This Date in Mets History: September 20 - Seaver whiffs 15, Happy Bay Day

Smell the glove.

On this date across a bunch of years, the Mets got sick pitching. Jerry Koosman, in '70, threw a two-hitter against Clemente's Pirates. Seaver struck out fifteen batters (Pittsburgh again) in '72. Flash forward to '91 and David Cone is hurling a 1-hit shutout to beat St. Louis at Shea Stadium. (In his lats six starts of '91, Cone allowed 15 hits and struck out 50.) The following year, Sid Fernandez posted double-digit strikeouts in a nine-inning, shutout performance against Montreal.

As it happens, Dwight Gooden never had a September 20th start with the Mets. This date in '85 was only the eve of Doc's 22nd win, an eight-inning jaunt with Pittsburgh without an earned run. But that's unfair to mention, so jury will disregard.


Birthdays

  • Jason Bay (turns 34) is a popular Canadian entertainer on SNY-TV, where he plays a fish-out-of-water in the tradition of Rick Moranis.
  • Dennis Ribant (turns 71) didn't pitch for his high school in Detroit in the 1950s because the season was too short and the quality of play too low. He learned his craft on the sandlots, signed with Milwaukee at 19, and came up with the Mets in 1963, becoming the best starter in the very young team's history. In '66 he even managed to go 11-9... on the Mets! The skinny righty was traded to Pittsburgh before the going got good in Flushing.
  • Dave Gallagher (turns 52) might have been the best guy on the Worst Team Money Could Buy; at least fans, neighbors, and his daughter all attest to it. A fourth outfielder with the '92 and '93 teams, Dave invented the "Stride Tutor" and owns a baseball academy in his native New Jersey.

Game of Note

Let's have a look at Seaver's 15 strikeout victims in '72. The first Pirate tripled. The second singled. Uh oh: Seaver's last start had been an eight-run disaster where he didn't last three innings. Strikeout. Strike-em-out throw-em-out. Second inning: looking. Third: looking, looking. Fourth: swinging. Fifth: looking. Sixth: swinging, looking, swinging. Eighth: swinging. Ninth: swinging, swinging, swinging. Two of the last three batters were Clemente and Stargell. The Mets won at home 4-1.

Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection

The first Cannes Film Festival opened on September 20, 1946. This year at Cannes, the film Gimme the Loot premiered. It is the story of Bronx graffiti artists inspired by a classic bit of vandalism at Shea Stadium to tag the apple at Citi Field.

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