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Sunday, August 5, 2012
Baxter has walk in the park -- times five

By Adam Rubin

SAN DIEGO -- Mike Baxter’s postgame press conference began with him letting out a laugh.

Five plate appearances. Five walks.

What was there to say?

The walk total tied the franchise record, although Vince Coleman required a 16-inning game in 1992 against the Pirates to reach that total.

“Sometimes you foul off some pitches. When you miss a fastball that you usually put in play, it extends the at-bat. And sometimes you get ahead in the count and you try to work it a little bit,” Baxter said after the Mets beat the Padres 6-2 Saturday night. “It was just kind of a strange night.

“I’ll take a walk any day. Walks are good. And I’ll take them. All kidding aside, it’s just strange. It’s funny. Because it’s the only thing that happened tonight. But I’ll take it.”

Asked if he was thinking about a walk in his final plate appearance when he got to a three-ball count, Baxter insisted: “No. No. And that’s the thing. Each at-bat, it’s not like I was looking to walk. I’m trying to hit and I’m trying to drive guys in, because there were runners in scoring position in a couple of them at least, maybe three.”

Baxter marveled at the assorted postgame interview topics he’s had this season: a five-walk game, tumbling at third base in April, the no-hitter-preserving catch.

“We’ve covered the spectrum of topics,” Baxter said. “I can agree to that.”

Asked if he had a “Moneyball” game, Baxter added: “I think you put a home run at the end of it, it would have been. But I’ll take walks. Walks are good.”

What did his teammates tell him?

“They were just kind of teasing me, ‘Hey, way to swing it tonight,’” Baxter said.

Terry Collins, for his part, lamented the Mets not taking advantage of so many baserunners, including Baxter’s five walks.

“Once again, we’re sitting there in the dugout looking in the ninth inning, thinking we ought to have 10 runs,” Collins said. “And we don’t. We left way too many guys on base again. It’s a good game for us to win, but we need to start driving some of those runs in.”