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Monday, September 16, 2013
The series in Metrics (Mets vs. Marlins)

By Mark Simon

The Mets won three of four games from the Marlins over the weekend, the victories coming much more from their pitching work than their hitting. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

Props for Travis d’Arnaud
Travis d’Arnaud has not hit well since being recalled, but he earned his money in Sunday’s win by catching 12 innings and getting the walk-off hit in the 12th inning in the series finale.

D’Arnaud is the first Mets starting catcher to get a go-ahead hit in the 12th inning or later since Ronny Paulino did so against the Phillies in 2011.

That doesn’t sound as cool as the other note we like: d’Arnaud is the first Mets starting catcher to get a walk-off hit in the 12th inning or later since Gary Carter did so in Game 5 of the 1986 NLCS against the Houston Astros.

The RBI hit snapped an 11-game RBI drought for d’Arnaud.

Another extra-inning game
The 1-0 win was the Mets 18th extra-inning game of the season, the most they’ve played in a season since playing 18 in 2009.

The Mets have a pair of 1-0 shutouts this season, both of which ended in walk-off fashion in extra innings. The other came against the White Sox on May 7 (when Matt Harvey allowed one hit in nine innings). The last time the Mets had a pair of 1-0 walk-off shutouts was in 2006.

The win marked the 11th time the Mets have won a game of 12 or more innings via shutout, the third time in the last 20 seasons (the others being Opening Day 1998 against the Phillies and May 31, 2006 against the Diamondbacks).

Matsuzaka the winner
Daisuke Matsuzaka became the 326th different pitcher in Mets history to win a game (Vic Black became the 327th on Sunday) and joins Masato Yoshii, Hisanori Takahashi, Ryota Igrashi, Hideo Nomo, Kaz Ishii, Takashi Kashiwada and Shingo Takatsu as the eighth born in Japan to do so.

Matsuzaka was the 85th different Mets starter to pitch at least seven innings and allow two hits or fewer. The pitcher with the most such games in Mets history is Sid Fernandez with 13.

Matsuzaka has had much better success with two strikes in his last two starts, holding opponents to one hit in 24 at-bats. They had 10 two-strike hits against him in his first three starts.

Anemic offense
The Mets outscored the Marlins 8-7 in that four-game series, concluding a rough week on the offensive front. The Mets hit .169 with a .471 OPS over the last seven days, both of which ranked worst in the majors.

They are 7-for-38 with runners in scoring position on this homestand, which would explain why they would like David Wright to return to the lineup in the next few days.

Standings watch
The Mets are 67-82 with a .450 winning percentage. That ranks eighth-worst in the majors in a season in which the teams that finish in the bottom 10 in the standings get to protect their first-round draft pick when signing a free agent who has received a qualifying offer (basically a good free agent).

They would still lose their second pick if they signed one of those free agents, but would maintain that top-10 selection.

The Mets currently lead the No. 11 teams in the standings, the Padres and Giants, by 1 1/2 games.