Bases loaded, two outs, sixth inning, Edgar Renteria batting, Braves leading, 4-2, in Atlanta. Mets reliever Joe Smith pitching. That was a moment.
Bases loaded, two outs, seventh inning, Andruw Jones batting, Mets leading, 7-2. Smith pitching. Another moment, different from the first, because the second one came at Shea Stadium on Saturday, when most of 50,000 people were focused on what could have become an unsettling moment.
"This one was different," Smith said. "A lot louder, a lot more people. It's not that I'm any more nervous, it's just more people. You feel them, you hear that roar. A situation like that, I never had one before today. I was shaking. But that's what makes it a great feeling.
"I can get used to that. But I still want to feel it."
Smith, who has made 10 appearances and pitched 9 1/3 innings, still hasn't allowed a run. Left-handed hitters are batting .182 against him; right-handed hitters, .190.
He has allowed one of 10 inherited runners to score. Renteria, in that bases loaded at-bat in Atlanta on April 7, hit a ball off the plate. A run scored when no play could be made. Jones, incidentally, struck out on four pitches on Saturday, the last a slider off the plate.
That was a moment, too.
"A big one," Smith said. "That one will stick with me a while."
Tickets still are available: Long Island City has reached into Smith's wallet once again. His transgression this time was parking too close to a fire hydrant. Smith has paid more than $200 in traffic fines in his brief time in the big leagues.
Mets bashers: When Chipper Jones hit his home run against Mike Pelfrey on Friday night, he tied Barry Bonds for the most home runs hit against the Mets by an active player, with 37. He and Bonds are well behind the all-time leader, Willie Stargell, who hit 60, including one in the Polo Grounds and the first home run ever at Shea Stadium.
|Career home runs against the Mets|
|Willie Stargell||60||26 (1)|
|Willie McCovey||48||16 (4)|
|Henry Aaron||45||16 (7)|
|Billy Williams||34||13 (5)|
|Joe Torre||30||21* (1)|
|* Eight with the Mets|
|Numbers in parentheses are home runs hit at the Polo Grounds against the Mets|
"And it's outta here," the signs read, quoting Cohen's home run call.
"It's my second sign," Cohen said. "The first one said, 'Gary Cohen rocks.' And it was appropriate," he said. "I do like the Ramones.""
Flashlight fan in court: A Mets fan pleaded not guilty Sunday to shining a high-powered flashlight at an Atlanta Braves pitcher and shortstop during a game at Shea Stadium.
Frank Martinez was arraigned in Queens criminal court on charges of interfering with a professional sporting event and second-degree reckless endangerment. He was held on $1,000 bail and is due back in court on May 1. If convicted, Martinez faces up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Authorities said the 40-year-old Martinez flashed the light at the players in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday from his seat behind home plate. He quickly was ejected from the game.
The Braves were leading the Mets, 7-0, at the time of the incident. Tim Hudson was on the mound facing Mets pinch-hitter Endy Chavez when, investigators said, Martinez turned the beam on the Braves pitcher and shortstop Edgar Renteria.
Renteria complained to umpire Paul Emmel, who called timeout and alerted security. The security officers removed Martinez and found "a small, streamline flashlight" in his backpack, Brown said.
This date in Mets history -- April 23: Even a broken clock is accurate twice a day; so it was the Mets gained the first victory in the history of the franchise on this date in 1962 -- in the team's 10th game. They scored six runs in the first two innings against Tom Sturdivant, a Yankees refugee who would become one of them two years later, and won, 9-1, at Forbes Field. Jay Hook pitched a complete game for the Mets, who would win 11 of the subsequent 21 games before they would define themselves with a 17-game losing streak.
Six years later, on the same date, Jerry Koosman pitched his third complete game of the season in his third start and, for the first time, allowed a run. The Mets defeated the Astros, 3-1, at Shea Stadium. Koosman pitched another shutout, one of 14 he would throw in his first 77 big-league starts, a year later when he beat the Pirates and Jim Bunning, 2-0, at Shea. He would pitch 19 more shutouts in his last 450 starts, including one a year in his last five seasons.
There was no questioning the call when Darryl Boston was hit by a pitch on this date in 1992. The Mets beat the Cardinals, 1-0, in 13 innings at Shea when Juan Agosto hit Boston with the bases loaded. The ball went inside his uniform shirt.
Coming up: John Maine, in his first start since his six-inning flirtation with the Mets' first no-hitter, faces the Rockies, opposite Taylor Buchholz, the losing pitcher in Maine's only big-league shutout. Monday's game time at Shea is 7:10 p.m.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. The Associated Press contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.