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The Night of 1040 pitches (well, not quite...)

We've written before about the most taxing performance in Met history (Al Jackson's 215-pitch effort), and I'm going to use my April 15 posting to write about the most taxing 9-inning performance.

On July 17, 1992, David Cone took the mound for the Mets against the Giants. One hundred and sixty-six pitches later, his evening was complete, as a 1-0 winner.

"If I even thought of throwing that number of pitches, my arm would fall off," teammate Bret Saberhagen told reporters afterwards.

The Mets scored their only run in the first on Howard Johnson's RBI single against eventual league ERA champ Bill Swift. The Giants starter lived up to his name, needing only 98 pitches to get through seven innings. His mound counterpart needed 127.

Let's make a thorough audit of Cone's outing, thanks to the worksheet of data available at Baseball-Reference:

*9 innings
* 0 runs, 6 hits
* 13 strikeouts, 4 walks
* 96 strikes
* 27 swing-and-miss strikes
* 7 full counts

Cone's outing was also made easier by one deduction, when Jose Uribe got caught stealing, but since the Mets offense was particularly feeble, the team was totally dependent on Cone to get them through. There would be no IRS (inherited runners scored) on this night. Credit Cone for earned income for this one, and for giving the team a capital gain.

"I wanted that game badly," he said afterwards to the media. "I realized there was a possible risk, but I've been conditioned to throw a lot of pitches this season.

The truly taxed Mets fan knows...The Mets enter 2009 having won 5 of their last 6 games played on April 15.

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