At last — Back to a timezone where baseball happens at a reasonable hour… ignoring the 2nd game on Monday. Though to be perfectly honest, my Yale Bulldogs won the NCAA Lacrosse Championship on Monday and I’m not going to care much about baseball until my elation subsides a little bit.
Set the Wayback Machine, Sherman, for June 8th, 1966. For the first time in this nostalgia tour, the same teams are playing today as 50 years ago. Game 55 saw the 24-30 Atlanta Braves taking on the 17-27 IWOTMs. Whereas last week we saw the Braves in the midst of a 7 game losing streak, they were now in the middle of a 7 game winning streak, and beat the Mets by the same score as last night’s 2018 game: 7-6. The game was played in the Urinal Known As Shea. Hank Aaron had 2 homers, a double and 6 RBI and raised his OPS to a cool 1.023. The starting pitchers were Hank Fischer and Jack Fisher. Unfortunately, both ended their careers before the Marlins and Rays started up. Jack took the loss and Clay Carroll picked up a win in a 4 inning long relief stint.
Eddie Mathews led off. He only has 231 plate appearances as a leadoff batter in a career of just over 10,000 plate appearances. And if he was ever speedy, he certainly wasn’t by 1966. Never think that old time managers filled up lineup cards by rote. They had theories just as much as Joe Maddon or Tony LaRussa does. OK, not quite as much as they do.
The Mets fielded no HOFers that day, but Ken Boyer came pretty close to getting in: his B-REF comparables are almost a who’s who of near misses and posthumous re-evaluations: Fred Lynn, Ron Santo, Reggie Smith, Paul O’Neill, Robin Ventura, and a guy the Mets are still paying every year – Bobby Bonilla. Paying him right out of that Madoff account.
Back to the Present. I attended a game three weeks ago in Citi Field in which Teheran bested Syndegaard. In order to avoid a repeat, the Mets DL’ed Syndegaard to allow Teheran to face Jason Vargas instead. Thor wasn’t injured, just scared…
Julio pitched well against the Mets, as he always does, even at home. But the carcass of Jason Vargas outpitched him, though he was slightly mysteriously lifted after 65 pitches and two hits surrendered. At this point Tim Peterson made his MLB debut and gave up a run in two innings on a Camargo dinger that was the doppelganger of the game winner the night before.
Shane Carle, which is, by the way an anagram of anal cheers, gave up another run and the Braves were in the position of being 2 down in the bottom of the 8th. This is when the Braves traditionally start playing against the Mets. Against Jeurys Familia, (anagram of mafia jury lies) the Braves got two on but Neck hit into a really well-turned double play/dagger. Another run surrendered by Socolovich put our boys in a hole we’ve been used to lately: down 3 late.
So we face Robert Gsellman (Grab Troll Semen) and… fail.
We’ve fallen from first but are hanging in there. It’s a long season…. Longer than NCAA Lacrosse. Did I mention that the Bulldogs are Champs?