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Friday, August 13, 2010
A shout-out to shutouts

By Mark Simon

The Mets have 17 shutouts in 2010. That's a lot of shutouts, more than they've had in a season in quite some time. And on Friday they're facing the Phillies, who got shut out three times in a row the last time they came to Citi Field.

So it seems obligatory that we pay tribute to that statistic in some way. Let's do so here. As usual, we're greatly indebted to our resources, particularly, for their help.

• The 17 shutouts are the sixth-most the Mets have had in their 49-year history, the most since recording 22 in 1988. The club record: 28 in 1969, seems safe, but the Mets could challenge the No. 2 spot -- 25 shutouts in 1968.
• Perhaps a more realistic target: the home record for shutouts. The 2010 Mets have 14 shutouts at Citi Field this season, tied with the 1969 club for second-most in Mets history. The 1988 Mets set the pace with 16 home shutouts.

• The Mets now have 23 shutout WINS at Citi Field. The Mets didn't get their 23rd shutout WIN at Shea Stadium until 1969 (remember, the ballpark opened in 1964). We specify shutout wins because the 1965 Mets had a 0-0 shutout TIE with the Phillies.
• Of these 17 shutouts, only three have been of the complete-game variety (Johan Santana and Jonathon Niese). The club mark for complete-game shutouts is in fact, 17, done three times-- 1968, 1976, and 1988.

• By kooky coincidence, the last three Mets shutouts have been four-hitters. They've done that sort of thing within a single-season before, most recently in 2001 when within just over a month's span, they had three six-hitters.

• Santana said Thursday he was ready to go 10 innings, if need be. It's been awhile since a Met pitched a 10-inning shutout. The last was by Terry Leach, against the Phillies in 1982 (a one-hitter).

• The team the Mets have shut out the most is the one they're playing this weekend -- they've shut out the Phillies 67 times, including that 15-inning tie game. Next on that list, the Nationals-- 58 times.

• Loyal reader Mike Jacka asked if we could identify the last time a team led the majors in shutouts and grand slams allowed, since this Mets team is currently doing so. That's beyond our lookup realm, so we turn to the Elias Sports Bureau, which tells us the last team to do that was the 1987 Astros (13 shutouts, nine slams).

• Looking ahead to Friday, the Mets last three HOME games against the Phillies all ended in shutouts. Only once have the Mets had four straight home games against a team, with each being shutouts. The 1988 squad did it over two series-- one in June, one in July.

• Lastly, Ruben Tejada, whose play we wrote about earlier this week, must think that shutouts are a way of life. He's started in nine of the Mets shutouts this season.

In fact, in Tejada's 24 starts at second base, the Mets have recorded eight shutouts. In Tejada's last nine games starting at that position, the Mets have five wins -- all shutouts.

Mark Simon is a researcher for Baseball Tonight.