Sunday, July 16, 2006

July 16th, 2005

Nationals at Brewers

I've written about Mike Stanton before, but despite his various heroics for the Yankees, what I remember most about him is how he managed the neat trick of losing two consecutive games for two different teams on exactly one pitch. How does one manage that? I'll tell you.

Tiring of the inept stylings of Felix Heredia the Yankees sent him to the Mets in exchange for Stanton, whose inept stylings the Mets had tired of. Stanton was not pitching terribly well for the Yankees early in the year (who, of course, weren't playing terribly well early in the year), managing to accumlate an ERA over six and a half entering July. Despite this Joe Torre still had some faith in his warhorse lefty so Stanton entered a game in Baltimore on June 28th in the tenth inning. Tom Gordon had already wasted a good outing by Chien Ming-Wang giving up a run in the eight to tie the game at four as Stanton entered. He was to face Brian Roberts, Larry Bigbie and Miguel Tejada, as Mariano Rivera sat in the pen. As it happened, Stanton only faced one batter, in fact, only threw one pitch, as he gave up a walk-off home run to Roberts. Even with Torre's loyalties, Stanton was soon gone, passed off to the Washington Nationals.

Stanton made his Nationals debut in equally tough spot as he had made his Yankee exit, entering the titular Nats-Brewers game in the bottom of the tenth in a 3-3 game with runners on the corners and one out. Stanton's job, presumably, was to retire Lyle Overbay ideally in a double-play to maintain the tie. Stanton may have done that, but before he could throw a pitch, he attempted pick Rickie Weeks off first base. Oops. Stanton balked, and the winning run jogged home. Although the loss was charged to Luis Ayala, Stanton had now given up two walk-off runs on one pitch. Neat trick.

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