The Mets have had some pretty good April 25ths over the years. Here are a few highlights:
Just last season, David Wright’s two-run homer off of the Marlins’ Mark Buehrle in the bottom of the sixth put the Mets ahead to stay in the eventual 5–1 win. It was career RBIs 734 and 735 for Wright, pushing him past Darryl Strawberry as the team’s all-time leader in that category.
In 2006, Xavier Nady’s seventh inning solo homer broke up a 1–1 tie and Cliff Floyd’s two-run round-tripper in the eight sealed the deal as Steve Trachsel and the Mets beat the Giants in San Francisco, 4–1.
In 1986, Dwight Gooden hurled a complete game five-hitter as the Mets blanked the Cardinals 9–0, improving Doc’s record to 3–0 and the team’s to 9–3. It’s the second of four wins in a sweep of the Cards.
In 1967, rookie Tom Seaver earns his second big league victory, pitching a complete game, 10-inning four-hitter as the Mets beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field, 2–1. Seaver himself scores the winning run on a single by Al Luplow.
Happy 42nd birthday to right-hander Brad Clontz. He threw only three innings for the 1998 Mets, but it was one pitch in a Pirates uniform the following season that forever endeared him to Mets fans. In the ninth inning of game 162 of 1999, he was brought in the pitch to Mike Piazza with one out and the bases loaded. His first pitch went to the backstop to bring home Melvin Mora with the winning run to ensure that the Mets would play at least one more game that season.
Lefty Blaine Beatty, turning 49 today, pitched briefly but effectively in two very short stints with the Mets in 1989 and 1991. If fans remember him at all it may be because the Mets traded Doug Sisk to the Orioles to get him.
Tony Phillips, 54 today, was imported from Toronto to be the Mets’ leadoff hitter for the last two months of the 1998 season. His .351 on-base percentage with the Amazins was more than 20 points below his career average, and his .245 mark over the club’s last 11 games didn’t help as the Mets faded down the stretch and missed a shot at the postseason by one game.
Right-hander Bob Johnson celebrates his 70th birthday today. He appeared in only two games for the 1969 Mets, but in the second of those he earned a save to nail down the team’s 100th victory of the season.
Amazin’-ly Tenuous Connection
The late Ed Vargo, one of the better umpires the game has ever known, would have been 83 today. When Joe Torre hit into a game-ending 6–4–3 double play on September 24, 1969, thereby clinching the NL East title for the Mets, it was Ed Vargo who barked him out at first base. Twelve days later Vargo did the same to the Braves’ Tony Gonzalez and then ran for cover as Mets fans swarmed the field at Shea Stadium to celebrate the team’s first pennant.