Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mets on My Birthday

1978: The day I was born, Mets beat the Expos 3-0 behind Nino Espinosa.

1979: My first birthday is ruined by a 5-4 loss to the Astros. Craig Swann against J.R. Richard, that was a good pitching matchup back then.

1980: Mets lose to the Dodgers, 4-3. Pat Zachary is the tough luck loser as Jeff Reardon allows a walk-off double to Dusty Baker. Steve Howe gets the win.

1981: No game; player's strike.

1982: About a month after the Mets won my first game at Shea, they won again on my birthday. They beat the Cardinals 5-4 in 10 innings. The Mets led 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs when Keith Hernandez pinch hit a game tying home run off Mike Scott.

1983: The Mets split a doubleheader with the Cardinals, losing the first game 3-1, but winning the nightcap, 6-4. Keith Hernandez homered again, this time for the Mets, 5 days after being acquired.

1984: Mets beat the Phillies, 7-4. Strawberry and Mookie homered, Ron Darling got the win and Doug Sisk the save. Steve Carlton took the loss.

1985: Mets beat the Cubs 5-3. George Foster hit a grand slam and El Sid got the win by striking out 10 in 6 innings. Roger McDowell got a 3-inning save.

1986: Mets beat the Cubs 10-3 to improve to 45-18 on the season. Gary Carter hit a 3-run homer, Ed Hearn homered and so did Keith Hernandez. El Sid won again, improving to 8-2. He was 12-2 at the All-Star break that magical season. He finished at 16-6.

1987: Mets beat the Phillies 3-2. Kevin McReynolds hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Lenny Dykstra in the bottom of the 9th as the Mets win 3-2. Dwight Gooden pitched a complete game and improved to 3-1, after missing the first 2 months of the season while in drug rehab.

1988: Mets lost to the Pirates 8-5. Strawberry hit his 17th home run. Barry Bonds had two hits from the leadoff spot for Pittsburgh.

1989: Mets lost 8-5 for the second straight year, this time to the Expos. Andres Galarraga and Tim Raines combined for 7 RBI and Montreal scored 3 in the top of the 9th off Rick Aguilera.

1990: Mets got back to their winning ways beating the Cardinals 6-3. John Franco saved it, his 12th of the year.

1991: Mets beat the Braves, 9-7. Hubie Brooks had two homers (one off Smoltz) and 4 RBI in his second tour of duty with the team. Gooden hit a homer but he allowed two to his nemesis, NL MVP Terry Pendleton.

1992: The Worst Team Money Could Buy lost to the Cardinals, 6-1. Eddie Murray hit a solo homer. Anthony Young was the losing pitcher.

1993: Mets lost 3-2 to the Pirates. Bret Saberhagen got tagged with the loss and all 3 runs but in the 9th he had a 2-1 lead, but he put and two runners John Franco was called on to save the game. He gave up a hit and two walks leading to walk off victory for Pittsburgh.

1994: Mets lost 7-3 to the Braves in their first year in the NL East, a division they still have never lost. Bobby Bonilla and Tim Bogar both hit homers in a losing cause.

1995: Mets lost to the Philles, 8-2. Pete Harnisch and Jerry DiPoto got knocked around. Tyler Green (a rookie) pitched a complete game for Philadelphia.

1996: Mets lost to the Reds, 5-3, the 6th consecutive loss on June 20th. Bobby Jones took the loss and Andy Tomberlin hit a homer in a losing cause. Rey Ordonez played in his first June 20th game.

1997: The Mets beat the Pirates 1-0 in the first game on this list that I distinctly remember attending, though I'm positive there were others. Bobby Jones pitched an absolute gem, striking out 8 in 8 2/3, to improve to 12-3. Franco got the final out for the save. Jason Hardtke drove in Butch Huskey for the only run of the game.

1998: Mets lost to the Marlins 8-3. Hideo Nomo got clobbered, Livan Hernandez pitched a complete game for the win. Future Met Todd Zeile homered, future Met Cliff Floyd and future superstar Derrek Lee had big games for Florida. Mel Rojas gave up two runs in an inning. Mike Piazza went 1-4 in his June 20th Mets debut.

1999: The Mets beat the Cardinals 9-6 on my 21st birthday. Rey Ordonez gave me a great birthday present, going 3-4 with 3 runs and 2 RBI. Piazza went 2-5 with a run and an RBI and Mark McGwire homered.

2000: Mets lost to the Phillies, 3-2. With the score tied at 2 in the top of the 9th Armando Benitez gave up the game-winning home run to Pat Burrell. It was the 4th homer of Burrell's career and his first against the Mets. The next day he hit two more.

2001: Mets beat the Expos 4-3. Rey Ordonez went 2-3, Robin Ventura hit a home run. Al Leiter got the win going 7 innings and allowing on 3 unearned runs (the error was on Ordonez.) Vladimir Guerrero went 0-4.

2002: Mets beat the Twins, 3-2, another game I know I attended. Piazza and Alfonzo homered. Steve Trachsel pitched great until he tired in the 9th and allowed two runs. I believe he had a no-hitter going for about 5 innings or so until my dad blurted out "hey, he's pitching a no-hitter."

2003: Mets lost to the Yankees, 5-0. I was at this game also as it was part of our season plan with Marcia, Claudia, Nathan, Bob & Rob. My mom got a birthday wish on the scoreboard. It said something like "Happy 25th birthday Paul, from everyone who loves you." Pettitte shutout the Mets through 7. Soriano, Jeter and Giam-BALCO all homered for the Yankees.

2004: Mets beat the Tigers, 6-1. Jeremy Bonderman pitched for the Tigers. Piazza and Hidalgo homered.

2005: No game, off day.

2006: Mets beat the Reds 9-2. Steve Trachsel pitched the fourth straight game on June 20th. Trachsel also homered. Carlos Delgado hit a home run and Xavier Nady hit two in his first game back from an appendectomy. Lastings Milledge gunned down a runner at second, for another memorable outfield assist. And they broke it open in the 8th off former Met David Weathers.

This post took me a long time to compile but it was great fun going back and looking at the old box scores. I hope you enjoy reading it.

The Mets are 14-14 in games played on June 20th since 1978. There were two days with no game, one doubleheader and I counted 1978, even though that isn't a birthday, it's more important than the rest of the dates. After a miserable 2-8 stretch from 1991-2000, the Mets have won 4 of the last five. The Mets have played at Shea in 20 of those 27 years, including the last 6 and 10 of the last 11. I wish I could remember more about which games I actually went to.


Anonymous Bobby V said...

The Mets have never lost on my birthday

Thursday, June 22, 2006 8:37:00 AM  

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