For Mets It Dozen Get Any Better; 12-run Inning Fells Giants

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This certainly isn’t the Mets’ team the Giants saw in June 2015 when Chris Heston fired a no-hitter.   That Mets’ team had all they could do to get two base runners on during an inning.  Now, Heston is in the minors and the Mets set a franchise record scoring 12 runs in the third inning of last night’s 13-1 win at Citi Field. The Giants’ starter Jake Peevy appeared to be well past his “sell by” date.  Peevy of 2007, the NL Cy Young winner would have toyed with last year’s early season Mets squad.  He got through two innings but walked the first two men he saw in the third, a recipe for disaster if ever I heard of one. Michael Conforto doubled home the first run, and with that he got an extra-base hit in his fifth straight game. Yoenis Cespedes singled home two more making it  3-0.  At that point they began stirring in the Giants’ bull pen and, cold night or not they weren’t making coffee. Lucas Duda walked, followed by an RBI-double from Neil Walker. Exit Peevy stage left, enter Mike Broadway, who pitched as though his show should have closed in AA Hartford. He let in both inherited runners on a double by Asdrubal Cabrera. He then walked Kevin Plawecki before retiring the pitcher Steven Matz.  At that point Curtis Granderson singled home the Mets’ 7th run and David Wright loaded the bases with a hit.  By now on both Mets’ radio and TV they were talking about the franchise record, which was 11 runs scored in an inning at Wrigley in 2006. Conforto got his second hit and third RBI of the inning, making it 8-0 before Yoenis Cespedes stepped to the dish. The man remembered in Cuba as “La Potencia,” (The Power,) showed all of that as he unloaded the bases with a grand slam.  Never in 55 years in the National League had the Mets scored a dozen in an inning, not even at the Polo Grounds with its short dimensions. Yoenis Cespedes became the first Met to drive in 6 runs in an inning, or have an extra-base wallop in 9 straight games. A long-forgotten third baseman named Butch Husky had the old record of 5 rbis in an inning, going back to 1998. In a home game, the most the Mets scored in an inning was 10 runs, done last year against the Brewers.  The National League record has stood since 1883-an 18-run inning by Chicago against Detroit.  In the American League Boston holds the record, since they scored 17 in a single inning in 1953.

King Felix Hernandez also tied a record on Friday night.  He joined lefty Jamie Moyer with 145 wins, making them the two pitchers with the most wins in Mariners’ history.  Unlike Matz of the Mets the king had no margin for error, as the Mariners got him only a single run. But that was enough for King Felix in a 1-0 win last night.  As bad as the Mariners are historically, it takes the talent of a King Felix to have that many wins at this point in his career. He turned 30 3 weeks ago and appeared first in the majors at age 19 in 2005. Moyer began_ pitching the year Hernandez was born and won his 145th Mariner game at age 40 in 2006.

Today’s earliest start is at 2:10 in Minnesota.  There, the Tigers send out Jordan Zimmerman against Tyler Duffy, who started  last Sunday’s marathon in Washington. He left after 4 innings when he was hit in the pitching shoulder by a line drive.  No damage was done and he was cleared to start today. Later in the afternoon, Matt Cain of the Giants faces the Mets’ Jacob DeGrom.  On paper it’s a similar match to  last night’s game, an aging former ace against one of the Mets’ young guns. The best matchup is still the one tomorrow afternoon, Noah Syndergaard against Madison Bumgarner.  Why ESPN hasn’t mandated that this game be moved to 8 PM is beyond me.  They were able to move the Royals’ opener against the Mets from Monday to Sunday night to begin the season and very few four-letter words have as much clout as the term ESPN.

The man known as “Sccrap-Iron” Phil Garner is 67 today. He is our only birthday celebrant.   He was an infielder and manager at the big league level.  He put up a .260 average between late 1973 and 1988. He was an All-Star 3 times between 1976 and 1981. He played with the Pirates who won the 1979 World Series from the Orioles.    He lasted longest as a manager with the Brewers, who he piloted from 1992-99. Then he spent 3 years each with the Tigers and Astros.  He got the Astros into the 2005 World Series where the White Sox swept them in 4.

One birthday from yesterday that got past me was that of Gary Cohen, the Mets’ television play-by-play man.  He turned 58 yesterday, and what a present his team gave him with that record-smashing third inning. Like our current President, Cohen got his education at Columbia University in New York, as did Lou Gehrig and Gene Larkin.  Cohen majored in political science but cut his teeth in broadcasting on WKCR, the school’s radio station where he covered soccer among other sports.  He broadcast games for Spartanburg, Durham and Pawtucket on his way to joining the Mets in 1989. He has broadcast hockey at 3 winter Olympics, the last in 1998. He covered college football as late as 1987 and has broadcast college hoops on radio in the winter since 1995. He replaced Gary Thorn at the side of Hall of Famer Bob Murphy broadcasting Mets radio to start the 1989 season, and was lead radio man for two seasons after Murphy’s retirement at the end of 2003.    Since 2006 he has been their TV play-by-play man.  In recent years his partners have been Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez, both stars of the 1986 World Series winners. He can handle a crowded booth-he is the father of 5.


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