If Carlos Beltran had hit one into the right-center gap for an extra base hit that would’ve cleared the bases and given the Mets a miraculous 4-3 win in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series, who would’ve scored the winning run?
The correct answer is b) Anderson HernandezHernandez was the runner at first base, having entered the game as a pinch-runner for slow-footed catcher Paul LoDuca, who had walked. Hernandez, who last year was traded to the Washington Nationals for reliever Luis Ayala, began the 2006 season as the Mets’ starting second baseman because Kaz Matsui was on the disabled list. Hernandez flashed a great glove, excellent range and great speed, but didn’t make much contact at bat.
The other options…
a) Julio Franco
The then-47-year-old pinch hitter batted .273 and swiped six bases on the year and his beating out what appeared to be a sure double-play grounder in Game 2 of the 2006 National League Division Series got the Mets a much-needed run in a close win over the Dodgers. But in the 2006 NLCS, he batted only twice and struck out both times. He didn’t appear in Game 7.
b) Endy Chavez
The man who made perhaps the most memorable great catch in Mets history, robbing the Cardinals’ Scott Rolen of a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning of Game 7, represented the tying run in the bottom of the Mets’ ninth. He had singled, advancing the previous batter, Jose Valentin to second base. Valentin and Chavez both would be stranded in scoring position.
d) Michael Tucker
The veteran spare parts outfielder acquired as a bench piece during the 2006 season, pinch-hit in Game 7. He led off the bottom of the seventh inning, batting for pitcher Chad Bradford and flied out.