Bad Lineups Throughout Mets History

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer IJuly 9, 2009

19 Jul 2001:  Robin Ventura #4 of the New York Mets at bat during the game against the Florida Marlins at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. The Marlins defeated the Mets 8-3.Mandatory Credit: Ezra Shaw  /Allsport

The Mets scored a run last night! Actually five runs!

It was the first time they pushed a player across the plate since Saturday, and the first time a non-pitcher drove in a run since Friday.

Having to watch the Mets’ meager offense every day brings back memories of other feable lineups throughout Mets history. Of course this year’s version is due to injuries, while some of the lineups from the days of yore were just plain bad.

Lenny Dykstra just filed for bankruptcy, maybe the Mets’ offense can do the same thing.

In the last game before the 2000 All-Star break, the Mets threw this lineup out on the field.

Melvin Mora SS, Derek Bell RF, Edgardo Alfonzo 2B, Todd Zeile 1B, Benny Agbayani LF, Robin Ventura 3B, Jay Payton CF, Todd Pratt C

With Mike Piazza out of the lineup, they look pretty thin, but on a total of six hits they beat the Yankees, 2-0. And, of course, they went all the way to the World Series with this cast of characters.

That’s what good pitching, timely hitting and Bobby Valentine will do for you.

Just before opening day of 1998, all the talk centered around how the Mets lineup was so weak that there was a very good possibility that they would get no-hit by Curt Schilling of the Phillies that day. Here was the Mets lineup.

Brian McRae CF, Edgardo Alfonzo 3B, Bernard Gilkey LF, John Olerud 1B, Carlos Baerga 2B, Butch Huskey RF, Todd Spehr C, Rey Ordonez SS

Well, they managed seven hits and won the game. It took them 15 innings to do it, but they scored one run and beat the Phils, 1-0.

Piazza would soon be on the way to add the big bat that they needed.

I once worked with a girl whose friend was dating Todd Spehr that season.

“You’re a Mets fan?” she said to me. “Todd Spehr’s in my friend’s apartment right now. I’ll call her and you can talk to him.”

Before I could say anything she was dialing the phone. Nobody answered, though. I wasn’t really clear on what I was supposed to say to Spehr.

“Hi Todd. Umm...why does Carlos Baerga stink?”

On the last day of the 1982 season, with the dark days of franchise history seemingly without end, the Mets were forced to use these players.

Mike Howard CF, Ron Gardenhire SS, George Foster LF, Dave Kingman 1B, Rusty Tillman RF, Hubie Brooks 3B, Brian Giles 2B, Ronn Reynolds C

Rusty Tillman? That team lost 4-1 to the Phillies and could only muster four hits. 1982 was bleak, but hope (and Keith Hernandez) was right around the corner.

And let’s go back to the Midnight Massacre of 1977. Here’s the lineup the day after Tom Seaver and Dave Kingman were traded (June 16).

Lenny Randle 3B, Bud Harrelson SS, Bruce Boisclair LF, John Milner 1B, Ed Kranepool RF, Jerry Grote C, Lee Mazzilli CF, Felix Millan 2B

That lineup scratched out five hits, but actually won the game, 4-3, mainly because of three Houston errors that resulted in three unearned runs. The Mets, of course, finished in last place, though.

The 1973 Mets had some injuries of their own, so maybe this year’s version can find some inspiration when they see this lineup (used on June 1) that went to the World Series.

Wayne Garrett 3B, Felix Millan 2B, John Milner 1B, Rusty Staub RF, Ed Kranepool LF, Jim Gosger CF, Duffy Dyer C, Teddy Martinez SS

They lost to the Padres, 4-0, on eight measly hits—seven of them singles.

On Father’s Day of 1964, Phillies pitcher Jim Bunning no-hit the Mets at Shea Stadium. When you take a look at the Mets lineup, you can see why.

Jim Hickman CF, Ron Hunt 2B, Ed Kranepool 1B, Joe Christopher LF, Jesse Gonder C, Hawk Taylor LF, Charley Smith SS, Amado Samuel 3B

Unfortunately, Ed Kranepool seems to be a running theme in some of these lineups.

And here’s the original bad Mets lineup—the one from the first game in franchise history. They lost to the Cardinals, 11-4.

Richie Ashburn CF, Felix Mantilla SS, Charlie Neal 2B, Frank Thomas LF, Gus Bell RF, Gil Hodges 1B, Don Zimmer 3B, Hobie Landrith C

That may not have been a bad lineup if the game had been played in, say, 1955.