Sunday, July 8, 2012
The series in Metrics (Mets vs. Cubs)
By Mark Simon
The Mets slogged into the All-Star Break by losing two of three to the Cubs for the second time this season. Let’s take a quick look at some of the statistical highs and (mostly) lows from the series.
Stat of the Series: Parnell brings the heat
Mets reliever Bobby Parnell closed Saturday’s win by striking out Steve Clevenger on a pitch that Pitch F/X clocked at 101 miles-per-hour.
It was the second time this season that a pitcher recorded a game-ending strikeout looking on a 100+ mile-per-hour pitch. Justin Verlander had a 100-mile-per-hour called looking strikeout against the Royals, with the bases loaded in a one-run game, earlier this season.
Not His Best Work
Johan Santana allowed seven runs and 13 hits in 4 2/3 innings in Friday’s loss. He was the fourth pitcher in Mets history to allow at least 13 hits, pitching fewer than five innings. The other three were Jack Fisher (1967), righthanded Bobby Jones (1996), and Al Leiter (2003). Santana is the only one of the quartet to also allow at least three home runs.
Santana allowed 24 total bases in the game, the first Mets pitcher to allow that many since Steve Trachsel allowed a club-record 26 total bases against the Brewers in 2003.
Santana gave up four two-strike hits in the fifth inning. He hadn’t allowed four two-strike hits in a game since July 28, 2010, when he gave up five to the Cardinals. No Mets pitcher had allowed four two-strike hits in an inning since R.A. Dickey against the Astros last May 14 (first inning).
Mets starter Dillon Gee won Saturday on the strength of his career-best eight innings pitched. He recorded 11 outs on balls hit in the air, his most in any start.
Gee won despite recording his second-lowest miss percentage of the season (Cubs hitters missed on only 15 percent of their swings). He did post his second-highest called-strike rate of the year. Of the 57 times the Cubs took a pitch, he got 23 strikes, a 40 percent success rate.
Not so Niese
Jonathon Niese was the first Mets pitcher to allow at least seven runs and pitch at least seven innings since Al Leiter against the Rockies in 1999 (hat-tip to regular reader Puneet Nanda), the first to do so at home since Bill Pulsipher against the Astros in his major-league debut in 1995.
For those looking for a bright spot, Mets pitchers went walk-free for the second straight game, the first time they’ve done that in two seasons. They’ve only had three straight walk-free games three times- once in 1969 and two such streaks in 1994.
All’s Wright with the WorldDavid Wright set a single-season career-best by reaching base via hit, walk, or hit by pitch in his 26th straight game on Saturday, then extended it to 27 games with a hit on Sunday. He’s still a little ways from his overall career-best of 35 straight games reaching base, set in a span encompassing 2006 and 2007.
Four is the Magic Number
Justin Turner, Anthony Rizzo and Reed Johnson each had four hits in Friday’s game. This was the fifth time in Mets history that the Mets and their opponents combined to have three players get at least four hits IN A NINE-INNING GAME. But it was the second time this season. It also happened against the Rockies on April 27. The three that day were Ruben Tejada, Scott Hairston and ex-Met Marco Scutaro.