Edgardo Alfonzo

Wish Mike Piazza Was Here

From the moment he arrived in 1998, Mike Piazza brought the Mets to another level. The Mets went from young and improving to a playoff team. 

He was joined by some terrific Mets along the way. Edgardo AlfonzoJohn OlerudRobin VenturaAl Leiter, etc. However, Piazza was the man. He was (and still is) the greatest hitting catcher in the history of the game. With some bad luck and some other factors, the Mets didn’t win the World Series when Piazza was with the Mets. 

The Mets missed their shot.  The Mets were beset with hard times and bad decisions after that. However, Piazza still had his moments: 

However, he never got his chance to go back to the playoffs, to win a ring. I thought about that in 2006. I was hoping the Mets would bring him back like they did Lee Mazzilli in 1986. I understood why they didn’t. 

Paul Lo Duca had a terrific year. Piazza was still a capable starting catcher with pop in his bat. You couldn’t ask either to sit on the bench. You also don’t want to invite the controversy. It still doesn’t mean I didn’t miss him, especially with Ramon Castro being the backup catcher. 

For the first time since 2006, the Mets were in the playoffs. For the first time since 2000, the Mets are in the World Series. There was a time it was all because of Piazza. He’s retired now on the cusp of the Hall of Fame. It’s where he belongs. 

I just wish he was here. 

The Mets Don’t Lose at Home

Last night, I was reflecting on past Mets playoff performances. The first ever Mets playoff game I attended was Pratts’ All Folks. I can still remember Steve Finley‘s whole body sag when he realized he didn’t rob the homerun. I remember once that happened, Shea Stadium erupted immediately.

The following year, I again went to Game Four of the NLDS. This time it was Bobby Jones‘ moment in the sun. Actually, it was a pretty miserable day like it is today, but I digress. Jones would pitch a one-hitter sending the Mets to the NLCS. 

After recalling those moments, something occurred to me that caused me to spend some time on Baseball Almanac. Here’s what I saw: 

October 8, 1999

Diamondbacks 2 – Mets 9

October 9, 1999
Diamondbacks 3 – Mets 4 (10 innings)

October 7, 2000
Giants 2 – Mets 3 (13 innings)

October 8, 2000
Giants 0 – Mets 4

October 4, 2006
Mets 6 – Dodgers 5

October 5, 2006
Mets 4 – Dodgers 1

That’s right. Since the inception of the Wild Card, the Mets have never lost an NLDS home game. They’re 6-0. Looking over the Mets history, they’ve never lost a five game series, and they’ve only lost one home game (1973) in a five game series. 

Some other interesting five game series facts:

  • The Mets have only played in one fifth and deciding game, which was a 7-2 victory in Cincinnati. 
  • The Mets have had homefield advantage only once in a best of five series (2006). 
  • In each division series, the Mets have faced a former Mets player: Kelly Stinnett (1999), Jeff Kent (2000 & 2006), Justin Turner (2015). 
  • The Mets have a 3-2 record in road NLDS games and 7-3 overall road record in best of five road games. 
  • Edgardo Alfonzo has hit four homeruns in the NLDS, making him the Mets All-Time NLDS leader. 

What does this all mean for the 2015 NLDS? To quote Dark Helmet, “Absolutely nothing!”  With that said, I’m hoping history will repeat itself. 

Lets Go Mets!

Don’t Boo Carlos Beltran

Tonight, Carlos Beltran returns to Citi Field. This time he’s wearing a Yankees uniform. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s an All Time great Met. 

If you look at WAR, Beltran is the sixth best Mets to ever put on the uniform. He was better than Edgardo AlfonzoJose ReyesKeith Hernandez, and Mike Piazza. In his seven years with the Mets, he went to five All Star Games and won three Gold Gloves. He should have won the 2006 NL MVP Award. He was the best CF the Mets ever had in their history. 

More than that he was a gamer. After that violent August 11, 2005 collision with Mike Cameron, he suffered facial fractures and was hospitalized.  He only missed four games. In the last game at Shea, with the season on the line, he hit a game tying homerun to keep their hopes alive. He was also terrific in the 2006 postseason with a .422 OBP and 3 homeruns. 

That’s where it all gets mixed up. The strikeout. I can’t defend it. He didn’t even try to foul if off. What I can defend is the work that came before and after it. I was happy when he got a loud ovation at the 2013 All Star Game. It was all the more impressive because he was wearing a Cardinals uniform. He comes back again tonight wearing a Yankee uniform. 

It’s not cause to boo. He didn’t leave the Mets for them. He was traded away, and the Mets never showed interest in bringing him back. So when he comes up to bat the first time, give him some applause to thank him for his time with the Mets.