Donald Miralle / Getty Images
Historically, all the Mets do on October 5 is win.
The Mets have played five postseason games on October 5, four of which ended with happy recaps. In 1969, the team supplemented a steady barrage of timely singles with a trio of two-run homers from Tommie Agee, Ken Boswell, and Cleon Jones to take down the Braves 11-6.
Forty years later, Edgardo Alfonzo would send a pair of long balls hurtling through the thin Arizona desert air to help the Mets win Game One of the 1999 NLDS. In the first inning, he cut the Big Unit down to size, taking Diamondbacks ace Randy Johnson deep for a solo shot. Fonzie did the bulk of his damage at the end of the game, though. With the score knotted 4-4 in the ninth, the second baseman tucked a Bobby Choudinard offering just inside the left field foul pole for a go-ahead grand slam.
The Mets made the playoffs again in 2000, but on October 5, it was their opponents that used the big fly to their advantage. Leading 4-1 over the Giants in the bottom of the ninth, Armando Benitez allowed J.T. Snow to connect for an equalizing three-run blast. While a win in regulation would have been nice, Mando's meltdown made a hero out of Jay Payton, as he put the Mets up for good with an RBI single one frame later.
- Dennis Bennett would have been 73. The rough and tumble lefty, who made money as a teenager by working the Northern California rodeo circuit, made six starts for the Mets in 1967.
- Brent Gaff, 54 today, pitched parts of three seasons for the Mets until a rotator cuff tear ended his career prematurely. In a statistical oddity, he led the '84 club with 11 intentional walks, a mark nearly double that of the next closest member of the staff.
- An all glove, no stick, no hair shortstop, Rey Sanchez turns 45. Sanchez's futility at the plate and decision to get a mid-game trim during a 2003 contest led the Mets to cut him out of the starting lineup in favor of rookie Jose Reyes.
Game of Note
The Mets didn't connect for any home runs in Game Two of the 2006 NLDS. In fact, the only extra base hit they mustered was a third inning double by Paul Lo Duca. Still, the team scored four runs by going station to station, while Tom Glavine and three relievers kept the Dodgers to a single score. Unlike Moneyball, the combination of good pitching and timely hitting is exactly the type of sh*t that works in the playoffs. Ya burnt, Billy Beane.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
All hail Bill James, king of the baseball nerds, on this the occasion of his 63rd birthday. In the early days of his Baseball Abstract, James would pen pieces during his shifts as a security guard at a Van Kamp's pork and beans cannery. Inspired by James's cavalier disregard for his employers, the author of this post often writes about the Mets while on the clock at his day job.