“This” Date in Mets History, “Belated” Edition: 7/28/1993 – Young’s Losing Streak Ends as Murray Wins It For New York at Shea
“As the Mets celebrate their 50th-anniversary season, it is worth remembering moments like (Anthony Young snapping his 27-game losing streak.) Although the team’s best seasons and players deserve to be honored, Mets history — and the collective experience of Mets fans — is more accurately captured by its many moments of futility.
Indeed, if the Mets spend their golden anniversary toasting Tom Seaver without mentioning Young, they will not only be whitewashing five decades, but essentially missing what it means to be a fan of this team.”
–Michael Trager and Eric Trager, April 21, 2012; New York Times
Calling The 1993 New York Mets a complete disappointment would be an understatement. Coming off “The Worst Team Money Could Buy,” Manager Jeff Torborg is fired after a 13-25 start and replaced by Dallas Green, who isn’t doing any better. His team stands at 34-65 going into a match-up with the Expansion Florida Marlins at William A. Shea Municipal Stadium. The team has, however, won 2 in a row.
On the mound for the Mets this evening is Bret Saberhagen, the 29-year-old, 6’1” right-hander from Grover Cleveland High School in Reseda, CA. Bret is pitching adamantly, but, naturally, is getting terrible run support. He is 6-7 with a 3.36 ERA. He will face the Marlins’ leadoff hitter, center fielder Chuck Carr. Saberhagen, looks in, sets and pitches. Carr fouls it off for strike 1. After another foul and a ball, Chuck hits it down the left field line in foul territory. Joe Orsulak settles under it and makes the catch. The next 2 batters, 2nd baseman Bret Barberie and left fielder Jeff Conine, ground out to short and fly out to left, respectively, for the 1-2-3 inning.
Pitching for the Teal Team is Jack Armstrong, the 28-year-old, 6’5” right-hander from Neptune High School in New Jersey. He will first face the Mets’ leadoff hitter, center fielder Ryan Thompson. He runs the count to 2-2, but strikes out looking on the 5th pitch. Up walks left fielder Joe Orsulak, looking to get something started for the Metsies. Armstrong’s first 2 pitches are out of the strike zone. The 3rd pitch, though, is planted into the Shea stands, way back there for a right field solo shot. The Mets lead, 1-0. Next up is 1st baseman Eddie Murray. On 7 pitches, Murray grounds out weakly to 3rd base. Bobby Bonilla, the Mets’ 3rd baseman, then doubles to deep left-center before right fielder Jeromy Burnitz walks, but 2nd baseman Jeff Kent grounds it back to Armstrong to end the frame.
Both teams leave some men out there against their respective pitchers in the 1st 3 innings. The Mets are trying to change that trend, however, leading off the bottom of the 4th. Burnitz singles to left to get things started, but both Kent and catcher Todd Hundley line out to right. Shortstop Tim Bogar heads to the plate, looking to make something out of Burnitz’ leadoff single. The count runs to 2-2, and on the 5th pitch, Burnitz takes off for 2nd.The pitch is wide and eludes catcher Benito Santiago. Burnitz gets up from his slide and heads to 3rd on the wild pitch. Armstrong’s next throw is then sent into center field for a single, and the Mets take a 2-0 lead. Saberhagen lines out to right field, and the 4th comes to a close.
The Mets hold the lead steady until the top of the 6th, when Carr begins with a single on the 2nd pitch he sees. Second baseman Bret Barberie makes contact on the 2nd pitch he sees as well, but this one goes sailing to deep right-center, way back there to tie the game at 2. Bret makes quick work of the next 3 batters, though, to keep the score knotted up.
The Mets don’t answer till the bottom of the 7th. With Matt Turner taking the mound for the Marlins, Bogar and Saberhagen line out and ground out, respectively. With 2 out and with an 0-2 count, Ryan Thompson drives the 3rd pitch he sees to deep right-center, way back to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Orsulak then walks and Murray singles, sending Orsulak to 3rd, but Murray is picked off 1st with Bonilla up to end the Mets’ rally.
Saberhagen heads back out there in the top of the 8thlooking to lock the win down for the rarely-in-the-win-column Orange and Blue. With 1 out, however, Barberie singles to right. Conine strikes out looking, but 3rd baseman Gary Sheffield singles, sending Barberie down t0 3rd. He’s been battling all day, but it looks as though Bret Saberhagen has reached the end of the line. Dallas Green, however, leaves his veteran in the game to wiggle out of his own jam. Plenty of second guessing occurs next, though, as 1st baseman Orestes Destrade doubles to right-center, plating Barberie with the tying run. Sheffield trucks around 3rd looking to score the go-ahead run, but the fundamentals are strong as Burnitz hits the shortstop Bogar, who throws the ball Hundley’s way to nail Gary at home. The Mets get out of it with the tie intact once more. They go quietly, however, in the bottom half of the inning.
A double-switch occurs, with Dave Gallagher replacing Burnitz in right. From the bullpen comes Anthony Young, the 27-year-old, 6’2″ right-hander out of Furr High School in Houston, TX. Young is entrenched in a Major League record 27 consecutive losses, which began on May 6, 1992. Earlier in the year, he was removed from the starting rotation and put into the bullpen. He has the chore of keeping it knotted up for the Metsies in the top of the 9th. Young does not get off to a good start, however, as Santiago singles to lead things off. Young makes an error on a sacrifice bunt by right fielder Darrell Whitmore, and both runners are safe. The Marlins have 2 on and none out. Shortstop Walt Weiss is up to bunt them over, but the Mets botch that one as well and the bases are now loaded. Not the way you try to snap 27 consecutive losing decisions. Pinch-hitter Rich Renteria is up, but he fails miserably at his role. He hits a ground ball to Bonilla at 3rd, who throws the ball home for the 1st out. Hundley throws down to Murray at the right-corner bag and the double play is completed. The Amazin’s and Mr. Young are miraculously 1 away from getting out of the jam. Standing in their way, however, is the leadoff hitter Chuck Carr. On the 1st pitch he sees, Chuck bunts it weakly between 2nd and 1st. They have no play, and Whitmore comes home for the Marlins’ leading run. Barberie strikes out swinging, but the damage is done. The Mets are once again in jeopardy of letting a win get away.
Bryan Harvey heads to the mound for the Teal. The shortstop Bogar is pinch-hit for by Jeff McKnight, who gets things going quickly by singling on the 1st offering. Gallagher is up there to bunt, and he does so, sending McKnight to 2nd. Ryan Thompson is up, looking to tie it for New York. He hits a blooper over 1st, and it falls in for the base hit. McKnight rounds 3rd and heads home to tie the game. Anthony Young cannot lose this game now, and, unbelievably, he has a chance to win. That is up to the Mets’ offense, looking to end it right here in regulation. Orsulak does not abide however, flying out to left. With 2 out, it is up to the veteran Eddie Murray. For the fans left over from the 24,377 people to turn the stiles earlier this evening, a huge thrill is had as Murray doubles to right on Harvey’s 1st pitch. Thompson scores, the Mets win their 35th game, 5-4, and Anthony Young wins his 1st game in a year and a half.
“In 18 years of living under the same roof, there was only one late-night, father-waking-son baseball celebration — and it wasn’t for a World Series victory or trade-deadline blockbuster…For the better part of two seasons, we had suffered through Young’s agonizing run of misfortune. And now that it was over, we not only saluted Young’s salvation, but our own endurance.”
–Michael Trager and Eric Trager, April 21, 2012; New York Times
Young is now 1-13 with a 4.19 ERA. It is his only win of the year. Anthony goes 1-16 with a 3.77 ERA.
Saberhagen goes 8 innings, giving up 3 runs on 8 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6.
While it is The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club’s 3rd win in a row, they can never get into any sort of groove, and have to win their last 6 games to avoid losing more than 103. They are the 1st Mets team since the 1967 squad to lose 100 or more games.
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