Sunday, April 6, 2014
Series in review: Mets vs. Reds
By Mark Simon
The Mets won two of three to the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. Here's a look at some of the statistical storylines that emerged from those games.
Moment of the series: Davis’ walk-off homer
Ike Davis’ first home run of 2014 was a memorable one, a walk-off grand slam to give the Mets the win on Saturday afternoon.
This marked the first time that the Mets hit a walk-off grand slam in consecutive seasons (they had two in a season in 1963). Jordany Valdespin had one for the Mets against the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.
It was the second pinch-hit walk-off grand slam in Mets history. The other came from current third-base coach Tim Teufel against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1986. One other kooky coincidence: The last walk-off pinch-hit grand slam to come with nobody out prior to Davis was by future Mets manager Davey Johnson for the 1978 Philadelphia Phillies against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The pinch-hit grand slam is a relative rarity in baseball. There have been 20 since the Mets’ inception in 1962, though there have now been three in the past four seasons.
Davis has three career walk-off homers, one shy of the club record, shared by Chris Jones, Cleon Jones, Mike Piazza and Kevin McReynolds.
It was also the first homer Davis hit against a curveball since September 5, 2012, when he hit one against Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright. He struck out against a curveball to end Sunday’s loss.
Addressing some of the issues
A few Mets may have looked better at the plate over the weekend, but they’re not over their offensive issues just yet.
Someone might want to tell Eric Young Jr. to calm down a bit. Young does have hits in his last two games, but he’s 2-for-19 with nine strikeouts for the season. Early on, his “chase rate” (how often he swings at bad pitches) is 43 percent. It was 33 percent in 2013.
Young’s career batting average at Citi Field has dropped to .191 (he hit .201 there in 2013).
Travis d’Arnaud is 0 for 15, though he did have a deep fly out in Sunday’s loss. d’Arnaud’s issue is actually the opposite of Young’s. His chase rate is a meager eight percent (that’s good). But he’s 0-for-13 in at-bats that ended with a pitch in the strike zone (that’s bad).
Curtis Granderson shook out of his slump this weekend, but still looks a little rusty. He’s 1-for-14 with a 27 percent miss rate in at-bats ending with either a fastball, cutter, sinker, or splitter; and 0-for-8 in turns ending with a pitch 92 mph or faster.
View from the other side: Phillips' streak
Brandon Phillips had hits in each game of this series, giving him a 29-game road hitting streak against the Mets.
The only player with a longer road streak against them is Luis Castillo, who had a 32-gamer against the Mets from 2001 to 2005.
The longest overall hitting streak against the Mets is 24 games, by Matt Holliday from 2005 to 2008.
The longest streak by a player in his home ballpark is 25 games, by Tony Gwynn from 1995 to 1998 and retiring Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter from 2003 to 2011.
Phillips has a .318 career batting average in 220 at-bats against the Mets, .350 at Citi Field and Shea Stadium.