Friday, September 21, 2012
The series in 'Met'rics (Mets vs. Phillies)
By Mark Simon
Harvey Deserved Better
Matt Harvey allowed one hit in seven innings, but got a no-decision in the Mets' loss Wednesday night.
Of the last 100 times that a team had its starting pitcher go at least seven innings and give up one hit or fewer, the team with that pitcher won 92 of those games.
Seven different teams combined to lose those eight games. Of course, the Mets are the only one in that group with multiple defeats. They wasted a Chris Young seven-inning, one-hit effort against the Nationals last season.
Ryan Howard’s go-ahead home run with the Mets one out away from a win on Wednesday brought back some bad memories for Mets fans.
It marked the first time the Mets lost a home game in which they gave up a go-ahead (or perhaps better-put: fall-behind) home run, one out from victory, since Aug. 20, 1989, when unlikely power threat Willie Randolph hit one off Don Aase, with the Mets leading the Dodgers 3-1 with two outs in the ninth inning.
That game is best remembered as one of the most notable defeats that led to that team’s failure to win the NL East.
This is the fifth time the Mets allowed a lead-producing home run, one out from a home win. The other three were by Curt Flood (1966 Cardinals), Jose Cardenal (1978 Phillies), and Derrel Thomas (1978 Padres).
Really Awesome in a Loss
R.A. Dickey posted the 23rd season of 200 strikeouts in Mets history, the 11th of 200 strikeouts and 18 wins.
Of those 11, Tom Seaver has six and Dwight Gooden has two. Jerry Koosman and David Cone have one each.
Dickey is currently averaging 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Only two Mets have whiffed that high a rate, won at least 18 games, and struck out at least 200 batters in a season: Seaver (1970, 1971) and Gooden (1985).
The 37-year-old Dickey is the oldest Met to strike out at least 200 batters in a season, surpassing Al Leiter, who was 34 when he did so in 2000.
With 205 strikeouts, Dickey needs 28 to climb into the Top 10 for a single season in Mets history (David Cone’s 233 in 1990 rank 10th).
Guest Metrics of the Series
My colleague John Fisher, a Phillies fan, generated an impressive Dickey list.
Dickey is just the 11th pitcher in major league history to strike out 200 batters in at least his age-37 season (37 as of June 30 of that season, per Baseball-Reference.com definition).
Of the six who are eligible, five are in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the other four will receive strong consideration when they finally appear on the ballot.
• Regular reader Eric Hornick, a statistician for New York Islanders telecasts, chimed in with this one:
The Mets struck out 15 times on Wednesday night. It's the fifth time this year they've struck out at least 15 times in a nine-inning game.
In the first 50 years of Mets history, there were only 14 instances in which 15 Mets struck out in a nine-inning game.
The Mets are the second team to strike out at least 15 times in a nine-inning game five times in the Live Ball Era.
The other is the Pirates, who have done so six times this season.
Hornick and my fellow researcher Ryan Feldman also chimed in with nuggets on Jeremy Hefner's Thursday misery.
Hefner was the first Mets starting pitcher to allow at least six earned runs without getting an out in Mets history, and the first to allow six hits without getting an out.
Elias Sports Bureau added that it was the first time the Mets ever allowed eight runs in the first inning of a home game.
It came on a day that the Mets suffered their second-worst home loss in franchise history (16-1), trailing only a 16-0 loss to the Braves in 1999.