The Mets have played two NLCS Game Twos on this date in their history. They lost both. In 1999, Kenny Rogers pitched five shaky, but scoreless innings against the Braves. Things fell apart in the sixth, though. After retiring Bret Boone on a ground out to start the frame, the Gambler gave up a walk, a homer, a single, and another homer to turn a 2-0 Mets lead into a 4-2 deficit they couldn't quite close.
Seven years later, Carlos Delgado drove in four all by himself, mainly by sending two offerings from reigning NL Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter over the wall. Delgado's heroics went to waste, however, as Guillermo Mota and Billy Wagner conspired to allow five runs in the final three innings. Blame Beltran if you want, but he's not the one who allowed two-strike, game-tying triple to Scott Spiezio or a tie-breaking homer to So Taguchi. Final score: Cardinals 9, Mets 6.
- Taylor Buchholz is 31. One of the more effective members of the Mets bullpen in 2011, the hard-throwing righty averaged a strikeout per inning and posted a SO/BB of 3.71, though his season was cut short due to a struggle with depression. Buchholz opted not to play in 2012 to focus on regaining his mental health, though according to a Daily News profile from February of this year, he hasn't ruled out making a comeback at some point.
- John Strohmayer turns 66. Strohmayer tossed 11 innings for the Mets over the 1973-74 seasons before calling it quits with a career-ending shoulder injury. At that time, the minimum MLB salary was $16,000 a year. These days, Strohmayer probably makes that much in interest, as he and 14 co-workers won a $76 million lotto jackpot in 2009.
- Julio Valera, 44 today, made his MLB debut with the Mets on September 1, 1990. In the heat of a tight pennant race, the rookie turned in a quality start, helping New York take a half game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL East. Both the team and Valera quickly faded after that, though, and in 1992, the Mets shipped him to the California Angels for shortstop Dick Schofield.
During Spring Training 1969, Mets GM Johnny Murphy tried to pry catcher Joe Torre away from the Braves, offering a package of Nolan Ryan and three other players. Atlanta, however, chose instead to send the Brooklyn-born backstop to St. Louis for Orlando Cepeda. Five years later, on October 13, 1974, the Mets finally got their man, trading pitchers Tommy Moore and Ray Sadecki to the Gateway City for the nine-time All-Star.
Game of Note
Jon Matlack and Tug McGraw combined to pitch a gem in Game One of the 1973 World Series, limiting the Athletics to just four hits. Unfortunately, Felix Millan couldn't handle a routine inning-ending grounder in the third and that led to two unearned runs. The Mets' offense failed to bail out the defense, plating just one against Ken Holtzman and two A's relievers.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Today would have been the 316th birthday of the Right Honourable John Hervey, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal in the government of British Prime Minister Robert Walpole. Despite being a noted political writer and memoirist, Hervey failed to keep his name from being misspelled "Hervery" in official press releases.