Sunday, September 5, 2010
Mets score 18 runs, and yes, they win!
By Mark Simon
There's a famous story from the early days of Mets baseball, in which a fan called a local newspaper and asked whether the Mets had won. The person answering the call replied that the Mets had scored 19 runs that day.
Then comes the famous punchline, courtesy of the man making the inquiry.
"But did they win?"
The Mets did in fact win on May 26, 1964, 19-1, over the Cubs, the same Cubs who the offensively-challenged Mets drubbed, 18-5 on Sunday.
The Mets set a club record in that 19-1 game, with 12 hits with runners in scoring position. They broke that mark with a lucky 13 on Sunday.
It's games like these from which we can draw upon some particularly interesting notes, with the help of resources from Baseball-Reference.com, Stats LLC, and the Elias Sports Bureau, the latter of whom verified the nugget above. Others we culled include:
• The Mets have now had seven games in which they've scored at least 18 runs -- all of which have taken place on the road. Four of those have come not only against the Cubs, but in Wrigley Field.
• This was the fourth time in a nine-inning game that the Mets had at least 30 baserunners (they finished with 31), the first since a club record 34 reached in a 19-8 win at Wrigley Field on June 12, 1990.
• It's the third time in Mets history that they had a game with at least 21 hits and nine walks. The other two were the crazy 19-inning, 16-13 win over the Braves on July 4 1985 and the 19-8 win against the Cubs in 1990, mentioned in the preceding note.
• One last note on that 1990 game. It's the only game in Mets history besides the one on Sunday in which the Mets scored at least 18 runs, and every run came via an RBI. The other five instances of the Mets scoring 18+, somewhere along the way, they were aided by an opponents error.
• The Mets tied a season-high for any major league team by recording 13 hits with runners in scoring position. The other team to do that: The Astros against the Cardinals on August 3.
• Also according to the Elias Sports Bureau, this was the first time in Mets history that they scored five or more runs in three different innings of the same game. It was also the first time they had consecutive five run innings since April 23, 2000, also against the Cubs.
• The Mets hadn't scored double figures since netting 14 runs against the Tigers on June 22. Since that game, they were averaging 3.3 runs per game and hitting .233, prior to Sunday.
• The Mets played this game without 3/4 of their regular infield, using Mike Hessman at third base, Ruben Tejada at shortstop, and Luis Hernandez at second base. Hessman played in a game in which his team scored 18 runs before-- against the Mets. He appeared as a pinch-hitter on April 7, 2004.
• Tejada became the sixth shortstop in Mets history to drive in at least five runs in a game, the first since Kazuo Matsui in 2004. The others: Jerry Buchek (1967), Howard Johnson (1990), Dick Schofield (1992) and Jose Reyes (2003). Tejada is the fourth No. 8 hitter with a 5+ RBI game against an NL opponent for the Mets , joining Schofield, Ramon Castro (2005) and Paul Lo Duca (2007).
• Luis Hernandez became the second player in Mets history to record seven at-bats in a nine-inning game. The other was Lenny Dykstra in a 23-10 win against the Cubs in 1987.
• Jonathon Niese got 18 runs of offensive support. In his previous five starts, Niese had gotten a total of 16 runs of support. Niese helped himself with two RBI, joining R.A. Dickey as the only Mets pitchers with a multi-RBI game this season. He's the first Mets pitcher with a multi-RBI game against the Cubs since Rick Reed in 1998.