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Showing posts from June 21, 2009

Best Games I Know: Neil Allen

I couldn't just let a Neil Allen reference (see previous post) hang out there without doing some further research.

Those familiar with this blog may recollect my references to Allen as a favorite, prior to being traded to the Cardinals for Keith Hernandez on June 15, 1983. Given that we're not long removed from the anniversary of the trade, that I just penned a post about my father's favorite player, and that the previous blog entry references Allen, I couldn't help but dig in a little further.

* His First Mets Win (May 20, 1979)

A story better told here: http://www.metswalkoffs.com/2005/08/neils-deal.html but we can summarize this game more briefly, by noting it's one of the great extra-inning comebacks in Mets history. It was no fault of Neil Allen's that the Mets were three runs down in the home 10th, but he benefited most from Richie Hebner's game-tying home run. Allen pitched a scoreless 11th, emerging triumphant when Frank Taveras singled home Joel Young…

Two Are (Not) Better Than One

Joel Pineiro pitched a two-hit shutout against the Mets on Tuesday. Fellow blogger Greg at Faith and Fear pointed out that Luis Castillo came this close to having the only hit in a Mets one-hitter (Aaron Heilman, 2005) and the only hit in a one-hitter against the Mets (thank you Jeremy Reed). Besides that...

* It's the 64th time a pitcher has thrown a legit shutout (9 innings or more), allowing 0, 1, or 2 hits against the Mets.

* He's the first pitcher to throw a legit shutout, allowing 0, 1, or 2 hits against the Mets, since Dontrelle Willis threw a one-hitter against them for the Marlins on June 16, 2003.

* He's the first pitcher to throw a legit shutout, allowing 0, 1, or 2 hits against the Mets, in New York since Randy Johnson threw a two-hitter for the Diamondbacks on August 5, 2002.

* He's the first righty pitcher to throw a legit shutout, allowing 0, 1, or 2 hits against the Mets, since Ryan Dempster threw a one-hitter for the Marlins on May 7, 2000.

* He's the f…

Two Are Better Than One

Brian Stokes has now induced 7 ground-ball double plays in 26 2/3 innings.

Who knew?

This totally belies his previous statistical profile.

Brian Stokes
Entering Season

119 2/3 innings pitched
11 GIDP induced
18 HR allowed

Stokes' strikeout rate is down, but when you're getting outs at a 2-for-1 rate that frequently, that's acceptable. Granted, Monday's was only the second situation in which he got a ground-ball double play with the score tied, or the Mets ahead, but his numbers are still impressive. I don't pretend to have any explanation for this. I'll leave it to other experts.

It did get me to wonder a little bit about the Mets history with the GIDP. With that, here's what I learned.

* Mike Pelfrey set the Mets single-season record for GIDP induced last season with 29, edging out Walt Terrell's mark of 28, set in 1984.

Most GIDP Induced
Single-Season (Mets history)

29- Mike Pelfrey (2008)
28- Walt Terrell (1984)
27- Al Jackson (1962)
26- Mike Hampton (2000)
26- Roger…

Scat, Albert

OK, so I finally figured out why the Mets built a ballpark with these dimensions.

They wanted to make the place Pujols-proof.

And you thought Chipper Jones was the greatest Shea Stadium hitter of all-time. Check out Albert Pujols' regular-season numbers there.

BA- .365
HR- 9
RBI- 21
At-Bats- 96

Among those who had at least 100 plate appearances at Shea Stadium, here's where Pujols stands:

Batting Average: 3rd (.365)
On-Base Percentage: 3rd (.455)
Slugging Percentage: 1st (.719)

Pujols might be one of the few players in the history of Shea Stadium who actually performed better against the Mets there than in his home ballpark. In the Busch's against the Mets, Pujols' numbers are a bit more pedestrian:

BA- .275
HR- 8
RBI- 30
OBP- .355
Slugging Pct- 578
AB-109

Pujols enters the series at Citi Field off a weekend series in which he had 10 RBI (he's hitting .400 in KC, a ballpark he likes better than Shea). He's got 26 RBI in 20 games this month. In his last nine starts, Pujols has ei…

Hank You For All You Do

This being Father's Day it strikes me as appropriate to try to track down the walk-off history of my father's favorite baseball player.

That would be former New York Giants third baseman Hank Thompson.

For those unfamiliar, Thompson hit 129 home runs in nine big league seasons, playing from 1947 to 1956. His first 27 games were with the St. Louis Browns in the same season that Jackie Robinson integrated baseball. The remainder of his career was with the Giants. He was an everyday player for five years and would fall under the "good, but not great player" category. Statistically speaking, his modern-day comparisons are the likes of Casey Blake and Joe Crede.

Thompson had some pretty serious legal issues in his lifetime, and I'll leave it to you to research those if you like. I'll tell you about one of a more minor nature that led to his becoming my father's favorite.

In January, 1953, Thompson had a near-accident while driving in the middle of the night, in up…