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Mets-Cardinals Rivalry Minutiae

Every bit of minutiae you ever wanted to know about the Mets and Cardinals, but didn't know where to go to look it up...

* The Mets are 311-352 against the Cardinals in regular-season play and 4-1 against them in postseason play (31-32 in walk-off decisions). The Mets have won the regular-season series against the Cardinals 15 times, tied the regular-season series 6 times, and lost the regular-season series 24 times.

* The longest win streak for the Mets against the Cardinals is 8 games, accomplished during the 1986 season. The last of those victories happened to be a walk-off win, referenced here

http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2006/08/mitch-in-time-saves-nine.html

* The most runs the Mets have ever scored against the Cardinals is 15, on October 3, 1964. The Cardinals record for runs against the Mets is also 15, accomplished 4 times.

* A total of 112 players have played for both the Mets and Cardinals, including 45 pitchers. Among those 112 are 7 whose playing career was spent only with the Mets and Cardinals. The lucky 7 are: Craig Anderson, Ed Bauta, Jerry Buchek, Johnny Lewis, Jose Oquendo, Rick Ownbey and Gordie Richardson.

* Three Mets have pitched complete-game one-hitters against the Cardinals: Jack Hamilton (May 4, 1966), Jon Matlack (June 29, 1974) and David Cone (September 20, 1991).

Hamilton's is the most interesting of the three in that he allowed only two baserunners- a bunt single by opposing pitcher Ray Sadecki and a walk to the following batter, Lou Brock- both in the third inning. He settled for the Mets first complete-game one-hitter, as six Cardinals errors helped him to a historically underappreciated 8-0 victory, one of 8 wins he earned in his Mets stint. We can forgive Sadecki, ever-so-slightly, as he did earn 4 walk-off wins as a member of the Mets later in his career.

Matlack's no-hit bid was also broken up by a pitcher- John Curtis- in the third inning. Cone's game was arguably the best pitched by a Met against the Cardinals in the regular season, an 11-strikeout effort in which the lone blemish was Felix Jose's eighth-inning double.

* The Mets most prolific winner against the Cardinals is Tom Seaver, who earned 20 wins against them as a Met. Bob Gibson, later a Mets pitching coach, is the Cardinals most prolific winner against the Mets with 28 wins (and 14 losses).

* Speaking of Bob Gibson...It's worth noting that of Al Jackson's 10 career Mets shutouts, two were 1-0 wins over Bob Gibson. One came on July 27, 1962 and the other took place on October 2, 1964

* The longest game between the teams was a 25-inning game on September 11, 1974. The Cardinals tied the game at 3 with 2 outs in the 9th on a home run by Ken Reitz and won it in the 25th when Bake McBride scored after an errant pickoff throw by Hank Webb and a subsequent error by catcher Ron Hodges. The Mets, who went scoreless over the last 20 innings, left the bases loaded in both the 23rd and 24th innings and would have been wise to have sent rookie Brock Pemberton in either of those frames. Pemberton got the first of his four career major league hits with 2 outs in the last of the 25th. The loss deprived the Mets of their 100th all-time win against the Cardinals, a milestone they would reach on April 17, 1975.

* Jim Hickman, the first Met to hit 3 home runs in a game, did so against the Cardinals on September 3, 1965 in St. Louis. All 3 home runs came against future Met Ray Sadecki

* John Milner was the first Met to get 5 hits in a game against the Cardinals. He did so on September 8, 1972. George Foster (June 19, 1982), Hubie Brooks (June 28, 1983). Keith Hernandez (October 3, 1985) and Rico Brogna (July 25, 1994) are the other Mets with 5-hit games against St. Louis.

* Ron Swoboda and Ryan Thompson share the Mets club record for strikeouts in a game against the Cardinals with 5. Amazingly, the Mets still won both games (June 22, 1969 and the 17-inning walk-off win of September 29, 1993). The Cardinals starting pitcher in Swoboda's 5K effort was Steve Carlton, who later that season would strike out 19 Mets, but lose, 4-3 because of two Swoboda home runs.

* Many think that the Mets gave up their first regular-season run on a balk...That's a fallacy. The first run scored against the Mets in a regular-season game (an 11-4 loss to the Cardinals on April 11, 1962) came home on a Stan Musial RBI single. Roger Craig balked pitching to the next batter, Ken Boyer, who drove in the 2nd run that day with a groundout.

* Mets firsts that came against the Cardinals in that April 11, 1962 game: First hit- Gus Bell (2nd inning single). First RBI: Charlie Neal single (3rd inning). First Home Run: Gil Hodges (4th inning)

* The first time the Mets beat the Cardinals was a 10-3 victory on July 6, 1962. Roger Craig earned the complete-game win, beating Ray Sadecki. Rod Kanehl hit the first grand slam in Mets history that day. Gil Hodges added a HR, career shot #370, passing broadcaster Ralph Kiner for 2nd among major-league righthanded hitters.

* The first Mets walk-off win against the Cardinals was the next day- July 7, 1962, on Marv Throneberry's pinch-hit 2-run home run in the bottom of the 9th. A brief note on that game can be found here

http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2005/08/marvelous-one.html

Special thanks to the websites Baseball-Reference.com, Retrosheet.org, and MikeMav.com, as well as the 2006 Mets Media Guide and This Date in New York Mets History, from which much of this information was procured.

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