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Did Saturday Night Beat July 4th, 1985?

By Mike Silva ~ April 17th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

Up until tonight I only heard tales of that great July 4th, 1985 victory where the Mets beat Atlanta 16-13 in 19 innings. Last summer, John Strubel, who is writing a book about the game, discussed it with me on NYBD Radio. I have to admit that tonight’s 2-1 win in 20 innings may be right up there with that game and perhaps the most compelling game I have ever watched in my 20 plus years following baseball.

Tonight wasn’t supposed to be a baseball evening for me. I was in NYC attending a Broadway play, had dinner, and didn’t get into my car (which was parked on 47th street) until about 6:45 PM. At that point the Mets were in the ninth inning of their scoreless game. I arrived at my home in Eastern Long Island (exit 66 of the LIE to give perspective) at 8pm. I would spend the next 3 hours and 15 minutes watching a ballgame that was full of drama, strategy, and at times, stupidity.

How can you explain the Cardinals leaving the bases loaded twice and not scoring with 2nd and 3rd and none out in the 14th inning off Hisanori Takahashi? Do you realize that 4 of the 5 Mets starting rotation members played in this game? The Mets also struggled to score two runs off Cardinals position players. I didn’t see any pitch thrown much harder than about 85, and most sat in the high seventies when Felipe Lopez and Joe Mather came into the game. It was almost two games as the Mets had to play slow pitch softball and generate their own power.

Just like in that 85′ game the opposition would tie it with two outs in extra innings. I still think Angel Pagan could have caught Albert Pujols double and what was K-Rod thinking with that lousy breaking ball to Yadier Molina? Regardless, it set up my favorite moment of the game: Mike Pelfrey coming in to get the save just 48 hours after he threw 109 pitches and shut down the Rockies at Coors Field. A week ago we argued whether one of this generation’s workhorses, CC Sabathia, would have completed his no hit bid when he was nearing 115 pitches. Tonight Pelfrey came in and threw another 18 pitches and nailed down his first career save- one more than K-Rod has this season.

It’s hard to compare ballgames, but this one has to be near the top in Mets history. Since I didn’t see the 19 inning game in 1985 or the 25 inning extravaganza in 1974, this will have to do for me. There were still plenty of things to be worried about (Jason Bay’s bat, K-Rod’s pitching, Castillo gimping around), but this team can’t be picky about wins right now. They are still a very unimpressive 4-7, but could very well wrap up the road trip .500 if they get a win Sunday night behind John Maine.

I thought Maine was going to be just pitching for his career tomorrow night. Apparently he might need to do some yeoman’s work, good or bad outing, to save the bullpen arms from falling off. Good thing a doubleheader isn’t scheduled.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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2 Responses to Did Saturday Night Beat July 4th, 1985?

  1. Shamik

    Why would Bay have to worry about his bat? That thing is absolutely pristine. It hasn’t struck a ball yet all season!

  2. Stu Baron

    Good luck winning with Maine on the hill…

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