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Thursday, April 11, 2013
The series in Metrics (Mets at Phillies)

By Mark Simon

The Mets had one good day and two pretty bad ones in dropping a pair to the Phillies to open this road trip.

Let's run through some of the statistical highlights.

Matt Harvey and Nolan Ryan
In Monday’s opener, Matt Harvey became the second pitcher in Mets history to open his season with consecutive starts of at least seven innings and three hits or fewer allowed. The other was Nolan Ryan, who had three such starts to open the 1970 season.

Ryan’s stretch is one of the most statistically fascinating in Mets history. In those three starts, he allowed only two runs and six hits in 26 innings, with 28 strikeouts and 19(!) walks (one can only imagine how many pitches he threw).

If Harvey has another such start against the Twins, he’ll join Ryan and Jim Rooker (1970 Pirates) as the only pitchers to have three straight 7-innings/3-hits-or--fewer starts to open a season since the end of World War II in 1945.

What was the best thing that Harvey had going for him in this particular start?

When he used his slider, it was very effective. Phillies hitters swung at 12 of the 16 he threw, missing five. He got six outs with the pitch without allowing a baserunner.

Finally beating Halladay
The Mets snapped Roy Halladay’s eight-game winning streak against them with Monday’s mauling, thus keeping Juan Marichal’s record win streak against the Mets safe yet again.

Marichal won 19 straight against the Mets from 1962 to 1967. He’s one of six pitchers to have had a winning streak of at least 10 games against the Mets, though the only one to have started that streak since 1968 is Pedro Martinez, who won 10 in a row from 1993 to 1997.

One other fun bit of trivia on Halladay. The last time the Mets got to a multi-time Cy Young Award winner for at least seven runs in four or fewer innings was in 2009 when they did so against Randy Johnson.

And then there were Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner
It was a very rough go for Dillon Gee in the second game of the series on Tuesday, as he allowed seven runs and three homers in three innings in the loss.

He’s the first Mets pitcher to allow that many runs and that many homers in that few innings in a game in Philadelphia.

Hefner allowed five runs in three innings in Wednesday's loss. He has now allowed 12 first-inning earned runs in his last two appearances against the Phillies. He's only allowed two earned runs in his other 13 first-inning efforts.

The Buck doesn’t stop here
John Buck’s offensive surge continued with home runs in each of the three games in this series.

This is the fourth time in Mets history that one of their players homered at least five times in the team’s first nine games of the season.

Buck is the first to do so since Jeff Kent in 1994. The full list is in the chart on the right.