Bobby J. Jones hailed from the same high school as Tom Seaver and in Game Four of the 2000 NLDS, he pitched like his fellow Fresno High Warriors alum. Less than 24 hours after Benny Agbayani gave the Mets a 2-1 series lead with a 13th inning walk-off homer, Jones pushed the team into the next round of playoffs by tossing a complete game, one-hit, 4-0 victory. The righty was perfect through the game's first four innings, wavering only when Jeff Kent connected for double leading off the fifth. Free passes to J.T. Snow and Doug Mirabelli loaded the bases with two out, but Giants manager Dusty Baker chose not to pinch hit for starting pitcher Mark Gardner, who popped up to end the threat. From then on, Jones was perfect again. Said Mike Piazza of Jones's performance: "[He] really pitched his butt off today."
Speaking of butts and eventful fifth innings, 27 years earlier during Game Three of the NLCS, Pete Rose of the Reds tried to knock Bud Harrelson on his behind while breaking up a double play in the same fateful frame. The 160-pound shortstop more than held his ground against Charlie Hustle, though. Perhaps Rose was trying to get the listless Big Red Machine going or maybe Buddy took umbrage at having to dodge a hard slide during a blowout, but the two started scrapping on the infield dirt. Benches cleared and at some point, Reds reliever Pedro Borbon tried to take a bite out of a Mets hat. Order was eventually restored on the field, though fans showered Rose with bottles and other litter when he tried to take his position in left during the bottom of the fifth. Only the protestations of manager Yogi Berra and Willie Mays calmed the crowd and prevented the 9-2 Mets win from turning into a forfeit.
Game of Note
The Astros' Mike Scott made National League batters look foolish in 1986 by turning his splitter into a nearly unhittable offering, though some would classify the pitch as a cut fastball. As in suspiciously cut. Whether Scott scuffed the ball or not, he continued his regular season dominance in Game One of the NLCS against the Mets, fanning 14 en route to a complete game 1-0 victory. Those 14 strikeouts stood as the record for most in a National League Championship tilt until 1997, when Livan Hernandez and umpire Eric Gregg teamed up to punch out 15 Braves.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Today is Columbus Day, though in the U.S. Virgin Islands, it's celebrated as "Puerto Rican Friendship Day" for some reason. Here's hoping that Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado remembered to send each other a Hallmark card.