The Zionist Conspiracy
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Worst Mets Losses - Five and Four
5. Mets lose 6-0 to Dodgers on October 12, 1988.
After a regular season in which they won 100 games - including 10 of 11 against the Dodgers, the NLCS came down to a 7th and decisive game. Ron Darling was to start for the Mets, and Orel Hershiser for the Dodgers. Hershiser had already started twice and relieved once in the series, and some wondered whether he had anything left for Game 7.
Hershiser had finished the regular season with 59 consecutive scoreless innings, but the Mets had somehow won in both of his previous NLCS starts.
I have two enduring memories from this game - neither having anything to do with the game itself. First, prior to the game on NBC's pre-game show, Davey Johnson and Tommy Lasorda were each asked what they expected to be doing the next day. Johnson responded, confidently and with a touch of arrogance, that he expected to be preparing for the World Series. Lasorda said that he hoped the Dodgers would win and have the chance to face the A's.
The second memory is of the debut of a TV commercial aired by WFAN. A week before, WFAN had moved to 660 on the dial, replacing WNBC. Don Imus was to bring his morning show to FAN, which had highlighted Pete Franklin in the afternoon drive time slot.
In the commercial, which was broadcast around the 4th inning, Imus tells Franklin that he looks forward to talking sports. A disgusted Franklin angrily replied: "You don't know a bunt from a punt, a pickoff from a kickoff, the Mets from the Jets." Imus defends himself, saying, "Oh yeah, just ask my good friend, Darryl ... ah ... Raspberry."
Pretty silly, but it seemed funny then, and made the loss a little less painful.
The game itself was over pretty quickly. The Dodgers scored five second inning runs, several of which were unearned after two Mets errors in the inning. The Mets never put up a threat, with Hershiser pitching a complete game shutout.
The 80's Mets would never play another playoff game, and within a couple of years Davey Johnson as well as most of the players would be gone. It would be 11 years until the Mets went back to the playoffs. When they did, they experienced the fourth worst loss in their history.
4. Mets lose 10-9 to Braves on October 19, 1999.
It was a great run for the Mets, coming back from a 3-0 NLCS deficit to win two great games at Shea, including the Game 5 15-inning epic. But they would fall short on this night.
Like Darling in '88, Al Leiter just didn't have it. He gave up 5 runs in the 1st inning. The innings went by and the Mets couldn't get anything going against Kevin Milwood.
This game seemed just like Game 7 of the 1988 NLCS.
At least the end came without too much painful drama.
Not so fast.
In the 6th inning, three Mets runs got them back in it. But the Braves came right back with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning for a 7-3 lead.
In the 7th, the Mets jumped on John Smoltz, scoring two runs. Then Mike Piazza came up, and belted a two run game tying homer.
Screams of joy almost loud enough to be heard on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River would emanate from a tenth floor apartment on Riverside Drive. When rookie Melvin Mora's RBI single gave the Mets the lead in the 8th, thoughts of Game 7 came to mind.
And then John Franco came in. And it was promptly tied 8-8.
What a great feeling it was when the Mets scored in the 10th off John Rocker. For one week, nobody was hated more in our great city than Rocker.
But Armando Benitez came in and blew the save, and it was 9-9.
Kenny Rogers came in for the 11th. He gave up a leadoff double, and a bunt put the potential winning run on third with one out.
Bobby Valentine was a fine game manager, but in his worst decision, elected to intentionally walk the next two batters. Rogers wasn't even close, walking in the winning run on five pitches, and ending 1999.
Still to come: The three worst Mets losses.