With a double-header scheduled against the Rockies today, one wonders if Terry Collins may be having a flashback. The Mets dropped their second consecutive rain-induced twin-bill on this date in 2011, completing an 0–7 week that dropped Collins’s record as new manager to 4–11.
In the opener, D.J. Carrasco lasted just 3.2 innings in his only Mets start, surrendering three solo Braves home runs. Atlanta added a fourth against Pat Misch to put the cap on their 4–2 win. New York mustered only six hits in that game, which was three times more than they collected in the nightcap, as Jair Jurrjens and a pair of relievers beat the Mets and Mike Pelfrey 4–0.
Things did go smoother last April 16, however. In a single game, Dillon Gee beat the Braves 6–1, aided by home runs from Ike Davis and Jason Bay, to get Collins’s sophomore Mets season off to a 7–3 start.
Happy 44th birthday to infielder Fernando Vina. With the 1994 Mets, he channeled Ron Hunt, getting hit by a pitch a league-leading 12 times in only 150 plate appearances. He had a pretty good career after leaving New York and we’ll take his word on the HGH issue, if only because he sported such finely cropped facial hair.
Yokohama-born Ken Takahasi turns 44 today. He was supposed to be a left-handed specialist, but whereas right-handed batters could hardly touch him, lefty swingers put up a slash line against him of .302/.387./.472. Those numbers would have been worse if not for Takahashi’s favorite patsy, Ryan Howard, who went 0–7 against him with six strikeouts.
Today, Bruce Bochy turns 58, which coincidentally is also his hat size. Actually, it’s 8 and 1/8, which doesn’t necessarily mean greater-than-average brain capacity, but he’s been smart enough to make the postseason seven times as a manager, winning three pennants, two of which led to World Championships. The only Met born in France, Bochy also showed a little savoir faire in his 53 at-bats with the Amazins in 1982, hitting a pair of home runs and driving in eight to go with his .869 OPS. Still, they cut him loose that winter. Quel dommage!
Amazin’-ly Tenuous Connection
On April 16, 1818, the U.S. Senate ratified the Rush-Bagot amendment, which called for disarmament along the U.S.-Canada border and led to what today is the world’s longest undefended (militarily speaking) border. Defending the Mets’ record in signing and acquiring Canadian-born players is another matter. Regarding the arms from north of the border, Ron Taylor was terrific as the Miracle Mets’ righty closer, and we’ll give Ken MacKenzie and Ray Daviault each a bye, since they pitched for the 1962 Mets. Position players Jason Bay, Tim Harkness, and Mike Nickeas were all pretty good defenders, but surrendered too much at the plate, compiling OPSes with the Amazins of .687, .647, and .479, respectively. Coincidentally, they each hit one grand slam with New York. Brian Ostrosser’s big league career consisted on five fruitless at-bats in 1973.