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Showing posts from May 3, 2009

The Mother of All Coincidences

What you witnessed on Saturday was a baseball rarity, in a number of regards.

It wasn't just that Paul Maholm, who entered with 1 career extra-base hit in 227 plate appearances, homered against the Mets in the Mets ballpark.

It was that Maholm homered in the Mets ballpark, and the Mets WON THE GAME.

I put that in all caps because it's very unusual.

I mentioned this briefly last year when Felix Hernandez hit a grand slam against the Mets and it bears another reference now.

There have been now 43 games in which the opposing pitcher has homered in the Mets ballpark.
The Mets record in those 43 games is now 3-40!

What's funny is that I've been to 2 of those 3 games. What's even funnier is that the last occurrence also took place the Saturday before Mother's Day, May 11, 2002.

It was a game in which Todd Zeile hit cleanup for the visitors and Benny Agbayani hit sixth, but the batsman who made the most noise was Mike Hampton, who homered against Al Leiter, to put the Rockies…

Arm Pit

Fistbumps in order again, particularly for Msrs. Niese, Takahashi and Parnell, as wearing this Gary, Keith and Ron t-shirt has netted both a walk-off win and a walk-up win, the latter being the first of the season for the 2009 Mets.

For those who forget, a "walk-up win" is a Mets win in which the go-ahead runs are scored in the bottom of the 8th inning (term coined by Greg Prince, Faith and Fear in Flushing)

* It's walk-up win # 169 for the Mets, who had 4 walk-up wins in 2008.

* It is walk-up win # 16 against the Pirates, the first since July 4, 2006, a 7-6 victory in which a Xavier Nady (former Pirate) single plated the winning run.

* It is Carlos Beltran's first walk-up RBI as a Met.

* It's the 17th walk-up win in which the margin of victory was at least four runs (five-run walk ups are rarer...only 8 have been by 5+). The last was a 7-3 walk-up against the Braves on August 19, 2008.

* Carlos Delgado's home run did indeed give him more RBI than Mickey Mantle. He…

Whos Your Bugaboo?

Carlos Beltran had never homered against Jamie Moyer, despite having previously faced him 66 times.

Jose Reyes had never homered against Jamie Moyer despite having previously faced him 45 times.

So today seems like a good day to check out the list of bugaboos for selected Mets. We'll define a bugaboo as the active pitchers whom five prominent Mets have faced the Mets without hitting a homer, and separately, without getting a base hit.

Carlos Beltran
HR bugaboos: CC Sabathia (41 PA, 0 HR), Barry Zito (40 PA)
Hit bugaboos: John Lackey (12 PA, 0 H), Danys Baez (9 PA)

Carlos Delgado
HR bugaboo: Scott Schoeneweis (37 PA, 0 HR), Randy Wolf (33 PA, 0 HR)
Hit bugaboo: Mark Hendrickson (16 PA, 0 H), Ron Mahay (14 PA, 0 H), Bob Howry and Paul Maholm (12 PA, 0 H)

Jose Reyes:
HR bugaboo: John Smoltz (64 PA, 0 HR), Dontrelle Willis (55 PA, 0 HR)
Hit bugaboo: A.J. Burnett (17 PA, 0 H), Joe Blanton, Shawn Hill and Chan Ho Park (11 PA, 0 H)

David Wright
HR bugaboo: Randy Wolf (26 PA, 0 HR), Jason Bergmann (24…

1-2 Punch

One run and two hits is the minimum required for the Mets to win a baseball game.

The Mets have never won a baseball game with no runs. And they've never won a baseball game in which they had one hit.

Wednesday marked the seventh time the Mets won a game with what we'll call "The 1-2 Punch."
The other 6:

June 14, 1965: Mets 1, Reds 0 (11)
This is the game in which 20-game winner Jim Maloney no-hit the Mets for 10 innings, and finished with 18 strikeouts, but lost. Johnny Lewis led off the top of the 11th with a home run and the Mets would manage one other hit in the inning, by future skipper Roy McMillan, and prevail against a Cincinnati lineup that included Pete Rose and Frank Robinson.

True Metophiles know...The Mets hit .181 in the 31 times they faced Jim Maloney, but somehow beat him eight times (and lost to him 19 times). Maloney, if he lost, was often a hard-luck victim. The Reds scored eight runs in those eight Maloney losses.

June 21, 1965: Mets 1, Dodgers 0
Somehow …

Measure of Satisfaction

What we witnessed on Tuesday night was a baseball rarity.

Let me explain:

On 7 occasions prior to Tuesday, Larry Jones has come to the plate with the circumstances as follows

* Mets beating Braves
* 2 outs in the 9th inning
* If the Mets get Larry Jones out, the game is over.

Of those 7 instances prior to Tuesday, you know how many times the Mets got Larry Jones out?

One!

It didn't matter if Larry was a rookie or a grizzled vet; if the Braves were down one run, or down 10 runs. The bottom line is that Larry almost never ends games at the plate (though he did end one game on the bases, but I don't remember it, so it's almost as if it didn't happen).

In potential ninth-inning "Get Larry out and the game is over" scenarios, Larry reached base on 6 out of 7 occasions (including one intentional walk).

That's ridiculous.

That's even better than noting that entering Tuesday, Larry's career "ninth-inning batting average" against the Mets was .380.

That'…

Leapin' Larry

Larry Jones now has 40 career regular-season home runs against the Mets. Thanks to the variety of research tools at Baseball-Reference.com and BaseballMusings.com, we can tell you...

* He's the 6th player with 40+ career home runs against the Mets

Most Career HR vs Mets
60-Willie Stargell
49- Mike Schmidt
48- Willie McCovey
45- Hank Aaron
42- Pat Burrell
40- Larry Jones

* The Mets are now 9-26 in regular-season games in which Larry Jones homers against them.

* The Mets are 6-13 in regular-season games in Atlanta in which Larry Jones homers against them. They went 3-13 in regular-season games at Shea Stadium in which Larry Jones homered against them.

* Larry Jones has 5 multi-homer games against the Mets. The Mets are 0-5 in those games.

* Larry's 40 home runs are his second-most against any team. He has 42 against the Phillies.

* Larry's 40 regular-season home runs against the Mets have come against 27 different pitchers. Bobby Jones and Steve Trachsel have each allowed the most- four.

The Best Triples I Know

It figures that we're going to need to know a lot about triples this year. So I figured I'd "knowledge-up" and share my findings in this space.

The format is similar to the "Best Games I Know" blog posts, which require the Mets to win the game discussed in order for it to be listed.

The First (April 23, 1962)

The first Mets triple came in the first Mets win, a romp of the Pirates. Appropriately, the inaugural three-base hit came from a three-word named player, Bobby Gene Smith, a two-RBI shot to centerfield in the eighth inning that capped the scoring in a 9-1 victory.

True Metophiles know...Boby Gene Smith had a total of three hits (and three walks) for the Mets. His affinity for that number also comes through in the number of teams he played for in 1962, three (Cubs, Cardinals were the others). His Mets claim to fame is that he was the first player to wear the No. 16.


The Latest (April 28, 1982)
There have been few things in Mets history as fun as watching Mook…