Sunday, June 16, 2013
The series in Metrics (Mets vs. Cubs)
By Mark Simon
Give the New York Mets credit. When they win, they usually make it pretty exciting. Here’s a look at some of the notable stats from their series with the Chicago Cubs:
The walk-off homer
Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ first career walk-off homer salvaged the series finale after what was a disastrous first 2 8/9 games.
It was the first walk-off homer to come with the Mets trailing by two runs since Aug. 30, 1992, when Bobby Bonilla hit a three-run homer against Rob Dibble and the Cincinnati Reds on "Sunday Night Baseball" (Dibble ripped off his sleeveless jersey in disgust as he walked off the mound). The final score of that game matched the final score of this one, 4-3.
It was the second time the Mets hit a walk-off homer when trailing by two runs to beat the Cubs.
The other came nearly 50 years ago to the day, on June 26, 1963, when Tim Harkness hit a grand slam off Jim Brewer to give the Mets an 8-6 win.
That game is considered one of the signature victories for the Mets when the team struggled through their first seven seasons.
It was also the Mets' first walk-off home run of any type against the Cubs since September 25, 2004 when Craig Brazell homered to beat Kent Mercker in the 11th inning.
The final score of that game was also 4-3 and it played a big role in keeping the Cubs from making the postseason that year.
Current Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins doesn’t have great memories of that game. He allowed a game-tying three-run homer to Victor Diaz with two outs in the ninth inning.
Nieuwenhuis’ homer evened up the Mets walk-off ledger. They’ve hit 118 regular-season walk-off homers and allowed 118 regular-season walk-off homers.
Their 15 against the Cubs are their most versus any team.
Quirky Stat of the Series: Marcum’s unusual distinction
On Friday night, Shaun Marcum did something that no Mets pitcher has done for a long time. Marcum has now begun his career with losses in his eight decisions, including his first six decisions as a Mets starter.
Four other pitchers have done that in Mets history: Craig Anderson (14), Bob Miller (11), Roger Craig and Willard Hunter (6).
The common thread between those four? They all began those streaks in the Mets first season, 1962.