Valdespin Is Tied For Second-Most Career Pinch-Hit Homers In Club History

By John Schweibacher
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The Mets went 2-3 on last week’s road trip, losing two of three to the Marlins and splitting their rain-shortened two-game set in Atlanta.

The Mets defeated the Braves, 7-5, in Atlanta on Friday night, thanks to game-tying home runs from Marlon Byrd in the eighth inning and David Wright in the ninth. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in Mets history that two players hit home runs to wipe out an opponent’s lead in both the eighth and ninth innings of the same game.

It was the also the first time in nearly 20 years that the Mets defeated the Braves on the road when trailing heading into the ninth inning.

On September 18, 1993, at Fulton County Stadium, the Mets trailed Greg Maddux and the Braves, 2-0, with two outs and none on in the top of the ninth. After a Ced Landrum pinch-hit single and a Ryan Thompson walk, Bobby Cox brought in future Met Greg McMichael, who gave up RBI singles to Todd Hundley and Dave Gallagher to tie the game at two.

In the 10th, another future Mets reliever, Mike Stanton, allowed two-out singles to Darrin Jackson and Jeff McKnight. Steve Bedrosian replaced Stanton and gave up a go-ahead single to Tito Navarro. It was Navarro’s only career hit and run batted in. Mauro Gozzo pitched a 1-2-3 10th, retiring Ron Gant, Fred McGriff and David Justice for his only career save.

Jordany Valdespin’s three-run, pinch-hit homer highlighted the Mets’ 7-6 win over the Marlins last Wednesday. Valdespin has hit 10 home runs in the major leagues, six of which have come as a pinch-hitter.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two other players in major-league history had at least six pinch-hit homers among their first 10 homers. Bill Taylor’s first six home runs were as a pinch-hitter for the New York Giants in 1954 and 1955, and six of Craig Wilson’s first 10 were off the bench for the Pirates in 2001.

Valdespin is now tied for the second-most career pinch-hit home runs in Mets history:

•Mark Carreon: 8

•Jordany Valdespin: 6

•Scott Hairston: 6

•Rusty Staub: 6

•Ed Kranepool: 6

•Matt Franco: 5

•Ron Swoboda: 5

•Tim Teufel: 5

Brandon Lyon’s bases-loaded wild pitch allowed the winning run to score in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Marlins beat the Mets, 2-1, last Tuesday. It was one night after Miami’s 4-3 victory over the Mets in 15 innings, which ended on Nick Green’s sacrifice fly that scored Juan Pierre.

It was the first time in a decade that the Mets dropped consecutive games in walk-off fashion.

On April 9 and 10 in 2003, the Marlins defeated the Mets twice in a row on game-winning hits — courtesy of Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Pierre — in the bottom of the ninth.

Overall, the Mets have lost five times in walk-off fashion in the 12 games that they have played Miami at Marlins Stadium.

The Mets have now lost eight times on a walk-off wild pitch in club history:

· 9/8/62 at Hou: 6-5 (10), Roger Craig

· 8/25/66 at Chi: 3-2, Bill Hepler

· 8/15/70 at Atl: 3-2, Tom Seaver

· 7/22/72 at SF: 2-1, Danny Frisella

· 9/1/81 at Hou: 3-2, Mike Marshall

· 5/13/10 at Fla:  2-1, Fernando Nieve

· 7/17/12 at Was: 5-4, (10) Pedro Beato

· 4/30/13 at Mia: 2-1, Brandon Lyon

The Mets host the White Sox and Pirates this week in a six-game homestand. This will be the first time since Interleague Play began in 1997 that the Chicago White Sox will face the Mets in New York.

The last time the Chisox came to Flushing was back in 1974 and 1975, when they played the Yankees at Shea Stadium while Yankee Stadium was being refurbished. Chicago split the 12 games it played against the Yanks at Shea, going 2-4 in 1974 and 4-2 in 1975 under manager Chuck Tanner.

The Mets have faced the White Sox just once before, a three-game series in Chicago back in 2002. They dropped two of three against Jerry Manuel’s club.

Happy Recap: Four Score — Four different Mets hit home runs in Friday night’s win: John Buck, Lucas Duda, Marlon Byrd and David Wright. The last time that the Mets had four players homer in the same game was September 30, 2006, at Washington, when five players went deep: Wright, Endy Chavez, Shawn Green, Julio Franco and Ramon Castro.

Nine Miles of Rough Road: Not Worth The Wait — Rob Brantly’s game-tying hit for the Marlins in the 15th inning last week was the third-latest into a game that a player has gotten a game-tying hit against the Mets. In the previous two instances — Yadier Molina’s game-tying hit in the 19th inning in 2010 and Rick Camp’s home run in the 18th inning in 1985 — the Mets went on to win the game.

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