Mets Double Headers: Super Tuesday and Super Saturday
The Mets had their share of postponements and suspended games in 2013 as weather wreaked havoc with them during the first few months of the season. It led to a plethora of makeup games on what were initially scheduled days off and also four double headers.
The Mets were snowed out due to blizzard conditions in Colorado on Monday April 15. The teams would squeeze two games in the following day that saw the Mets lose both ends of a record cold double header with an 8-4 loss in game one, followed by a 9-8 ten-inning loss in the nightcap. All of this took place after the Mets were snowed out on Sunday in Minnesota before they flew into Denver.
Their next double header would be very different and will forever be known in Mets circles as Super Tuesday – and a super Tuesday it was. On a bright and sunny day in Atlanta, he Mets caught the first glimpse of their top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, but not before Matt Harvey got things started by striking out 13 and taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning as the Mets went onto beat the Braves 4-3. Wheeler would make his memorable major league debut in the second game, tossing six scoreless innings while striking out seven and picking up his first career win.
The Mets would go onto split their next two double headers, one with the Nationals and the other against the Marlins. So all in all, they finished the year by going 4-4 in their twin-bills.
The first time the Mets ever swept a double header came in their infancy on May 12, 1962 in the once fabled Polo Grounds. That sweep also came against the Braves although back then they played in Milwaukee. And while that double header sweep came on a Saturday, that day was pretty super too.
Landrith’s two-run homer was of the pinch-hit variety as the Mets won the first game 3-2, but not until a long delay as the Braves contended that baserunner Rod Kanehl failed to touch third base. In the end, the umpires ruled that Kanehl clipped the inside corner of the base and the Mets prevailed – game one was in the books.
The second game, an 8-7 victory, would be a little less controversial. Hodges, who had come in as a pinch-hitter earlier in the game, singled and stayed in to replace Marv Throneberry, homered on the first offering he saw from reliever Hank Fischer and the Polo Grounds faithful were rewarded with a pair of wins from their Lovable Losers.
A couple of notables from that day…
The Mets beat Hall of Famer Warren Spahn in the first game. Spahn would become the Mets’ pitching coach years later after a brilliant career that saw him compile 363 wins. He also tossed two no-hitters and his 14 All Star Game appearances were the most ever by any player in the 20th century. One of the games greatest southpaws in the history of the game, even inspired a famous poem dedicated to him and his teammate, righthander Johnny Sain who was considered the ace of the Braves rotation.
Spahn and Sain and Pray for Rain
First we’ll use Spahn, then we’ll use Sain.
Then an off day, followed by rain
Back will come Spahn, followed by Sain
And followed, we hope, by two days of rain.
The winning pitcher in both games was righthander Craig Anderson who was 3-17 with four saves for the Mets that season, making 50 appearances including 14 starts. Seven appearances and three losses later, the 25-year old was released and never to be heard of again. He ended his Mets career with a 3-20 record, a 5.56 ERA, and a 1.67 WHIP.
Anderson went onto lose his next 19 decisions after those two double-header wins. He’s also the answer to an old Mets trivia question as he was the losing pitcher in the last baseball game ever played at the Polo Grounds as the Philadelphia Phillies behind pitcher Chris Short beat the Mets 5-1.
Hobie Landrith is the answer to another trivia question for being the first pick of the Mets in the 1961 expansion draft. It was after Landrith’s selection that then manager Casey Stengel said, “You gotta have a catcher or you’re going to have a lot of passed balls.’’
You probably knew that, but did you know that when the Mets gave Landrith a $75,000 contract that year, infuriated, he returned his initial contract to team president George Weiss, complaining that it was a $3,000 pay cut. But the Mets GM sent that same contract back to Landrith three more times before the catcher finally gave up and accepted the contract.
His debut was not a memorable one as Mets’ Opening Day catcher in 1962, went 0-for-4, made an error and allowed three stolen bases.
Oh yeah, then there’s that guy Gil Hodges, but I’ll save his story for another day…
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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