November 10, 2003
Great finish to this game. Falcone had apparently gotten the last out but time had been called. Kranepool at 1B thinking the game over goes to the clubhouse. Falcone again gets the apparent third out but game is protested on account of the Mets only having 8 men on the field. The league upheld the protest and the Mets had to get the third out the next day. Kobel got the last out and then continued as the starting pitcher for the next game without any stoppage between games.
October 27, 2004
What a bizarre ending, as Ed pointed out above. The Mets had to get the final out 3 times! Pete Falcone, who was suffering through a miserable season, had just pitched a complete game shutout- -but lo and behold, the ump ruled that some infielder had called time, so he had to do the last pitch over. This time, Pete gave up a single and lost his shutout before retiring the next batter. But because of the protest (I had forgotten about that), they had to it once more the next day. So they ended up getting the shutout, but hard-luck Falcone didn't get credit for the complete game.
November 6, 2005
Found this on This day in Astro's history - A bizarre ending comes to Pete Falcone's 5-0 shutout of Houston. Jeff Leonard gets three turns at bat. He flies out to right for the final out but an umpire had called time before the pitch. Three pitches later, Leonard singles while Met first baseman Ed Kranepool is sitting in the clubhouse. Finally, with Kranepool back on the field, Leonard flies out again. Houston wins the protest but Jose Cruz finishes it the next day, grounding out with Leonard on first.
September 6, 2008
This is the only Mets game I have been to. I'm from California but was touring NY with my dad at the time and sitting behind third base. I remember when Mazzilli caught the initial Leonard fly ball, the scoreboard flashed "PETE" in huge letters. Then when play resumed, I was also guilty of not noticing Kranepool's absence. I know there were only three umpires that night, but what about the first base coach, second baseman, right fielder, battery, Torre and all of the coaches and reserves in the Mets dugout on the first base side? If Leonard had noticed, he could have bunted anywhere and reached base. Then Astros' manager Bill Virdon argued long enough to allow Kranepool to return from the clubhouse. I think Virdon even got tossed. I just recently found out about the protest and resumption of the game the following day.
October 11, 2017
Okay I was there as well that night sitting in the mezzanine box seats behind home plate ($1.50 to get in and $1 to the usher) Here is what actually happened: Leonard flys out to end the game and as was customary when the Mets won that year (which wasnt often) the Mets Owner/President Ms. Lorinda De Roulet was being escorted to the mound to congratulate the winning pitcher (Falcone) when the umpires ruled that time had been called prior to the last pitch. Kranepool had already gone to the clubhouse and I distinctly remember that after order was restored and as Falcone was delivering the pitch Kranepool was on the top step of the dugout trying to get to his position but before time could be called and anyone realized it Leonard had lined a basehit to centerfield. The umpires convened and ruled that the hit did not count because there were only 8 defensive players on the field for the Mets when Leonard hit it. The Astros announced they were protesting the game. Leonard then flied out and the game we thought was over. The league President ruled that night that the protest was upheld and the final out had to be played the next day with Kobel pitching thus costing Falcone the shutout.