'Mando. (Chris Trotman / Getty Images)
Today’s a historically slow news day for the Amazins, but on July 16, 1988, the Double-A Jackson Mets hooked up with the San Antonio Missions for the longest scoreless game in the history of the Texas League. The two affiliates traded zeros for twenty-five innings and just over seven hours before the game was finally suspended at 2:30 in the morning. When play resumed the next day, the Missions needed just one inning to push across a run in the bottom half of the 26th for walk-off win.
- Norm Sherry (1963) is 81. A catcher, Sherry hit .136/.205/.184 in his lone season for the Mets. Sherry’s biggest contributions to baseball came as a mentor figure, helping Sandy Koufax harness his stuff and, as a coach for the Montreal Expos in the late ‘70s, working to turn Gary Carter into a full-time backstop.
On July 15, 2003, Armando Benitez was Mets’ lone representative at the 74th All-Star Game. One day later, he was property of the Yankees, as the Mets sent the volatile closer across town for pitchers Jason Anderson, Ryan Bicondoa, and Anderson Garcia. Despite a propensity for melting down in high profile games, Benitez was a mostly excellent reliever for the Mets and his 14.77 K/9 in 1999 remains the highest single-season mark in club history (minimum 50 IP).
On this date in 2007, the Mets released Julio Franco. He would latch on with the Braves for fifteen games before calling it an (incredibly long) career at the end of the season. While he fell short of his goal of playing until the age of 50, Franco did become the older player ever to homer in an MLB game, sending a Scott Linebrink fastball out of Petco Park in a 7-2 Mets win over the Padres. Franco would break his own record twice before retiring.
Game of Note
Orlando Hernandez couldn’t solve the Cubs on this date in 2006. El Duque lasted just one and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs, one courtesy of a home run by the opposing starting pitcher, Sean Marshall. The Mets got two back on solo shots from Chris Woodward in the fourth and Cliff Floyd in the fifth. One inning later, Uncle Cliffy delivered another blast, this time with the bases loaded, to give the Mets the lead. Carlos Beltran put the game out of reach seven batters after that with a slam of his own. The scoring barrage only stopped after a David Wright a two-run shot, bring the grand (pun intended) total of runs scored in the sixth inning to 11. Final score: Mets 13, Cubs 7.