Staked to a 2-0 lead three batters into the game, Tom Seaver pitched a masterful three-hit shutout in Atlanta on this date in 1969. Only twice did Tom Terrific allow a Brave to get as far as second base. Bud Harrelson gave his roommate some breathing room with a three-run triple in the top of the eighth en route to the eventual 5-0 win that raised Seaver's record to 6-2 and dropped his ERA under 2.00. More importantly, the victory gave the Mets a modest three-game winning streak that improved the Amazins' record to 18-18, the latest point in any season that the Mets had ever stood at .500.
On May 21, 2005, in his second major league at-bat, lefty-batting reliever Dae-Sung Koo stunned Yankees left-hander Randy Johnson, everyone in both dugouts, and 55,800 onlookers at Shea Stadium when he drove a 1-1 pitch from Johnson to the warning track in right-centerfield for a double. For an encore, the Korean-born Koo scored from second base on Jose Reyes' sacrifice bunt when he saw that, with catcher Jorge Posada having fielded the bunt, no one was covering home. Koo slid head-first into the plate and, in the eyes of umpire Charlie Meriwether, avoided the tag of a diving Posada. That seventh-inning tally made it 3-1 in an eventual 7-1 Mets win.
In 1981, future Mets teammates Ron Darling and Frank Viola, pitching for Yale and St. John's, respectively, traded zeroes for 11 innings. Darling took a no-hitter into the 12th, only to lose both the no-no and the game on a single, an error and a double steal.
Reliever Tom Martin, turning 43 today, is living proof that if you're a left-handed pitcher someone will always take a chance on you. Following an excellent rookie season with Houston in 1997, Martin slogged through 10 more seasons with six other clubs, including a brief, unsuccessful stop in New York in 2001, compiling a career ERA of 4.95.
Happy 63rd birthday to Hank Webb. In 1975, his only full season with the Mets, the right-hander showed flashes of brilliance amid bouts of wildness, the latter resulting in a 1.4 WHIP and 0.6 K/BB. He hurled three complete games in which he gave up a total of one earned run, but outside of those gems his ERA for the year was 5.22.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
On May 21, 1901, Connecticut became the first state to enact a speed limit law, setting maximums of 12 mph in cities and 15 mph in the country. The maximum today is 65 mph on rural interstates. We figure that makes New London, Connecticut, native Matt Harvey, something of a scofflaw, having been clocked in the high 90s and generally known to cruise in the 94-95 mph range. Fortunately for Nutmeg State drivers, but unfortunately for Mets' opponents, Harvey posts those speeds on the mound, not behind the wheel.