Jan 28, 2018

Remembering New York Giants History (1954): Giants Slug Six HRs & Don Mueller Hits For Cycle

Sunday July 11, 1954: In the opener of a doubleheader‚ at the Polo Grounds, Leo Durocher's first place New York Giants (57-26) pounded Fred Haney's last place Pittsburgh Pirates (26-55) 13-7.

Giants right fielder Don Mueller wasted no time, in the 1st inning he collected a double to drive home Whitey Lockman for a 1-0 lead.

In the 2nd, Monte Irvin lead off with a HR, his 16th of the year. Later Wes Westrum singled. Whitey Lockman then connected for a two run HR, his 13th of the year. Alvin Dark then followed with a back to back HR, his 10th of the year, making it 5-0 Giants.

In the 3rd, Hank Thompson lead off with a HR. Willie Mays singled and after Monte Irvin grounded out, Davey Williams was hit by a pitch. Westrum then singled bringing in a run. Pitcher Sal Maglie bunted & reached base safely.

Next, Whitey Lockman's sac fly brought in another run. Al Dark then singled bringing in Westrum putting two men on base. Don Mueller then tripled to right field, bringing in two more run making it an 11-1 ball game.

In the 4th Willie Mays hit his 31st HR of the season making it 12-3. Mays on his way to the 1954 MVP Award, would also hit 41 HRs. On this day he raised his average to .331, he would win the batting title that year at .345.

In the 7th, Mueller completed his big day with a solo HR. Don Mueller had a huge day for himself, hitting for the cycle.  All in all Mueller went 4-5 with four RBIs and a run scored.

Sal Maglie would earn his 9th win of the year and Marv Grissom his 11th save. The Giants increased their lead to 5 ½ games over the Brooklyn Dodgers in the NL. Pittsburgh took the second game of the double header that day.

Jan 27, 2018

Remembering Mets History: (1976) Mickey Lolich Tosses a Two Hitter

Sunday July 18th 1976: Tonight Joe Frazier's third place Mets (48-44) were hosting Dave Bristol's; fifth place Atlanta Braves (41-48). Carl Morton (0-6) (the 1970 NL Rookie of the Year) took on the Mets veteran Mickey Lolich (4-10). 

Lolich had come over from the Detroit Tigers, in a deal that sent the popular; Rusty Staub to the Motor City. 

Loilch's best days were behind him, back in the sixties /early seventies, he had been one of the game's best left hander's. In a deal that never made any sense, the Mets traded away Staub one of their biggest RBI guys on a team that didn't score many runs & brought in Lolich on a Mets team with a strong rotation. 

Starting Lineups

 Lolich had pitched a three hit shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals three weeks earlier but tonight he would be even better, his best outing as a New York Met. Lolich retired the Braves in order in the first two innings.

In the 3rd he gave up a single to veteran Darrel Chaney, drew a balk call but then retired Jerry Royster to end the inning. In the 4th he gave up another single, this time to "the toy cannon" Jimmy Wynn. 

Lolich would retire the next 17 of the next 18 batters without allowing a hit, completing a two hit shutout. Although he struck out just four, the left hander was outstanding. He walked no one in the two hit shut out performance. With all the bad press & unpopularity he received in New York, his ERA was just 2.69 although he was 5-10 at the time.

The Mets provided some offense on a Felix Millan RBI single & Dave Kingman's 32nd HR of the year. Kingman was on a pace to hit well over fifty HRs that year, but he would only play in 33 more games that season due to injury.

Lolich would win his next start & then put in a nine inning one run performance on July 29th, only to have the bullpen blow it for him.

Jan 24, 2018

Remembering Mets History: (1999) Roger Cedeno Steals Four Bases

Friday May 14th 1999: Bobby Valentine's New York Mets (2015) were having a fine start to what would be their Wild Card Champion season. On this night they arrived in Philadelphia to take on Terry Francona's Phillies (19-15) also having a good start. Both teams were battling for a second place spot behind those pesky Atlanta Braves. The Mets one & one half game behind with the Phils a game behind them.

Mets pitcher Masato Yoshii went up against Chad Ogea in front of 21,074 at the Vet.

Starting Lineups

In the top of the 1st, Roger Cedeno reached on an error & advanced on a force play. He then stole third base for his first steal of the night. John Olerud followed with a HR making it 2-0. Mike Piazza drew a walk & Robin Ventura connected for a HR as well, 4-0 Mets. In the 3rd Edgardo Alfonzo hit a solo HR to put the Mets up 5-1.

The Phillies would hit three HRs off Yoshi, one from David Doster, another from Scott Rolen & Bobby Abreu hit an inside the parker.

In the 5th Cedeno reached on an infield single. He then stole second base, and advanced to third, tagging on an Edgardo Alfonzo fly ball. Cedeno then would score on Jon Olerud's sac fly. He now had two steals on the night.

Later in the top of the 9th, Cedeno reached on a bunt base hit, then stole second base & third base off pitcher Wayne Gomes. He now had four steals on the evening. He would score again o Edgardo Alfonzo's RBI single.

Cedeno was 2-5 with four steals & two runs scored on the night, taking full advantage of catcher Mike Lieberthal & Phillie pitchers. Cedeno became the second Met (Vince Coleman the first) in team history to steal four bases in a game.

For the Mets Masato Yoshi earned his third win of the year, with Turk Wendell, Armondo Benitez, & John Franco all helping out from the bullpen. Philadelphia's Chad Ojea took the loss. 

He would end up with 66 steals on the season and bat .313. In the off season he was traded along with Octavio Dotel in exchange for Mike Hampton & Derek Bell. The Mets won the 1999 wild card & got within two games of the World Series.

Remembering Mets History: (1960's) The Shea Usherettes, Diamond Club Hostesses & Players Wives

Back in 1964 when Shea Stadium opened during the midst of the New York's World Fair, it was a grand place. It was a tourist attraction & one of the biggest most beautiful ball parks in all of baseball.

One of its most interesting & good looking attractions, were the Shea Stadium Usherettes. An usherette is defined as a female hostess who greets & escorts a paying customer to their seat at a stadium or concert hall.

The Shea Stadium Usherettes dressed like the airline stewardesses of the mid sixties, in seersucker suits, with knee high skirts, sexy but yet very professional looking. 

Some wore the solid Mets color jackets & skirts with the Mets logo on their left breast. Others wore a blue & orange pinstripe style with bow ties. Both uniforms were usually accompanied by a hat.

The Shea Stadium, Diamond Club Restaurant also had its own set of ladies, they were hostesses that greeted & sat its patrons down to their seats.

While on the subject of Mets Ladies- here is a promotional photo of the 1964 New York Mets players wives at the Shea Diamond Club. Left to right: Jackie Hunt, Shirley Kanehl, Rachel Altman, Annitte Hunter, Martha Cisco, Nancy Willey, Carol Smith, Barbara Bearnarth, Beverly Cannizzaro, Madine Jackson & Marie Taylor.

Here is a charity event photo, with some of the 1968 Mets players wives. Standing left to right: Lavonne Koosman, Nancy Seaver,Yvonne Harrelson, Sharon Grote, Cecilia Swoboda, Nadine Jackson, Carol Kranepool & Barbara Weis. Kneeling: Caroline Selma, Ruth Ryan  Diane Bucheck.

Remembering New York Giants History (1937): Carl Hubbell's 24 Game Winning Streak Snapped

Monday May 31,1937: New York Giants Hall of Fame pitcher Carl Hubbell (King Carl or the Meal Ticket as he was known) had just set a record by winning 24 consecutive games. The pitcher with the high leg kicking delivery dominated the league for two seasons.

On May 31st, 1937 at New Yorks Polo Grounds, the NYFD had to turn away a crowd of an estimated 20,000 fans who did not have tickets for the game, for public saftey.

An incredible 60,000 had already jammed into the Polo Grounds and the surrounding hills, to watch Carl Hubbell continue his win streak. But it was on this day that he took his first loss in ten months losing 10-3 to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

One of the things that makes baseball so great are the unsung heroes, that shine for a day to break or spoil a record. Today it was Brooklyn Dodger, back up catcher Paul Chervinko, making his first MLB start of a short 45 game career. Chervinko would contribute with two RBIs helping Brooklyn defeat the Giants & beat Hubbell for the first time on the season.

Hubbell's win streak started back in July 1936. He was 10- 6 at the time. He went on to win his next 16 decisions leading the NL with 26 wins & an .813 winning percent.

In July 1936, he won three games in a five day span, shutting out the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-0, then beating the Cincinnati Reds in relief. He came home to get a 2-1 win over the first place St. Louis Cardinals.

On August 19th his 2-1 win over the Brooklyn Dodgers brought the Giants within a 1/2 game of first place, a spot they would secure in the upcoming days.

Of Hubbell's 16 straight wins, 14 were complete games, two were in relief and his ERA was down to 1.86. Besides leading the league in wins (26) that year & winning % (.813), he won the ERA title (2.31), and  NL MVP award. The New York Giants won the NL by five games. In that years  World Series, Hubbell went 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA.

In 1937 he picked up where he left off, beating the Boston Bees in the second game of the year with a three hit shut out. He then defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in another complete game win. Next he beat the Cincinnati Reds pitching 6.2 innings.

He then threw three more complete game wins, beating the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates & St. Louis Cards. In his next start he beat the Pirates again to get to 7-0. On May 27th he came in relief & earned the win over the Reds in Cincinnati to get to 8-0 with a 1.73 ERA.

Hubbell went on to lead the league in wins (22), strike outs (156) & winning percentage (.733), en route to another NY Giants pennant & World Series appearance. During his streak he beat every NL team (except the Boston Braves) four to five times.

Jan 23, 2018

Former Italian American Player: Steve "Bye Bye" Balboni (1981-1989/ 1993)

Steve Charles Balboni was born on January 16th 1957 in Brockton, Massachusetts. The six foot three right hand power hitter, attended Eckerd College & was a second round draft pick of the AL New York club in 1978.

Balboni became known as Bye Bye Balboni, for his long Hrs & some may say his frequent strike outs. He was a feast or famine type hitter.

In 1979 he bashed 29 HRs at A ball Ft. Lauderdale & then went on to have three straight 30 plus HR seasons at Nashville (1980) & at AAA Columbus (1981-1982). In those years at Columbus he was the AAA HR Champion. In 1982 his 32 HRs came in just 83 games & the following year he hit 27 HRs in 83 games.

Balboni would see brief action in parts of three seasons with the AL New York club, debuting in 1981 in four games. In December 1983 he along with Roger Erickson got traded to the Kansas City Royals for Mike Armstrong, who went 3-3 in three seasons & Duane Dewey, who never got to the big leagues. George Steinbrenner was so upset at the bad trade, that he tried to have it vetoed claiming Armstrong was injured at the time of the deal. The Commissioner ignored the accusations.

The Royals certainly got the best of this deal, as Balboni went on to hit 24 or more HRs in the next four seasons. In 1984, Balboni gave the AL Western Champion Royals 28 HRs & 78 RBIs, but he went down swinging 139 times (3rd most in the AL). That year he became the second big league position player to strike out in nine straight plate appearances.

In the Royals 1985 Championship season he led the team in HRs (36) which set a Royals record that still stands, & his 36 HRs were the third most in the league. He also led the team in doubles (28) and was second to George Brett in RBIs (112).

That season Balboni led the league in strike outs (166) and batted .243. At first base he led all first baseman in put outs & chances

Post Season: In the post season he hit no HRs & struck out 12 times in 49 at bats. He did hit safely in the final four games of the World Series & batted .320 with three RBIs, in the win against the St. Louis Cardinals. He also made the cover of Sports Illustrated sliding under a leaping Ozzie Smith during the Series. 

After two more years of hitting HRs in Kansas City, he was released in 1988 after 21 games when he was batting .156 with two HRs. He found new life in Seattle, hitting 21 HRs with 61 RBIs in 97 games, while batting a career best .251 for the seventh place Mariners. In Spring Training the next year, he was traded to the AL New York club for a minor leaguer.

 At age 32 his best years were behind him, as injuries & such limited him to fewer than 120 games each year. By this time he was primarily a designated hitter, as he hit 17 HRs in each of two seasons he played in New York. In 1989 he drove in 59 runs & hit .237 but fell of to a .192 average in 1990.

In 1991 he signed a deal with the Texas Rangers, playing in their minor leagues at AAA Oklahoma City for three seasons. After hitting 20 HRs in 1991, he went on to two more 30 plus HR seasons, even winning another International League HR title in 1993 with 36 HRs. He also drove in over 100 runs in those two seasons. He made a very brief MLB comeback in 1993 with Texas, playing in two games going 3-5, with two strike outs.

In his eleven year career he had 714 hits, 181 HRs 127 doubles, 11 triples 495 RBIs & 856 strike outs in 960 games. He averaged a HR in every 17.2 at bats which is 55th best all time.

Retirement: Balboni has coached in the Royals, Montreal Expos & St. Louis Cardinals organizations for many years. He runs the Steve Balboni Baseball School & is a scout for San Francisco Giants. He & his wife have three sons & live in Berkley Heights, New Jersey.

Jan 22, 2018

Former Mets Back Up Catcher / Infielder: Alex Trevino (1978-1981)

Alex Castro Trevino was born on August 26, 1957 in Monterrey Mexico. The New York Mets purchased his contract in 1974 when he was just 16 years old. The five foot ten, catcher never batted over .240 in the minors until 1978.

That year he hit .294 at AAA Tidewater leading the club in hitting. He earned a September call up getting inserted as a defensive replacement on September 11th in a game vs. the Chicago Cubs. At the end of the month he started his first game catching pitcher Mike Bruhert in a game at Wrigley Field. He got his first career hit, that day and went 2-4 the next day finishing the year batting .280 in six games.

In 1979 the 21 year old Trevino became a versatile utility player, mostly backing up John Stearns behind the plate in 36 games. With his strong arm, he had the league’s best percentage of throwing out would be base stealers for two seasons. In 1979 he threw out 48% of base runners trying to steal & also played 27 games at third base. in 1979 & 14 in 1980. On June 11th he doubled off the Cincinnati Reds Fred Norman with the Mets down 2-0, and helped lead them to a 3-2 win.

On June 17th 1979 he singled off the Atlanta Braves ace reliever Gene Garber in the bottom of the 9th inning driving in Lee Mazzilli with the Mets game winning run. On July 24th he had another big hit, a single scoring Joel Youngblood in the top of the 12 inning in San Francisco. John Stearns would drive him home in what turned out to be the games winning run. In mid August he drove in runs in three straight games, including a three RBI day in Atlanta in the Mets 18-5 win.

In 1979 Trevino hit .271 with no HRs 11 doubles & 20 RBIs on the season. He never hit a HR in his Mets career (256 at bats) which lasted parts of five seasons.

In 1980 he had Mets career highs in games (106) as main backstop John Stearns battled through many injuries. On June 28th in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Trevino singled home Joel Youngblood & Steve Henderson tying up the game 4-4. The Mets would win it in the top of the 9th on a Henderson RBI single. Trevino drove in runs in three straight games in July, and still had his average up over the .300 mark for the season. In August he drove in two runs in a tight game against the Pittsburgh Pirates leading Ray Burris to a 3-1 win.

At the end of the month he also had a pair of double RBI games coming against the Giants in San Francisco. He had a good September driving in tens runs, finishing the year batting .256 with 11 doubles & 37 RBIs. Behind the plate he threw out a league leading 43% of would be base stealers.

In 1981 he saw half the playing time, due to injuries and batted .262 with 10 RBIs. In 45 games he threw out 41 % of would be base stealers while posting a .963 fielding %.

In the off season he was the main chip, in the deal that brought George Foster to Shea Stadium. He went to the Cincinnati Reds along with Greg Harris & a washed up Jim Kern. Trevino would remain in the majors for nine more seasons bouncing around to the Cincinnati Reds (1982-1984) & Atlanta Braves (1984).

In Atlanta he drove in 28 runs playing in 79 games batting .243. He then went to the San Francisco Giants (1985), Los Angeles Dodgers (1986 & 1987) where he was battery mate of fellow Mexican, pitcher Fernando Valenzuela. He then went to the Houston Astros (1988-1990), there he hit a career high .290 in 131 at bats. He made a brief return signing with the New York Mets in 1990 as a free agent.

He appeared in just nine games that season, going 2-5 as a pinch hitter. Trevino also appeared in eight innings over seven games behind the plate. He was released that August & finished his career playing seven games for the Reds later in 1990. In a 13 year career Trevino was a lifetime .249 hitter with 604 hits, 23 HRs 117 doubles a .310 on base % & 244 RBIs. After years of being among the best in the league at throwing out base runners, he finished his career with a 35% average nailing runners trying to steal on him.

Retirement: Trevino remained in the Astros organization moving into broadcasting. He has been an analyst for the Houston Astros Spanish radio broadcasts for 15 seasons.

Jan 21, 2018

Remembering Mets History: Regular Season Walk Off Grand Slam HRs

centerfieldmaz looks back on Mets regular season walk off grand slams of the past:

1963: On Wednesday June 26th 1963, Tim Harkness hit the first walk off grand slam HR in Mets history. The game was in the 14th inning at the old Polo Grounds in New York. Galen Cisco had just gave up a two run inside the Park HR to the Chicago Cubs future Hall of Famer; Billy Williams. With the Mets now down 6-4 in the home 14th, Jim Hickman & Ron Hunt both singled, but Hickman was thrown out trying to go to third base.

Next the wacky Jimmy Piersall  drew a walk but slugger Frank Thomas flew out for the second out. Pitcher Jim Brewer was brought in & gave up a walk to Sammy Taylor to load them up. Harkness stepped in & hit a HR down the right field line, to win the game.

It was Harkness' 7th HR of the year & thrilled who ever was left of the 8183 fans in attendance. In fact there were enough left to cheer him on at the steps of the Polo Grounds Mets club house. Harkness came out to greet the fans. Even then die hard Mets fans were there. Tim Harkness would only play two seasons with the Mets (four in the majors). In 1963 he saw the most playing time (123 games) batting just .211 with 10 HRs & 41 RBIs.

1963: Six weeks later, on Friday night August 9th 1963, Jim Hickman hit the second walk off Mets grand slam. The game was in the Polo Grounds against the Chicago Cubs & tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th. The Cubs'; Paul Toth was still on the mound after making the start, nine innings earlier.

With one out Jim Hicks singled, Cho Cho Coleman struckout & the Mets were down to the last out. But Al Moran doubled, putting two men on. Cubs manager Bob Kennedy brought in Lindy McDaniel to close it out.

The Cubs remembered what Tim Harkness had done to them a little over six weeks ago & weren't going to let it happen again. They gave him a free pass to first, bringing up Hickman with the bases loaded. Hickman blasted the grand slam & the Mets had a 7-3 win for the 11,566 fans in attendance. Jim Hickman led the Mets in HRs in 1963 with 17 & was second in RBIs with 51 batting just .229.

1980: It took another 17 years, before the Mets had another walk off HR. On June 11th, 1980 the Mets hosted the L.A. Dodgers in front of 23,540 fans at Shea Stadium. Craig Swan had gone the entire way for New York, allowing late HRs to Dusty Baker & Steve Garvey tying up the game.

The game now in the bottom of the 10th inning & Rick Sutcliffe was the Dodger pitcher. Mets infielder; Doug Flynn lead off with a base hit & stole second. With one out, Lee Mazzilli was walked intentionally to get to Frank Taveras, who struck out. With two outs, Steve Henderson also drew a walk, to load up the bases.

Mike Jorgensen who was on his second go around as a Met, won the game with a walk off grand slam. Jorgensen was a local boy, born in New Jersey but moved to Queens, attended Francis Lewis high school & St. Johns University.

He was a Mets reserve player in 1968, 1970-1971 then moved on to a good career in Montreal. He returned to the Mets from 1980-1983. In 1980 he hit seven HRs & batted .255 in 119 games.

1986: Six years later, on Tuesday June 10th 1986, Tim Teufel hit the next walk off granny, coming in front of 27,472 fans against the Philadelphia Phillies in Shea Stadium.

In the bottom of the 11th inning, the Mets & Phils were tied up at 4-4, as Randy Lerch gave up a lead off single to Ray Knight. After Rafael Santana grounded out, pinch hitter Barry Lyons was walked as was Lenny Dykstra. Wally Backman was scheduled to hit but as Tom Hume was brought in relief, Tim Teufel got the pinch hit assignment.

In classic 1986 Mets dramatic fashion, Teufel hit the first Mets pinch hit, grand slam in team history for the 8-4 win . Teufel was in his first year with the Mets in 1986, sharing time at second behind Wally Backman. He would hit just four HRs all year (279 at bats) & hit .247. The following season he hit a career high 14 HRs (matching his total in 1984 with  Minnesota).

Trivia: Teufel was the Mets third base coach in 2014 & congratulated Ike Davis on his walk off blast as he rounded third.

1991: On Tuesday, June 25th 1991, it was the quiet Kevin McReynolds who hit the next walk off grand slam. 28,809 fans came out to see the Mets face the Montreal Expos. Many left as the Mets trailed 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th inning.

Veteran Gary Templeton led off with a base hit & Keith Miller was brought inn to pinch run. He was quickly picked off, but an error made him safe. Tom Herr struck out , but Daryl Boston drew a walk & a pitching change was made, Scott Ruskin in for Barry Jones.

With Dave Magadan up, Manager Bud Harrelson called for a double steal, which was successful. Magadan was walked & up came McReynolds who took the ball over the center field wall for the game winner, 8-5 New York.

McReynolds was in his fifth season as a Met, hitting 16 HRs with 74 RBIs & a .259 average. He had hit twenty or more HRs with 80 plus RBIs the four previous years. He was a good player who never got the recognition he deserved, a true quiet professional going about his business. He returned briefly in 1994 (51games) ending his career.

2013: It was another 22 years before Jordany Valdespin did it last season against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On April 24th 2013 the Mets were in a 3-3 deadlock with L.A. going into the tenth inning. W

ith Josh Wall on the mound, John Buck singled & Ike Davis walked. Marlon Byrd sacrificed & Lucas Duda was walked intentionally. Valdespin delivered with a walk off grand slam, for a 7-3 Mets win, in front of 24,130 fans at Citi Field.

The fired up Valdespin showed a lot of emotion & this would eventually hurt him since he did not produce long enough stay in the big leagues.

He had moderate success in 2012 & had a good start in 2013. But he was sent down that June & finished up batting .188 with 4 HRs 8 steals & 16 RBIs in 66 games.

2014: On Saturday afternoon April 5th 2014, Ike Davis delivered with a walk off pinch hit grand slam leading the Mets to a 6-3 win over JJ Hoover & the Cincinnati Reds. It was the last hurrah for Ike as a New York Met. After Dillon Gee had pitched a fine game, he served up a two run 8th inning HR to Brandon Phillips putting the Reds ahead 3-2.

In the bottom of the 9th, Juan Lagares walked & was moved over on a successful bunt hit by Anthony Recker. At first Lagares was called out at second but Terry Collins challenged the call, & the new replay review showed he was safe. The call was over turned to safe & the rally continued. Ruben Tejada then walked setting the stage for Ike.

The Mets had tried to shop Davis all winter but there were no takers for the asking price. Just that week he was told Lucas Duda won the first base job & he would be a role player.

Duda had just hit two HRs the night before, leading to the Mets first win. But on this day Ike pleased the 25,424 fans at Citi Field with his walk off grand slam blast.

It was the seventh walk off grand slam in team history, the second pinch hit grand slam & it came the earliest in any season.

Note: The grand daddy of Mets walk off grand slams was Robin Ventura's walk off "grand slam single" in the 1999 NLCS. It was officially ruled a single as Todd Pratt never rounded the bases after the winning run had crossed the plate.

Jan 20, 2018

Remembering Mets History: (2015) Mets Open Up Five Game 1st Place Lead in Big Labor Day Matchup

September 7th 2015: After stumbling, losing two of three games in Miami, the Mets had also lost 2 1/2 games in their lead in the NL East. Terry Collins first place Mets (75-61) came to Washing DC to face Matt Williams Nationals (71-65) for a Labor Day matinee.

The Nats arranged their pitching staff so their ace Max Scherzer would face the Mets in the opener, the Mets sent the struggling Jonathan Niese to the mound.

Today the Nats faced a much different Mets team then they had known earlier in the season. In the 2nd inning, two of the Mets "new comers" helped put New York on the board, as Rookie Michael Conforto hot a solo HR (his 6th HR of the season) & veteran Kelly Johnson added another making it 2-0.

In the 4th Yoenis Cespedes hit a towering Dave Kingmanesque HR into the flower pots in left field, putting the Mets up 3-0. For Cespedes it was his 31st HR of the year, his 13th as a Met & his 30th RBI as well.

In the 4th inning, Jonathan Niese fell apart once again, loading the bases with a pair of walks & then giving up a grand slam to Wilson Ramos. After blowing the lead he served up an RBI double to Werth putting the Nats up 5-3.

Neise has now allowed the most five run innings in Mets history, now including the last three. He's lucky to get a bullpen spot if the Mets do get to the post season, he has been horrible.

In the 5th the Mets fought back, Ruben Tejada got a hit & was driven in by Curtis Granderson.

In the 6th Cespedes doubled and then danced around second base, distracting Scherzer enough to balk. With Cespedes on third, Travis d'Arnaud hit a sac fly to left field that Jason Werth had to slide to catch. He never had a chance to throw out Cespedes, as the Mets tied it up at five.

In the 7th the Mets got Tejada & Granderson on base. David Wright had maybe his biggest hit in eight years, as he singled to center field scoring Tejada. Wright, as well as us fans, has been waiting eight long years for the Mets to be in a pennant race.

Next Cespedes continued his big day & hot hitting driving a base hit to Bryce Harper in right. There was a play at the plate as David Wright gave a good old fashioned slide into the plate, making it 8-5 Mets. He let out a loud safe call himself & showed some happy excitement on his way to the dug out.

The Mets bullpen were super as well, Eric Goeddel threw a scoreless inning & then Carlos Torres did a fine job until he went out of the game with a calf strain.

In that 6th inning, after Torres left the game, Dario Alvarez made his 2015 debut & struck out Bryce Harper after he had fallen behind 3-0. Alvarez was the pitcher of record & got his first win.

Hansel Roebles has everybody thinking about his quick pitching & has shown he cane pitch in big situations. He was perfect over two innings, while striking out four. In the 9th Jeurys Familia got his 37th save, as he struck out Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper & Ryan Zimmerman.

The Mets lead the NL East by five games over the Nats.

Former Met With Club Record Five Straight Pinch Hits: Jordany Valdespin (2012-2013)

Jordany V. Valdespin was born December 23rd 1987 in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. The six foot left hand hitter was signed by the New York Mets in 2007. 

He began as a second baseman & hit well through the ranks ofthe minors. In 2009 he hit five HRs 7 batted .279 in just 18 games at A ball Brooklyn. He was at St. Lucie the next season, moving up to AA Binghamton.

In 2011 he stole 33 bases (6th in the Eastern league) while batting .297 & hitting 15 HRs at AA Binghamton. He was promoted to AAA Buffalo toward the end of the season showing promise at the plate.

But on the field he was terrible, making 35 errors getting switched to the outfield for 2012. After 17 games he was batting .276 when he was called up after Ronny Cedeno got injured.

Valdespin debuted on April 23rd as a pinch hitter at Citi Field going 0-1 against the San Francisco Giants. On May 7th with the score tied at 2-2 against the Phillies at Citizen's Bank Park, he hit a dramatic three run HR off Jonathan Papelbon, winning the game 5-2. It was his first career HR & a big one. Overall he was struggeling, as he was hitting just .091 at the start of June after 16 games.

In June he drove in two runs in the June 10th subway series match up although the Mets lost 5-4. In his next game he drove in four runs at Tampa in a 11-2 win over the Rays. In July he hit brought his average up to .277, hitting five HRs and was seeing more playing time.

On July 24, he broke a Mets franchise record by hitting his fifth pinch-hit home run of the season, off of Ryan Mattheus of the Washington Nationals. In August he began to slump off hitting just one more HR for the rest of the season.

He finished up batting .241 with 8 HRs nine doubles 26 RBIs ten stolen bases & a .286 on base %. In the outfield he made no errors posting a perfect fielding %, making one assist.

In 2014 he was penciled in as a centerfield platoon with Colin Cowgill. On April 24th he hit the first Mets walk off grand slam since Kevin McReynolds did it back in 1991.

His down fall began in May when he hit a HR against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium & celebrated while the Mets were down four runs. This did not go over well with his team, manager, fans or the opposing team. The next day he was put in as a pinch hitter & was hit by a pitch. The scenario made it look like manager Terry Collins put him in there, to teach him a lesson.

He struggled at the plate batting just .188 & was sent down to AAA Las Vegas. At that point he referred to Collins with a curse word, demanding to be put on the DL. In August he was suspended for 50 games for using a performance enhancing drug. At the end of the season he was non tendered by the Mets.

He signed on with the Miami Marlins for 2014 & played just 52 games hitting .214. In 2015 he played just two games for Miami at the big league level. He then went on play in the Mexican League through 2017.