The series in Metrics (Mets at Dodgers)
July, 2, 2012
By Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information
Getty ImagesDavid Wright, R.A> Dickey, and Johan Santana made sure the Mets closed their road trip well.
David Wright became the Mets' all-time leader in walks in Thursday’s win, surpassing Darryl Strawberry.
One of the reasons Wright has drawn so many walks this season is that he’s totally refused to swing at pitches that are not near the plate.
Our Pitch F/X tracking tool labels the pitches furthest away from the strike zone as “non-competitive” and tracks performance against those pitches.
Wright has only swung at 2.2 percent of “non-competitive” pitches this season, the fourth-best rate among those hitters qualified for the batting title. In 2010 and 2011, Wright swung at eight percent of those pitches, a rate more on-par with the major-league average.
Wright actually swung at a non-competitive pitch in Thursday’s game, chasing a low Chris Capuano changeup in the first inning. He rebounded to double later in the at-bat.
Flamethrower of the Series
Bobby Parnell earned his first save since last season on Thursday. Parnell got all three outs with pitches registering 100 miles-per-hour by Pitch F/X calculations.
Parnell threw six pitches at least 100 miles-per-hour, one shy of the total he’d thrown in all other games this season entering the day.
R.A. equals Relentless Achiever
For those who like lots of statistical qualifiers, regular reader Puneet Nanda chimed in with a fun nugget on R.A. Dickey’s win on Friday.
It was his sixth start of the season (fifth in June) in which he had seven more more innings pitched, no earned runs allowed, at least eight strikeouts, and two or fewer walks. That ties Dwight Gooden's single-season club record for the most such starts, set in 1985.
Nanda also noted that Dickey came within three outs of becoming the first Met with four complete games allowing no earned runs in a calendar month. Instead, he joined Tom Seaver (June, 1968), Jerry Koosman (July 1968, September 1969), Pat Zachry (July, 1980), and David Cone (May, 1992), as those who had three.
In this start, Dickey threw 62 of his 101 knuckleballs (61 percent) in the upper-third of the strike zone or above, his highest percentage of such pitches in a start in his three seasons with the Mets.
He won despite getting strikes on only 10 of the 42 pitches Dodgers hitters took (24 percent), matching his season-low success rate.
Dickey lowered his ERA for the month to 0.93 in the win. Elias tells us that this is the first time in the 100-year tracking of earned runs that a pitcher allowed five earned runs in a start (as Dickey did against the Yankees), yet finished the month with an ERA below 1.00.
Friday marked the 62nd time that a Mets starting shortstop had at least four hits in a game and the 11th time a Mets starting second baseman had at least five RBI in a game, but it was the first time that the two combinations were reached in the same game.
Daniel Murphy’s five RBI were two shy of the Mets single-game record by a second baseman, set by Jose Valentin against the Marlins in 2006.
And Johan Makes Two
Johan Santana followed up Dickey’s eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball by matching those numbers in Saturday’s win.
The Elias Sports Bureau provided us with a list of the other four instances in which Mets starters had consecutive games of eight innings or more, allowing three hits or fewer. The mighty combos were Jim McAndrewand Jerry Koosman in 1968, Gary Gentry and Seaver in 1970, Cone and Bret Saberhagen in 1992, and Pedro Astacio and Jeff D’Amico in 2002, also in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.