On this date, 2010, a mystery pinch hitter was brought on in extra innings, and, without protest from the Braves, knocked home the winning run. The baffling batter went under the pseudonym "Nick Evans," long used like a "555" telephone prefix in the trade, as no athlete has ever carried that name. Dillon Gee and three relievers shut Pittsburgh down through 10 innings. In the home 10th, Ruben Tejada doubled off Chan Ho Park and somebody poked him home. But when detectives pulled Mets off the resulting dog pile, a windy void was at its core.
- In 2000, Grant Roberts (turns 35) played in the All-Start Futures Game then pitched his first and last major league start -- all in the same month. The prospect, now a reliever, made the team out of spring training in 2002, and got off to a blazing start; his ERA stood at 0.59 in early June. Sadly, Roberts's arm may not have been built for relief work as he injured it and essentially never recovered. The spring after the Mets released him, he was busted for steroid use in the minors.
- Rodney McCray (turns 49) did some pinch running for the Mets in 1990. But he's famous for running straight through an outfield fence in the minors, the blooper highlight ne plus ultra.
- Tom Parsons (turns 73) went 1-10 with the 1965 Mets - but he earned that win, throwing nine scoreless against the Cubs. The righty also pitched a bit in September, 1964.
Game of Note
The Mets were down to their last strike -- for the third time. Carl Everett was the eighth batter of the inning. The Expos had opened the inning with a 6-0 lead, but that was cut down to 6-2, and the bases were loaded. Everett was the famed tying-run-at-the-plate, meaning squat; less than 3% of Carl's plate appearances resulted in home runs. Besides, there were bigger things on Everett's mind, like his children moved into foster care whom he visited that afternoon. He took a wack at the first pitch, and crushed it -- well foul. Now, with the count full, the Mets were up against it. It was a changeup. And Everett bounced it off the scoreboard to complete the six-run, ninth-inning comeback. On September 13, 1997, Expos starter Dustin Hermanson could not get the 27th out, and the Mets created the space for Bernard Gilkey to escort the victors off field with a 3-run shot in the 11th.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
On September 13, 1899, Henry Bliss was exiting a streetcar on 74th Street and Central Park West when an electric taxicab struck him; he died the next morning, the first automobile fatality in United States history. The Mets have had bad luck with cabs, or, looking at it another way, good luck with cab accidents.
Also! Today is the 51st birthday of Dave Mustaine, lead singer of Megadeath. If you've seen the rock doc Some Kind of Monster, you know that, shortly after 9/11, Dave cries to Lars about getting kicked out of Metallica (like 20 years before.) It's even more poignant now that we know it was also near Dave's birthday. Anyway, Dangerous Dave recorded a bit for the MLB Fan Cave in which he seems to make a dickhead's case for supporting the Yankees. This makes me sad, especially since Countdown to Destruction was the first Compact Disc I ever bought. And what right handed pitcher does this remind you of, Met fans?
You take a mortal man
And put him in control
Watch him become a god
Watch people's heads a'roll