Recall this little detail from the Mets' 5-4 loss to the Marlins on September 3?
New York's Ramon Castro batted with the potential tying run at second and two outs in the eighth. He swung at strike three and then failed to run when the ball rolled away from catcher Paul Lo Duca, who tagged him out.
As the 2005 season and the failures that guaranteed it would not continue into the now recede deep into the mists of history, you may not remember this play all that well because it took place in a game in which something else of a more indelible nature occurred. This was the Shingo Takatsu Game. You know, worst first impression…EVER! All the other Met bungling amid a veritable bunglerama of bungles has probably faded a bit in our collective memory, but the Takatsu-Cabrera showdown has etched its way into legend.
By the same token, Mark Buehrle's nine-inning gem will be remembered by White Sox fans as a footnote to the A.J. Pierzynski Game. The play that has made Doug Eddings a household name in the 51% of the country that had easy access to it has already been compared to the Mickey Owen missed third strike, the Don Denkinger blown call and Merkle's Boner. Goodness knows the sleepy Angels won't soon forget it. Me, I was reminded of Ramon Castro standing still as our Wild Card drive grew another day deader.
Similarities? You decide.
In the play Wednesday night, the White Sox catcher who was batting saw (somehow) that there was some delay in the umpire confirming strike three was an out and was smart enough to run to first. The Angels catcher who was catching was (justifiably) clueless as to what was transpiring all about him. The White Sox went on to win a very big game.
In the play of September 3, the Mets catcher who was batting just stood in place while the Marlins catcher who was catching figured out the umpire hadn't confirmed strike three and was smart enough to run after the ball and tag out the opposing catcher. The Mets went on to lose a very big game.
And oh yeah — the White Sox and Mets accomplished their respective feats after coming to telling judgments regarding the usefulness of one Shingo Takatsu.