering Mets History: (1977) Steve Hendersons Walk Off HR

Tuesday June 21st 1977: It was less than a week after Tom Seaver had been traded away & the Mets were in last place. Everything about the Mets seemed dismal. Joe Torre's Mets (29-37) were already 13 1/2 games out of first place as they hosted the last place Western Division, Atlanta Braves (23-44).

The Mets sent Jon Matlack to the mound against Andy Messersmith, who's best days were behind him after being one of the games top pitchers in the early to mid seventies.

In the 1st, the Braves Willie Montanez hit a solo HR. The Mets got  a run back, with one out Bud Harrelson walked, John Milner then doubled bringing Harrelson to third. Messersmith then threw a wild pitch allowing Harrelson to score from third base.

Both pitchers settled in to pitch well, Matlack went eight innings, allowing two runs on five hits with seven strike outs. Messersmith was entering the 9th inning, ahead 2-1 after allowing just four hits & looking for a complete game win.

But long time Mets veteran pinch hitting expert, Eddie Karanepool led off the inning with a pinch hit HR to tie the game. The game went to extra innings.

In the 10th, Braves reliever Don Collins issued three walks, but the Mets left the bases loaded as John Milner struck out & Kranepool flied out to center. In the bottom of the 11th, Collins gave up a double to John Stearns, then intentionally walking Felix Millan.

Up came the newest Met; young Steve Henderson. Henderson had come over highly touted as a future superstar in the Tom Seaver deal. In just his fourth game he added some excitement to a dark period in Mets history. Henderson hit a three run walk off HR giving who ever was left of the 10,613 fans at Shea a huge thrill. 

The Mets won it 5-2 as reliever Rick Baldwin got the win. For at least one day Steve Henderson was a hero & some of the pressure was lifted off him.

In his rookie year Henderson hit 12 HRs with 16 doubles & 65 RBIs batting .295 in 99 games.

Late Seventies Mets Outfielder & Key Player In the Tom Seaver Trade: Steve Henderson (1977-1980)

Steven Curtis Henderson was born on November 18, 1952 in Houston, Texas. He attended Prairie View A &M in Texas, getting drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the fifth round of the 1974 draft as a promising outfielder. He batted .312 with 17 HRs & 61 RBIs at AA ball Trois Rivieres in 1976. The next year he was batting .326 after 60 games at AA Indianapolis, but wasn’t much room on the Big Red Machine in the mid seventies for a young player in the minors.

On June 17th 1977, Henderson became famous for being the key player in the Tom Seaver trade on what Mets fans call “The Midnight Massacre”. Henderson along with Pat Zachary, Doug Flynn, & Dan Norman went to the New York Mets for Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. There was a lot of hype and big expectations put on the young Henderson by the organization trying to make the Seaver trade look somewhat justified. Henderson & not many other players could ever have lived up to those expectations.

In his first career game on June 16, 1977 he pinch ran for Ed Kranepool and ended up scoring the game's winning run, as Mike Vail reached on an error in the 7th inning. In his first career at bat later that game, the Shea fans gave him a standing ovation. Henderson recalls: “I was so nervous, I swung at one ball, and it hit the ground. When I struck out I got another standing ovation, how embarrassing”. The next night he got the start in left field batting in the third spot. In his first at bat he got a base hit off Floyd Bannister & ended up 2-4 on the night.

On June 21st he came in as a defensive replacement for Kranepool once again, this time in the top of the 11th inning. He ended up hitting a dramatic three-run walk off HR against the Atlanta Braves Don Collins in a 9th inning at bat. The small Shea crowd went wild, as Steve in just his fourth career game, brought some excitement to a bad baseball summer at Shea Stadium. In July he had a streak hitting safely in 18 of 22 games raising his average to .313 by the end of the month. In a five game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates in July, Henderson had five hits in back to back games with a HR & 3 RBIs on July 16th. The next day in the second game of a double header Henderson finished off the series with a grand slam HR & a five RBI day. Over his first month and a half in the big leagues, Henderson had seven HRs & 32 RBIs.

During a stretch going into the first week of September he hit safely in 20 of 25 games, even getting two hits when the Mets faced off against Tom Seaver in his return to Shea Stadium wearing a Reds uniform. There was hope for a bright future for the young Henderson, on a team that desperately needed something. Mets announcer Ralph Kiner even drew a comparison to New York Giants legend Mote Irvin.

He finished runner up in the Rookie of the Year voting to Andre Dawson, batting .297 while leading the team with 12 HRs (tied) & 67 RBIs. He hit 12 doubles with 6 triples 65 RBIs 43 walks a .372 on base % & 67 runs scored in just 350 at bats . His quiet personality was sometimes mistaken as him being arrogant which wasn’t the case.

Pitchers tested him early, by throwing at him and knocking him down. He hung in there and wasn’t intimidated easily. In the off season the Mets sent him to Tampa to work with the legendary Willie Mays on his defense. Mays taught Steve about the game & how things worked, especially in New York. Mays even got him a five year merchandizing glove deal with McGregor worth $3,500.

In 1978 he started out the season on a tear, in the first week he hit three HRs with 11 RBIs. On April 9th in the first game of a home double header, Henderson hit a grand slam HR off the Montreal Expos Darold Knowles, leading the Mets to a 6-5 win. He slowed down as his average fell to under .200 by the start of May. He had a big month with a dozen multiple hit games & drove in fourteen runs in the first three weeks. On May 18th after a stretch of driving in runs in five straight games, he had a four hit game against the Atlanta Braves. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Henderson singled off Eddie Solomon driving in Lenny Randle with the walk off game winner.

On May 21st Henderson delivered again with a game winning hit, doubling off former Met Tug McGraw to score Lee Mazzilli. In June Henderson tied up a game against the San Francisco Giants with an 8th inning base hit off Bob Knepper. He advanced on a wild pitch then scored the winning run on a Willie Montanez single.

In the last five games of June he drove in six runs but then only drove in nine runs all of July. Beginning on July 5th, he hit safely in 22 of 27 games and was one of the brightest spots on Mets team that finished last 66-96 under Joe Torre.Henderson went on a two month HR drought from late July to late September.

1978 was a little disappointing since he wasn’t becoming a superstar that the Mets had hoped, but he still had some solid offensive numbers. He played in 157 games but only hit .266, while leading led the NL in grounding into double plays (24) & striking out 109 times. He hit just 10 HRs, with 30 doubles 65 RBIs & a .333 on base %. On the bright side he tied a club record with nine triples, & led the team in hits (156) & runs scored (83). In left field although he made 11 errors (most in the NL) he was second with 20 assists & with put outs (310).

In 1979 he started out hot again, driving in two runs with a double in the Mets 10-6 win at Wrigley Field. In the first eight games he had thirteen hits & five RBIs. When the Cubs came to Shea in May, Henderson had five hits driving in a run in each game, of a double header split. On May 26th, in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates he came to bat with New York behind 8-7.

He then hit a two run HR off one of the top relievers, Kent Tekulve to put the Mets ahead on their way to a win. The next month on June 30th, the Mets broke a game open in the top of the 11th inning at Wrigley Field. Henderson tripled driving in two runs on the way to a 9-8 Mets win, as the bullpen almost blew it in the bottom of the inning.

In July he a five game, nine game & six game hit streak raising his average up to .300. Over a four game stretch in the middle of the month, he drove in six runs during a five game win streak. He helped the team with a two run HR in the first game of a double header & his RBIs were the difference in two run games that week. At the end of the month his season was cut short with an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season, except one pinch hit appearance on September 25th. In dramatic fashion, he pinch hit in the top of the 11th inning at Wrigley Field, in a 3-3 game & then singled off Dick Tidrow scoring Dan Norman with the game winning run.

For the '79 last place Mets (63-99) he was limited to only 98 games, batting .306, with 16 doubles eight triples, five HRs 35 RBIs & a .380 on base % (second on the club to Lee Mazzilli), all in just 350 at bats. In left field his strong arm got him 18 more assists & he led all NL left fielders in fielding % (.990).

In 1980 he began the year hitting safely in 12 of the first 15 games. From June 5th through June 8th he drove in seven runs, including an 8th inning base hit tying up a game against the Pirates on June 7th. The Mets won it in extra innings. On June 28th in Philadelphia, Henderson's 9th inning single won the game against the Phillies as he scored Lee Mazzili from third base.

On July 5th he drove in three runs & hit a two run HR to help beat the Montreal Expos 7-5 at Shea Stadium. On July 15th he hit two HRs in Atlanta, driving in four runs while leading the Mets to a 9-2 victory. On August 1st he hit a three run HR off Houston’s Dave Smith tying the game in which the Mets would later rally and win. He was batting over .300 up until the end of August.

Maybe his most dramatic hit of the year came on September 14th at Shea Stadium. In the bottom of the 9th inning, with the Mets behind the Chicago Cubs 7-6 facing ace reliever Bruce Sutter, Henderson delivered with a three run walk off HR scoring Lee Mazzilli & Joel Youngblood. It was one of the biggest thrills of the dismal year for the Mets, thrilling whoever was left of the crowd of 10,000.

On the season he led the 5th place Mets in hitting (.290) in stolen bases (23) & triples (8) which was ninth most in the league. In 147 games he hit eight HRs with 13 doubles 58 RBIs & a .360 on base %.

In February of 1981 Henderson was traded to the Chicago Cubs for the second coming of Dave Kingman to New York. In his first season at Wrigley Field he batted .293 with 5 HRs & 35 RBIs in 82 games of the strike shortened season. After hitting .233 the next year he was sent to the Seattle Mariners and had a solid 1983, hitting .294 with 32 doubles 10 HRs & 54 RBIs. He went to the Oakland Athletics as a free agent, playing as a fourth outfielder behind Dwayne Murphy, Mike Davis & Dave Collins in 1985 batting .301 (85 games).

In 1986 he struggled batting just .077 in 11 games & spent time back in the minors where he hit .288 at AAA Buffalo. The following season he batted over .300 at AAA Tacoma & returned to Oakland to hit a solid .289 in just 46 games. In 1988 he then went to play out his last season in Houston with the Astros.

In a 12 season career Henderson played in 1,085 games (3,484 at bats) batting .280 with 976 hits, 68 HRs, 428 RBIs, 162 doubles, 49 triples, 459 runs scored, with a .352 on base %. In the outfield he posted a .969 fielding % in 898 games. As a left fielder he made 52 errors (48th most all time) playing in 856 games with 1635 put outs (74th all time) & 70 assists (52nd all time).

Retirement: Henderson coached with the Houston Astros from 1994-1996. He was the Hitting coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in their inaugural season, and then he served as their minor league hitting coordinator. He returned to the Rays in 2006 as the big league clubs hitting coach taking them to the 2008 World Series.

He was let go after the 2009 season & later coached in the Phillies minor leagues. He also worked in the Pirates (1990-1993) & Astros organizations, serving as hitting coach in 1995 & 1996.

In 2006 he also earned a degree in Multimedia and Political Science. Steve has also been on hand for past Mets Fantasy Camps.

Nov 17, 2017

2016 Mets Pitcher: Seth Lugo (2016-2017)

Jacob Seth Lugo was born November 17th, 1989 in Shreveport Louisiana. The six foot four, right handed Lugo attended Centenary College at Louisiana where he was studying to be a landman, majoring in geology.

He was spotted by Mets scout Jimmy Nelson in the deep South & got an invite for a try out. The six foot four, right handed pitcher signed out of a Division 3 School (Centenary College of Louisiana) where he was signed in the 34th round of the 2011 draft, the 1032nd pick overall.

In 2011 he was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis which is a displacement of vertebra in the spine, it required ten hours of surgery for repair. After the procedure he was bed ridden for three months & recuperated at his mothers home.

Quotes: Lugo when he found out about the surgery- "Whoa. Hold on, I don't know if I want to do this. They kind of just reassured me it was a precaution they have to tell everyone. But that was the only time it really hit me that, whoa, this is a lot more serious than I thought."

As he recovered he could barely move for three months of bed rest. He missed all of the 2012 season & came back with a new focus. In 2013 he pitched at A ball Brooklyn going 2-4 for the Cyclones, before getting promoted to A ball Savannah.

In 2014 he was 8-3 with three saves, striking out 114 batters in 105 innings posting a 4.11 ERA with the A ball St. Lucie Mets. He became a promising young pitcher despite his odds to make it. He got promoted to the AA Binghamton Mets in 2015, going 6-5 with a 3.80 ERA. He struck out  97 batters & walked 30 in 109 innings pitched finishing 19 games for the AA Mets. He was promoted to AAA Las Vegas going 2-2 with a 4.00 ERA for the 51s. He was invited to the 2016 Mets Spring Training.

He started the year at AAA Las Vegas, not having a very good year. He went 3-4 with a 6.50 ERA, striking out 62 batters in 73 innings of work. The Mets still promoted him to the majors on June 30th.

He was sent back down on July 2nd, but returned four days later when Matt Harvey went down for the season. Lugo would pitch in relief until mid August when he turned his season around & helped the Mets capture the NL's top wild card spot. He had taken a relief loss in the subway series giving up a 10th inning run, and then took a loss in his first start which came in San Francisco against the Giants.

On August 25th, he helped the Mets sweep the Cardinals, which was the start of their wild card demise. He shut out St. Louis for five innings striking out five, before leaving the game with muscle cramps. He still went on to earn his first win. In his next start he beat the Miami Marlins at Citi Field to get to 2-2.

On September 4th, he pitched seven innings allowing just one run beating the Washington Nats at Citi Field 5-1.  He followed that with a September 11th win at Atlanta beating the Braves & getting his record to 4-2, while lowering his ERA to 2.40.

He pitched well in his next two starts in whish the Mets won & closed out his season with a big win in Miami Florida, beating the Marlins on September 28th, allowing two runs in 5.1 innings while striking out just two & walking three.

Lugo was scheduled to pitch the  NLDS, but the Mets lost the Wild Card game ending their season. Lugo was a big surprise in the Mets rotation, helping them catch the wild card spot. He went 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA, striking out 45 batters & walking 21 in 64 innings pitched in 17 games.

Entering the 2017 season, Lugo was up against Robert Gsellman for the fifth starters spot. All that was soon to change. Lugo pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, there he suffered an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament, missing the first two months of the season.

He joined the club on July 11th in Atlanta. There he pitched seven solid innings, allowing just one run striking out six Braves, in a Mets 2-1 win. In his next start he allowed three runs to the Nats as he & the Mets took a 7-4 loss.
Lugo then won two more games beating the Giants in San Francisco & the Marlins in South Florida.

On the 4th of July he allowed six runs on ten hits to the Nationals in D.C taking his second loss. That earned his a sting of relief on July 9th in a 6-0 Mets loss in St. Louis. On Saturday July 15th, he hit his first career HR in a game he won against the  Colorado Rockies. That was followed by a no decision against the St. Louis Cardinals where allowed just one run in 6.2 innings of work. The Mets won the game 3-2. His next start came in San Diego, it wasn't too strong but earned him his 5th win (5-2).

On July 30th, he took a loss in Seattle as the Mariners trounced the Mets 9-1. In August he had three no decisions & once again went on the DL.

In September he returned to a beaten Mets staff, taking a loss against the Houston Astros, allowing four runs in five innings in his return from the DL. On September 8th, he beat the Cincinnati Reds shutting them out for six innings. In his next start the Cubs rocked him for eight runs at Wrigley Field.

On September 25th he won his seventh game to end the year at 7-5 with 1 4.71 ERA, striking out 85 batters walking 25 in 101 innings of work in 119 games.

1973 N.L. Champion Mets Centerfielder: Don Hahn (1971-1974)

Donald Antone Hahn was born November 16, 1948 in San Francisco, California.

Hahn attended Campbell high school where he played football & basketball as well as baseball. The six foot right hand hitting outfielder was drafted in the 17th round of the 1966 draft by the local, San Francisco Giants.

Hahn played three seasons at A ball then in 1968 he was picked up as a Rule 5 draft pick by the expansion Montreal Expos.

He was the original Montreal Expos centerfielder in the first game ever played in the history of the franchise, on April 8, 1969 at Shea Stadium. The 20 year old went 0-3 that day in an exciting 11-10 win over the New York Mets. He was the first Expo to ever field a ball as the Mets Tommie Agee led off the first inning with a single to Hahn in center.

After just five games he was 1-9 (.111) and was sent back down to the minors for the rest of the season. He played out the year at AAA Vancouver in the Pacific Coast League, where he hit .268. In 1970 he returned to Montreal at the end of April, getting two hits & a pair of walks in his return.

That year Hahn played in 82 games, batting .255 with eight doubles & eight RBIs in 149 at-bats. Hahn would never prove to be a power hitter by any means, he hit no HRs that season & just seven in 997 career at bats. He did show some speed with good base running abilities stealing four bases in six attempts in his rookie year.

At the end of Spring Training 1971 he was traded to the New York Mets for 1969 World Series hero Ron Swoboda. Don Hahn made his Mets debut in the fourth game of the '71 season, appearing as a pinch runner. He made pinch running appearances before getting his first Mets at bat, where he drew a walk as a pinch hitter.

On April 29th he would get his first Mets hit, coming as a pinch hitter against the Cardinals in St. Louis. He got his first start in May & would saw some playing time in centerfield when Tommie Agee got hurt & was limited to 118 games.

On June 20th he helped spark a 9th inning rally when he singled off the Philadelphia Phillies Bucky Brandon with the bases loaded. In the next at bat pinch hitter Duffy Dyer singled to drive in the game winning runs.

By mid June Hahn brought his average up to a season best .288 before falling off from there. On September 5th at Philadelphia’s Veteran Stadium, Hahn hit his first career HR. It was an inside the parker, and came off of pitcher Woodie Fryman. t was a historic HR, because it was the first inside the park HR to be hit in the new Veterans Stadium which had opened the previous year. Overall in 98 games Hahn hit .236 with one HR, five doubles, 11 RBIs and two stolen bases.

In 1972 he had gone 0-6 as a pinch hitter through May 10th. On that day, the Mets acquired the legendary future Hall of Fame veteran Willie Mays, in his triumphant return to New York.

At that point it seemed that with Tommie Agee, a young rookie slugger named John Milner & Mays, that there would be little room for the weak hitting Hahn.

He spent most of the year at AAA Tidewater batting .282 with 13 stolen bases, returning to the Mets in September. On the season he saw action in only 17 games, batting a measly .162 (6-37). In ten games in the outfield he made eight put outs with no errors.

At the end of Spring Training 1973, Hahn was sent back to AAA Tidewater where he hit.274 with 7 HRs & 27 RBIs in 53 games played.

But up on the big league club, the Mets were having problems filling in a centerfielder. Willie Mays was at the end of his career & could only play sparingly. Rich Chiles was gone after just eight games, he & Jim Gosger never worked out.

Hahn played hard & had never ending determination which got him the starting centerfield job by June.

He would play well defensively in 83 games in center field, posting a .988 fielding % (third best among NL centerfielders) making just two errors. Mays would play 45 games (.990 fielding %).

Hahn will always be remembered for a famous outfield collision that occurred on July 7th, 1973 at Shea Stadium. Hahn was playing centerfield in a game against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves batter; The Roadrunner Ralph Garr, hit a fly ball into the left centerfield gap. Hahn was running over at full speed as was left fielder George "the Stork" Theodore.

The two collided head on, very hard into each other. The ball rolled to the wall & the Road Runner rounded the bases. The two Met outfielders lie motionless on the outfield grass for a bit.

After the violent collision settled in, Theodore had to be removed from the field on a stretcher. Hahn was able to walk away, leaving just a bit shaken up. The moment has lived on forever, caught on film as well as in the Mets 1974 yearbook.

Hahn's biggest blow of the year at the plate, came on August 18th, off Cincinnati Reds pitcher Fred Norman. It was a three run shot at Shea Stadium in the Mets 12-1 romp over their future October NLCS opponents.

Hahn got hot, as did the rest of the Mets team at the right time, at the end of August he went into a nine out of twelve game hit streak leading into September.

On August 27th, he had a four hit day at Shea Stadium, with a 4th inning RBI single in a 6-5 win over the San Diego Padres. The next day he drove in two more runs in an 8-6 win over the Padres.

Although he dropped off twenty points in batting average during the month of September, he did drive in seven runs. On September 1st, Hahn had a two run single at St. Louis in the Mets 4-1 win over the Cardinals.

On September 7th in the second game of a double header at Montreal, the Mets & Expos had a close 1-1 tie going on into the 15th inning. Two of the league's best relievers were now in a classic pitching duel, Tug McGraw had pitched six innings of relief & Montreal's Mike Marshall would pitch eight innings of relief. In the top of the 15th Hahn's sac fly broke the tie & put New York ahead 2-1. McGraw helped his own cause, following with a two run single.

On September 18th he broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the 9th inning at Pittsburgh, in a game against the first place Pirates. Hahn came through with a single off reliever Dave Guisti, scoring Rusty Staub & Teddy Martinez, putting New York up 6-4.

That night the Mets pulled within four games of the Pirates. Hahn closed out the year with three hits in the final four games.

In the Mets 1973 NL Pennant winning season, Hahn hit .229 with two HRs, ten doubles, a .285 on base % & 22 RBIs in 262 at bats while playing in 93 overall games.

Post Season: In the 1973 NLCS against the Cincinnati Reds, Hahn played in all five games, hitting .235, (4 for 17). He would come up with a pair of hits in both Game Two & Game Three, scoring a run in Game #3.

In Game #4 he drew a third inning walk, advanced & scored the Mets only run on Felix Millan's base hit. In Game #5 he drove in a run on a ground out force play in the Mets four run 5th inning.

In the 1973 World Series he played in all seven games going 9- 29 batting .241 with a double a triple & two RBIs.

In Game #2 at Oakland, Hahn tied up the game with an infield single, scoring Cleon Jones. The A's third baseman Sal Bando could not come up with the ball as Cleon Jones crossed the plate. Hahn would score when A's pitcher; Darold Knowles made a throwing error later that inning.

In the 6th inning of Game #3 at Shea Stadium, Hahn made a spectacular catch against the outfield wall, saving an extra base hit. But the next batter Sal Bando, then blasted a shot over Hahn's head to straight away centerfield, for a double.

Hahn had misplayed the ball & looked confused in center field. The reason being that some of the outfield turf had been removed along the warning track & was put in the infield to make up for the damage done after the NLCS.

Hahn certainly was use to his position in center, but was thrown off by the longer stretch of warning track. Next Gene Tenace also doubled bringing in Bando with the A's first run.

Quotes- Don Hahn said later: "I was playing deep, but not deep enough. I played the warning track. What should have been, wasn't. The ball dropped for a double. After the game Seaver told me he knew about the field being changed, but forgot to tell me about it."

In Game #4 at Shea Stadium, Hahn singled off the A's Blue Moon Odom, to lead off the Mets 4th inning. He then scored the Mets fourth run of the game, when Felix Millan reached on an error.

The Mets went on to a 6-1 win, led by Rusty Staub's three run HR, evening the Series at two games each.

In Game #5 at Shea Stadium, Hahn reached on a Bert Campaneris error at short, as he over ran the ball. The Mets failed to score in that inning. In the home 6th, Hahn’s triple off Vida Blue, drove in Jerry Grote with one of the two Mets runs.

Hahn had not hit a triple all season and only had four triples in his entire career. The two runs were all the Mets needed and they went up three games to two in the Series, behind Jerry Koosman & Tug McGraw’s combined shut out.

In the final Game #7, Hahn came up with three of the Mets eight hits in the 5-2 loss at Oakland.

In 1974 Hahn had his best season at the plate, starting out with two hits on the Opening Day loss to the Phillies in Philadelphia. In May he hit two HRs in the same week, both coming on the road. The first was in a 6-3 win at Wrigley Field & the second in a 6-4 win over the Cards at Busch Stadium.

In June he hit safely in 10 of 14 games, with six multi hit games, batting .320 by the end of the month.

On July 20th, he had two hits while driving in three runs, in a 10-2 win at San Diego. He entered August on an eight game hit streak and on August 9th helped beat the Cincinnati Reds with a three run HR off Fred Norman leading to a 4-1 Mets victory. Although he was batting .290 in the first week of August, his average fell off to finish the Mets disappointing '74 season at .251.

On the year he played in a career high 110 games, with four HRs, 14 doubles, 37 walks a .337 on base % & 28 RBIs. In centerfield he made eight assists, with a .987 fielding %, while making three errors in 228 chances.

After the 1974 season, Hahn would get traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, along with popular Mets reliever Tug McGraw & Dave Schneck, in exchange for John Stearns, Del Unser, & relief pitcher Mac Scarce.

In 1975 Hahn only played in nine games for Philadelphia, before getting released in late May He would go on to the St. Louis Cardinals (seven games) & San Diego Padres (34 games) that same year.

Overall he hit only .179 in 50 games with three extra base hits. He played in the AAA Pacific Coast League the next two years, retiring from the games in 1977 at age 30.

Hahn finished his seven year career playing in 454 games with a .236 average, 235 hits 7 HRs, 38 doubles, 4 triples, 122 walks a .319 on base % & 74 RBIs. In the outfield he posted a .985 fielding % with 20 assists.

He is 12th on the Mets all time list with games played in center field with 268.

Quotes: Hahn's old minor league teammate was former Giants outfielder Bobby Bonds  "On the long bus rides during the winter leagues we would sit together and he would proudly boast that his 4-year-old son Barry would be a great athlete one day.

He said his kid had so much energy that he had to run around the block a few times before he was tired enough to fall asleep.''

Retirement: After his playing days, Hahn went into the Real Estate business in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hahn had two sons; Dustin & Brent Hahn who played in the minor leagues.