April 21st, 2006
TWO OUT MADNESS!
Mets Score Big Runs Against Padres in Eighth, for a 4.0 TOM rating.
I was recently at a college soft ball game and the home team was behind. There were two out and a runner at first and an attractive softball mom called out, “Let’s have a little two out madness here!” Everyone laughed. Everyone knew what that meant, those amazing two out rallies that go on and on…until someone blows it by making an out.
When Mets fans hear the words “Two Out Madness” the fabled Bill Buckner game should come to mind. Sixth game of the series in ’86, the bottom of the tenth, Sox winning 5-3. Red Sox pitcher Calvin Schiraldi retired the first two Mets. Then came the ultimate in “two-out madness.” Three Mets singled, driving in one run, and driving out Schiraldi. Bob Stanley came in and got two strikes on Mookie Wilson, then a wild pitch let in the tying run. Then Mookie hit a lazy grounder towards first towards All Star first baseman Bill Buckner. The ball traveled inexplicably through his legs, and the winning run raced across the plate. That, my friends is “two out madness.” The Mets went on to win that World Series.
Five different run-related plays after two outs (such as with the Buckner inning) is considered a lot. Sometimes two out madness only consists of three or even two run-related plays, but it also depends on the dramatics involved when determining its rating on the TOM (Two Out Madness) Index. The Buckner inning scores a 6.5 on the TOM scale because there were five plays, (5 points) plus one extra point for the fact that there were two strikes as well as two outs, (add .5) that the Buckner error was totally unexpected, (he still doesn’t remember what happened, add .5) and that it scored the winning run of the game (add .5).
In a late night west coast game against the Padres on Wednesday, April 21st, the Mets had an exciting come from behind victory. The Mets had been trailing the entire game in spite of an inside the park home run by Kaz Matsui on his first at bat of the season. (Wait a minute, that sounds familiar? He’s done that every year he’s played as a Met.) The score was 2 to 1 Padres, and Mike Piazza was grinning in the Padredugout. Willie Randolph looked rather glum, looking down the barrel of his third consecutive loss.
In the bottom of the 7th there was a brilliant double play to end the inning, sparked by the glove genius of David Wright, and I said, “Now they’re going to come back and win!” And they did. In fact, in the top of the eighth, former Com-padre Xavier Nady led off with a double off Linebrink. Kaz Matsui grounded out, then 47 year old Franco, pinch hitting for Duaner Sanchez, hit a home run over the right field wall. He became the oldest man to ever hit a home run in the major leagues. Reyes singled to right field, and then stole second. Lo Duca advanced Reyes with a sac fly, and that second out set the stage for some old-time two out madness. Endy Chavez drove Reyes in with a two-out squeeze bunt single. Then Carlos Delgado blasted a two run homer to right center. David Wright walked and stole second, then Cliff Floyd knocked Wright in with an RBI single to center, still with two outs. It was a six run inning, converting a 2-1 loss into a 7-2 victory, and though not all the runs were scored after two out, it was a scruffy come-from-behind inning with four run-related plays after two outs that did honor to the spirit of the 86 World Champion Mets. It clearly ranks as a 4.0 on the TOM scale. We’ll take it.
I will try to report back to Amazine readers if I find any more incidents of “two out madness” during the coming season, along with my TOM scoring. It’s one of the most exciting sights in baseball.