It’s the Mets’ first postseason game in six years and it becomes memorable when catcher Paul Lo Duca tags out two at home plate on one play. The Mets and Dodgers face off at Shea Stadium in Game 1 of the 2006 NLDS.
Mets veteran Orlando Hernandez is originally scheduled to start, but the day before he hurts his right calf while running in the outfield. He ends up missing the rest of the postseason. They are already without Pedro Martinez due to an injury. So Mets manager Willie Randolph hands the ball to rookie John Maine.
Maine gets through the first inning. But in the second, he gets into trouble. Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew lead off with singles for the Dodgers. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Russell Martin hits a shot off the wall in right field.
Kent waits to tag up from second base, thinking that right fielder Shawn Green might catch the ball. But it sails over Green’s head. Drew sees that Green did not make the catch and takes off immediately from first base.
Green quickly runs the ball down and fires it to the cutoff man, second baseman Jose Valentin. He throws a perfect one-hop strike to catcher Lo Duca at home plate. Lo Duca easily tags Kent out.
As Lo Duca shows the ball to the home plate umpire John Hirschbeck, he senses that something is happening behind him. He turns around just in time to see Drew running from third base. Lo Duca tags the diving Dodger for a second tag out at the plate on one play!
On his baserunning blunder, J.D. Drew later says he didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late. “I thought Jeff was scoring standing up, I thought the play was on me.” Lo Duca says, “When I showed him the ball, it was like he was telling me, ‘You better watch out.’”
Maine kept the Mets in the game with only one earned run in 4 1⁄3 innings pitched. The Mets would go on to win the game 6-5 and sweep the series.