The Zionist Conspiracy
Monday, October 30, 2006
Worst Mets Losses - Ten Through Six
A year ago, readers of this blog were treated to a nostalgic journey through the worst losses in New York Jets history - or at least the worst losses since I started watching the Jets in the late 70's.
Now would seem to be a good time to recall the ten worst Mets losses since the late 70's. Of course, the two worst Mets losses of all-time are Games 6 and 7 of the 1973 World Series.
Enjoy these memories:
10. Mets lose 5-4 to Atlanta Braves on September 23, 2001.
Certain players can sense the importance of the moment, and perform accordingly. Armando Benitez always fit that profile during his tenure with the Mets.
After a 13-2 run, the Mets were 5 1/2 games behind the Braves for the NL East lead. On September 21, 2001, they opened a three game series at Shea against Atlanta.
In the series opener, the first game played at Shea after the horror of 9/11, Mike Piazza's 8th inning homer won it for the Mets. The Mets then won the next day too, and looked for the sweep that would cut the deficit to 2 1/2 games.
The Mets took a 4-1 lead into the ninth, an easy save situation for Benitez, who proceeded to give up 3 runs, including a home run to Brian Jordan. Another Jordan homer won it for the Braves in the 11th, effectively ending the season.
9. Mets lose 4-3 to St. Louis Cardinals on October 3, 1985.
Never since has a regular season series as exciting as this one been played. The Mets came into Busch Stadium behind the Cards by three games with six games to play in the season. They knew they needed a sweep.
In the series opener, Ron Darling and John Tudor pitched an amazing duel, with 10 shutout innings apiece. In the 11th, Darryl Strawberry hit a moonshot off Ken Dayley for a 1-0 win.
The next night, Dwight Gooden pitched his last gem of his amazing season to pull the Mets to within a game.
But the Mets fell a run short in the series finale. Rookie Rick Aguilera kept the Mets in the game, but the Mets could not come up with the clutch hits. Keith Hernandez's five hits against his former team were largely wasted. The Mets would have to wait another year for their glory.
8. Mets lose 6-4 to the Cardinals on September 11, 1987.
After the ecstasy of '86, the 1987 season got off to a bad start. Dwight Gooden was suspended for cocaine use. The Mets endured a torrent of pitching injuries.
They began to make a run in the summer of '87, and were just a game and a half out of first place when the Cards came to Shea for a three game series. Everyone knew that the Mets were about to overtake the Cards.
The Mets led 4-1 going into the 9th. Shea was in a frenzy. The Mets would be within a half game.
Roger McDowell gave up a run. No problem. Then Terry Pendleton stunned the Mets with a game tying two run homer. The Cards scored two more in the 10th. The next day, Dwight Gooden was pounded.
There would be no repeat of '86. The Cardinals would win the division, not the mighty Mets.
Ironically, a generation later, McDowell and Pendleton would be reunited, as the pitching coach and the hitting coach, respectively, of the Braves.
7. Mets lose to St. Louis Cardinals 9-6 on October 13, 2006.
After winning Game 1 of the NLCS, the Mets faced St. Louis' ace, Chris Carpenter, in Game 2. The Mets scored three in the first, but John Maine couldn't hold the lead. They took a 6-4 lead to the 7th, but Scott Spiezio's triple past the reach of Shawn Green tied it. The Mets had scoring opportunities against the Cards bullpen, but failed to capitalize. In the 9th, Billy Wagner gave up 3 runs, including a go-ahead homer to So Taguchi.
The loss wasted an opportunity to take control of the series, and gave St. Louis confidence that they could contend with the Mets.
6. Mets lose 4-2 to the Yankees on October 26, 2000.
It was a fine pitching duel between Andy Petite and Al Leiter. The Mets had numerous opportunities, but kept leaving runners on, and had scored only two unearned runs in the 2nd. The Yankees scored their runs on homers by Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter.
With two outs and two on and the score 2-2 in the top of the 9th, up came Luis Sojo, who had come into the game in a double switch. Bobby Valentine had John Franco warming up, but left Leiter in. Sojo's hit gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead, and in the bottom of the ninth with one on and two out, Mike Piazza's fly ball to deep center field didn't quite have enough, and the Yankees won their 26th World Series, their third in a row.
For the sin of desecrating Shea Stadium's hallowed ground, the Yankees were punished, never having won another World Series.
Later this week: The five worst losses in the painful history of the New York Mets.