Jun 21, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (1994) John Franco Sets All Time Save Mark For Lefties

Wednesday June 22nd 1994: Dallas Green's Mets (33-38) came to Atlanta to face Bobby Cox's Braves (45-24). A large Georgia crowd of 47,907 were on hand to see the Mets Pete Smith (3-7) go up against Cy Young Award Pitcher; Greg Maddox (10-2).

The Braves struck Smith first as Roberto Kelly & Jeff Blauser hit back to back HRs in the Atlanta home 1st inning. In the top of the 2nd, Jeff Kent doubled for the Mets & Ryan Thompson then singled him in with a two out base hit, making it 2-1 Braves.

The game stayed that way until the 8th inning, as both pitchers dueled it out & settled in. Todd Hundley & Ryan Thompson started off the 8th with base hits. Shawn Hare pinch hit for the Mets & delivered with an RBI single to tie the game.

A Young Fernando Vina then reached for the Mets, on an error as he attempted a sac bunt. Braves third baseman Bill Pecota threw wild to Fred McGriff at first, both Thompson & Hare scored putting the Mets up 4-2. With Vina on third, Jose Vizcaiano hit a sac fly making it 5-2 Mets.

The Mets Mauro Gozzo pitched a scoreless 8th inning. Then in the 9th John Franco came on to close it out & secure himself a spot in MLB history. Franco got Javey Lopez to line out for the first out. Bill Pecota flew out & Mark Lemke then flew out to right field to end the game.

With this save, Franco's 253rd of his career & his 17th of the season, John Franco became the all time saves leader for left handed pitchers.

Franco would go on to lead the NL with 30 saves that season.

He ended his career with 1,119 appearances, third most all time. He has 424 saves, placing him fourth on the all-time list & is still first among left-handers.

In 14 years with the Mets (1990-2004) Franco saved 276 games for New York, first on the Mets all time list. Franco became Mets team Captain & was elected to the clubs Hall of Fame.

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