Sunday, September 03, 2006

September 3rd, 1978

Mets at Dodgers

Charlie Hough is probably best known now for two things. The first is his nearly endless career as a knuckleball pitcher--Hough pitched for twenty-five seasons, throwing more than two hundred innings at age forty-five. The other is being the pitcher who gave up Reggie Jackson's third home run in the 1977 World Series. As it turns out, 1977-78 were Hough's years for giving up notable home runs to New York team players.

Batting lead off, and facing lefty Tommy John, switch hitter Lee Mazzilli started the game with a home run from the right-handed side of the plate. The Mets would go on to score six runs in the next inning, giving them a commanding seven run lead. Not surprisingly, John was gone from the game by the seventh inning when Mazzilli came up to the plate for his fourth at-bat of the game. John had been replaced by Charlie Hough so Mazzilli had switched over to the left side of the plate.

To this point in history, no Met had ever homered from both sides of the plate in the same game. But Mazzilli, already three-for-three on the day, was obviously locked in and clobbered a Hough offering for his second home run of the game. Obviously I doubt Mazzilli's second home run made quite the splash that Jackson's third did, but for Hough, it was the continuation of a disturbing trend.

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