New York Mets: Jon Matlack

Morning Briefing: Almost break time

July, 14, 2013

FIRST PITCH: The Mets soon will have a chance to recharge their batteries -- well, with the exception of David Wright and Matt Harvey, who should be plenty busy over the next few days.

Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.60 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander Gerrit Cole (4-2, 3.68) in today’s 1:35 p.m. first-half finale at PNC Park as the Mets look to avoid getting swept. All-Star southpaw Jeff Locke was scratched from the start by the Pirates.

Courtesy of New York MetsNoah Syndergaard is the starter for Team USA in today's Futures Game.

Less than a half-hour after the Mets-Pirates game gets under way, the All-Star events at Citi Field begin with the 2 p.m. Futures Game, which will be televised live on ESPN2.

Mets farmhands Noah Syndergaard (Team USA) and Rafael Montero (World) will start opposite each other on the mound. The squads will be managed by Mookie Wilson and Edgardo Alfonzo. 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo will come off the bench for Team USA.

Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi, in a radio interview Saturday, projected Montero as a No. 4 starter in the majors and raved about Syndergaard’s electric fastball and power sinker.

The celebrity softball game featuring Mike Piazza, John Franco, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and Rickey Henderson will be played today at Citi Field after the Futures Game. It will be televised by ESPN on Monday, after the 8 p.m. Home Run Derby, at approximately 10:30 p.m.

Sunday’s news reports:

• After Saturday’s game, Jordany Valdespin was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas. Scott Atchison will return from the disabled list to give the Mets an extra relief arm for the first-half finale. Valdespin was 2-for-his-last-36. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Post.

• Despite Carlos Torres contributing five solid innings in his first major league start in three years, the Mets lost to the Pirates, 4-2, Saturday at PNC Park. Ike Davis was unable to make a pair of fielding plays in Pittsburgh’s two-run seventh inning.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and

• Sandy Alderson told he does not foresee the roster “looking substantially different” after the July 31 trade deadline.

Alderson, in a separate interview in Newsday, said about Marlon Byrd: "We're not looking to move Marlon. Obviously, we have our eye on the future, but we want to be as good as we can be this year as well. Now, if what we can get for the future exceeds the value of the present, we'd have to look at that. But we're not anxious to do it."

Regarding Bobby Parnell, the GM added: "We've been looking for a closer for two years. Looks like we've found one. Why would we want to give him away immediately? This is not a guy we're looking to move, either."

Ricciardi, matching Alderson’s comments, said the Mets are not eager to trade Byrd.

Read more in the Post.

• Alderson told Kristie Ackert in the Daily News that Harvey skipping Saturday’s start primarily was to curtail his innings and was not about the All-Star Game. “He would pitch in the All-Star Game whether he pitched today or not,” Alderson told Ackert on Saturday. “That wasn’t the reason we made the decision. We made the decision on his projected workload over the course of the season. His blister was a factor.”

• John Harper and Anthony McCarron in the Daily News catch up with Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, Gooden, Ron Darling and Al Leiter about their first All-Star Game experiences. Ken Davidoff in the Post talks with 72-year-old Ron Hunt, the last Met to start an All-Star Game in Queens, back in 1964 at Shea Stadium.

• Seaver will serve as the grand marshal of Tuesday’s 1 p.m. All-Star parade, which will travel across 42nd St., beginning at Sixth Ave. and continuing to Third Ave.

• Regarding his first All-Star Game, Harvey tells Kevin Kernan in the Post: “This is a huge honor for me, and to be able to put that uniform on is really awesome, especially being there with David. David told me to keep my eyes open, keep my ears open and really just enjoy it. All of this is new, and I’m taking it in stride. But when it comes to Cliff Lee and guys who have done it multiple times, it’s really something I’m looking forward to. And, hopefully, it’s not my last All-Star Game.”

• Anthony Rieber in Newsday talks with Wright on the eve of another All-Star appearance, while colleague Marc Carig in Newsday talks with Harvey about his first-half success.

Jeremy Hefner will start the second-half opener for the Mets against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday at Citi Field. Zack Wheeler starts on Saturday, followed by Harvey on Sunday. Gee then gets next Monday’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves, followed by Torres.

• Terry Collins identifies outfield production as one reason for the Mets’ improved team performance, the Times writes.

• Wright’s pitcher in Monday’s Home Run Derby is bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Justin Turner began a rehab assignment for a strained intercostal muscle on his left side on Saturday as the DH in the Gulf Coast League. He is expected to play for Class A St. Lucie on Sunday, signaling a return right after the All-Star break.

Jenrry Mejia, on a rehab assignment, tossed five scoreless innings as Binghamton completed a doubleheader sweep of Portland. Wilmer Flores, who had been due to play in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, departed Sunday’s Las Vegas game after one inning with a hamstring injury. Anthony Chavez’s RBI double in the top of the ninth lifted Brooklyn to a 2-1 win against Connecticut. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Ken Belson in the Times discusses the benefit to the host team of putting on an All-Star Game. Writes Belson:

The main financial lift for the host club is to use the All-Star Game to help push ticket sales to every other game on the schedule.

“For us, the big plus is you expand your season-ticket base going into that year,” said Kevin Uhlich, the senior vice president for business operations for the Kansas City Royals, who were the hosts for the All-Star Game in 2012. “While our play on the field didn’t change, our season tickets were up 25 percent because the only way to guarantee All-Star tickets was to buy a ticket plan.”

• Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger discusses Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ improved performance with the center fielder.

• Cody Derespina in Newsday suggests Harvey has pitched better than his 7-2 record indicates.

• Jordan Lauterbach in Newsday profiles Brooklyn second baseman LJ Mazzilli, son of Lee Mazzilli.

• Steven Marcus in Newsday writes that All-Star venue Citi Field evokes memories of Ebbets Field, as Fred Wilpon intended.

BIRTHDAYS: White Sox manager/ex-Met Robin Ventura turns 46. He will be one of the AL coaches at Tuesday’s All-Star Game, along with Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. The NL coaches also have Mets ties: Collins and Davey Johnson. ... Las Vegas reliever Jack Leathersich is 23.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Terry Collins use Josh Satin at first base on Sunday, even though the Pirates now are using a right-hander?

Mets morning briefing 6.12.11

June, 12, 2011
Daniel Murphy's misplay on a two-out grounder by Andrew McCutchen in the third allowed the eventual decisive runs to score in Pittsburgh's 3-2 win against the Mets on Saturday night at PNC Park. Jason Bay returned to the lineup and snapped his drought at 0-for-24 with a bloop single to center in front of McCutchen in his second at-bat. The Mets missed a chance to move .500.

Sunday's news reports:

• Post columnist Joel Sherman said the Mets, who often drift aimlessly without a plan, hired the right person to dispassionately make decisions in Sandy Alderson. But in the case of whether to re-sign Jose Reyes, Sherman asserts Alderson ought to let his emotions become involved in the decision-making. Writes Sherman:

This is a disenfranchised fan base. Do the Mets really want to risk further alienation? Do they want to keep hemorrhaging attendance? The Mets would pay a price to avoid the worst, and the price also happens to be a star shortstop in his prime. Is there risk in going big dollars and long term with Reyes? You bet. As one AL assistant GM said, “Can we wait until he makes it through six months healthy -- instead of two -- before determining his value?”

Sherman, by the way, hears the same thing I do: Reyes is likely not to be dealt at the trading deadline (unless the Mets are overwhelmed). The Mets can get two draft picks if they lose Reyes as a free agent next winter. Draft-pick compensation is expected to change in the new collective bargaining agreement, but the current rules are expected to govern one last offseason.

• Under the open-to-interpretation headline, "HERE WE GO," on the front page of its web site, the Daily News notes that the Fred Wilpon's attorneys on July 1 will ask a judge to move Irving Picard's $1 billion-plus bankruptcy lawsuit out of U.S. Bankruptcy Court and into U.S. District Court. Other newspapers' reports, quoting experts, have offered little hope of the move to get the hearing out of Picard's turf being successful. "I think it is a tough motion because the trustee is doing garden variety bankruptcy work," bankruptcy attorney Howard Kleinhendler told Newsday in a report published May 27. The Daily News then brings up Rep. Gary Ackerman's sponsorship of a bill to prevent trustees from trying to recover funds from "net gainers" in Ponzi schemes unless it is demonstrated they were participants in the scam. Of course, that begs the questions: Where do the net losers then recover their money from -- the government? Or are they out of luck?

David Waldstein in the Times discusses the method of Carlos Beltran selecting his bats, which he learned from former Mariners great Edgar Martinez. Essentially, Write taps his bat and listens. Writes Waldstein:

Hitting a baseball is first and foremost about seeing a pitch, but for Beltran, it’s about hearing a pitch, too: the sound a bat makes when struck with his hand. When Beltran hears the right pitch vibrate from a 32-ounce piece of lumber, it produces a tone that for him is as sweet as music. Ever since he was taught by one of the great hitters in the game to appreciate the melody that each bat inherently produces, Beltran has followed the practice religiously. The higher the pitch tone, the harder and more dense the wood, Beltran said. The harder the wood, the farther the ball is expected to travel.

R.A. Dickey was unfairly charged with a pair of earned runs as the result of Murphy's misplay and ended up on the losing end despite pitching a comlete game (eight innings) and limiting the Pirates to three runs. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been 3-7 at anything, so obviously it’s painful," said Dickey, who actually was 3-8 at one point with the Seattle Mariners in 2008. Read game stories from Saturday's 3-2 loss in the Star-Ledger, Newsday, Times, Post, Daily News and Record.

Terry Collins said he did not appreciate former hitting coach Howard Johnson's comments regarding Bay sitting for two games this week. Read more in the Post and Newsday.

• Bay downplayed the psychological effect of having snapped his hitless streak at 24 at-bats.

Jason Pridie tells Steve Popper in the Record that Bay has been valuable to him. Writes Popper:

As Bay sat next to Pridie, who replaced him in the lineup, he talked. He offered tips, advice, whatever he could think of to help the 27-year-old rookie. "Honestly, since coming up, he’s been the guy that I’ve turned to to ask questions," Pridie said. "He’s always right there, saying, ‘Good job’ or ‘Try this.’ He’s been more than I could have imagined from a guy like that. I’ve heard nothing but great things. You can hear this guy makes a lot of money, but you’d never know."

• With Derek Jeter on verge of 3,000 hits, the Times' Tyler Kepner recalls Roberto Clemente reaching that milestone, which actually came against the Mets at old Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. Writes Kepner:

The night before, Clemente had reached base against Tom Seaver with a chopper that bounced off an infielder’s glove. The scoreboard flashed hit, but the official scorer ruled it an error, keeping Clemente on the verge of history. Yet the Pittsburgh fans were largely oblivious. The next day was an overcast Saturday, with televised college football perhaps a more appealing entertainment option. Just 13,117 fans went to the ballpark, and even the Mets’ starter was unaware of what could happen. “I was a 22-year-old rookie that had absolutely no clue this baseball icon was sitting on 2,999 when I went out to pitch that game,” Jon Matlack said. “None.”

• After Saturday's game, the Mets optioned Dale Thayer to Triple-A Buffalo. D.J. Carrasco, in the first season of a two-year, $2.4 million deal, will join the Mets for Sunday's game.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Met/current agent Keith Miller turns 48. Miller was a scrappy second baseman with a little speed, who hit .264 with 44 steals from 1987 to 1991. He was packaged in the deal that brought Bret Saberhagen from the Kansas Royals to the Mets. Miller, working with Sam and Seth Levinson, currently represents David Wright among other superstars, or stars, or whatever. -Mark Simon

Gee following Dickey path

June, 5, 2011
Last season R.A. Dickey came up from Buffalo and raced to a 6-0 start. This year, it's Dillon Gee's turn. Gee improved to 6-0 as the Mets beat the Braves, 5-0, on Saturday night at Citi Field.

Gee duplicated Jon Matlack's 6-0 start in 1972 for the best to start a season by a Mets rookie. Matlack went on to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award. One of Matlack's six wins that season came in relief.

Read full reaction to Gee's performance here.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Braves 0

June, 4, 2011
WHAT IT MEANS: The Jair Jurrjens-Dillon Gee pitching duel materialized, as had been advertised.

Gee departed for pinch-hitter Jason Pridie after the Mets loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh and the game scoreless. Pridie delivered a broken-bat single to right field that scored Josh Thole (2-for-3). Reliever Scott Proctor replaced Jurrjens. Jose Reyes greeted the ex-Yankee and extended his hitting streak to nine games with a three-run triple.

Reyes has a major league-leading 10 triples this season, all at Citi Field.

Jurrjens was charged with a season-high four runs (three earned) as the Mets won, 5-0.

Justin Turner added a sacrifice fly in the five-run frame.

Gee -- who was lifted at 85 pitches -- improved to 6-0, becoming the second rookie in franchise history to open a season with victories in his first six decisions. Jon Matlack opened 6-0 in 1972 en route to the NL Rookie of the Year Award. (One of Matlack’s victories during that span came as a reliever.)

Gee faced his most serious test in the fifth, after Dan Uggla opened the inning with a double to snap an 0-for-13 drought. With two runners in scoring position and two out, Gee retired Martin Prado on a groundout to shortstop to preserve a scoreless tie.

DEEP-SIXED: Jason Bay’s funk continued in his new No. 6 slot in the order. Bay went 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 17 at-bats. Bay did reach on a fielding error by shortstop Alex Gonzalez in what became the five-run seventh. Had Bay successfully been retired on the routine grounder, Jurrjens would have had two out and none on with the game scoreless.

K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez did not appear. He remained at 22 games finished. K-Rod is on track for 61 games finished, six more than the threshold for his contract to vest at $17.5 million for 2012.

WHAT’S NEXT: Tim Hudson (4-4, 3.75 ERA) opposes R.A. Dickey (2-6, 4.39) in Sunday’s 8 p.m. rubber game, which will be televised by ESPN. Hudson is winless in his past four starts. According to ESPN Stats & Information, only three other times in Hudson’s career has he endured a longer winless streak -- five games in 2008, six in 2006 and eight in 2002.

Mets morning briefing 6.4.11

June, 4, 2011
David Wright will be shut down for three more weeks with a stress fracture in his back. And the Mets blew a late two-run lead and lost to the Braves, 6-3, on Friday night at Citi Field.

Saturday's news reports:

• Post columnist Joel Sherman sums up Friday this way:

This is what we have come to expect at Citi Field now, that the news will start bad, get worse and by the end drain the last vestiges of hope from even diehard fans. Before last night's game, Ike Davis told reporters he has no idea when he will be back. In the game, Francisco Rodriguez falls apart, yet moves closer to vesting an option that will be debilitating to the 2012 Mets. After the game, general manager Sandy Alderson makes a surprise visit to the press conference room to announce David Wright is doing so well in his rehab he will unexpectedly have to stay inactive for an additional three weeks.

• Collins tells Mike Sielski of The Wall Street Journal that you have to pick your spots with meetings. When is the proper time? "You feel that sense," Terry Collins said. "When things are going good, there's that energy. All of a sudden when they tie the game up, you walk out to the mound and you take a picture of it and the faces around you, you can see that look: 'Oh, here we go.' That's what I want to stop. … We're not going to have [meetings] often 'cause they'll end up turning you off. They'll get tired of hearing what you have to say."

• Sherman's second column notes it comes down to talent, not manager's tirades. "I am truly aware that my impact on the team is limited," Collins tells Sherman. "I have to keep the clubhouse upbeat and have their backs. But it is about them and I know that."

• Read news stories on Wright being told to be inactive for another three weeks in Newsday, the Post, Record and Star-Ledger.

• In the Mets' last six home losses, they have held a lead in the seventh inning or later. That's a major league record. Read game stories from Friday's 6-3 setback in the Star-Ledger, Newsday, Daily News and Post.

Dillon Gee attempts to go to 6-0 on Saturday night opposite Jair Jurrjens. If he does, he will match Jon Matlack's franchise rookie record to start a season. The Star-Ledger's Jeff Roberts contacted Matlack, who quipped: “Well, that s.o.b., wish him luck.” Matlack, by the way, won the 1972 NL Rookie of the Year Award.

Ike Davis is idle for three more weeks in a boot, and is visiting teammates this weekend before returning to Port St. Lucie. Watch video of him discussing his status here. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Chipper Jones weighs in on the Mets' potentially trading Jose Reyes or Wright. Jones, whose eighth-inning homer started the comeback, tells the Daily News: "David is certainly the cornerstone that you would like to build your organization around. Unfortunately they have two players that are very dynamic on the left side of the infield that you would like to build your team around. That's a very tough decision to make if you can only keep one as an organization. ... I don't know Jose as well, but I do know that when he's at the top of his game, he's the most dynamic leadoff hitter in the game. And he is also a guy that you would want to build your team on top of. It's something that they are going to have to weigh their options. But, off the top of my head, if you are asking me my opinion, I would want to build my team around David Wright."

• Daily News columnist John Harper predicts bright things are in store for Reyes-successor Ruben Tejada. Writes Harper: I think the kid will make an All-Star team or three before he's done.

BIRTHDAYS: Rick Wilkins, who was the final out of the 2000 NLCS, in which the Mets beat the Cardinals in five games, turns 44. He flied out to center field to complete a shutout win for Mike Hampton. Wilkins played five games for the 1998 Mets and had two hits in 15 at-bats. -Mark Simon

One-hit wonders

August, 18, 2010

Getty Images
Shawn Estes (left), Tom Seaver (middle), and R.A. Dickey (right) are among those in Mets history who have flirted with a no-hitter, but had to settle for the next-best thing, a one-hitter.

“A Single in First Spoils No-Hitter” read the New York Times headline on June 23, 1962, the day after Al Jackson pitched the Mets first one-hitter against the Colt 45’s (now known as the Astros), allowing nothing after Joe Amalfitano’s single in the first game of a doubleheader.

That headline writer must have known something was in the fates that deemed that we’d still be talking about how the Mets have never thrown a no-hitter, 48 years later.

R.A. Dickey, pitching tonight against the Astros, was the latest tease—throwing the Mets 35th one-hitter, a Cole Hamels single away from history, against the Phillies last Friday. Mets fans don’t have much to celebrate these days (fans of other teams have celebrated 125 no-hitters since 1962), so it seems worthwhile to enjoy what are the best of the near-bests at this time.

In our attempt to be the “Ulti’met” team historian, we’ve armed ourselves with newspaper reports and internet accounts of all 35 games, supplemented those with a few audio and video tape airings, and studied up on the subject, in an effort to offer the most comprehensive descriptions and accounts possible. Follow along carefully -- there’s a lot to detail.

First we must tell how the Mets would lose the second game of Jackson’s doubleheader, 16-3, and something would happen in that one that hasn’t happened in any game since. The baseball gods must have been laughing as Colts pitcher Jim Golden tripled twice in the rout (Golden was golden; he’d go 5-0 against the 120-loss Mets).

Since 1962 -- Pitcher multi-triple games: 1, Mets no-hitters: 0.

The no-no is still verboten in Metville to this day.

Speaking of pitcher’s hitting, four have been responsible for the only hit of a Mets one-hitter, most recently Hamels last Friday. The first of those moundsmen, Ray Sadecki would later pitch for the Mets. He’d bust Jack Hamilton’s bid with a third-inning 20-foot bunt single along the third base line, perhaps the shortest hit in all the Mets one-hitters.

Ah, the bunt hit, forbidden by the unwritten rules of some from busting no-hitters, but welcomed early in the game when the thought of a no-hitter is not on anyone’s mind, save for obsessive Mets fans like Dirk Lammers, who runs the website, which tracks Mets no-hit bids game-by game, sending alerts via Twitter when an opponent gets the first hit of the game.

Sometimes that doesn't take long. Trot Nixon of the Red Sox got a bunt hit in the first inning on July 15, 2001, the day of Bobby Valentine’s 1,000th major league managerial victory, a combined one-hitter for Glendon Rusch and Armando Benitez.

The lone hit was a push bunt between the mound and first base, one fielded by Lenny Harris, whose throw to covering second basemen Edgardo Alfonzo was late. It’s a history mystery what might have happened had Rusch fielded the ball (he said afterwards he should have), but alas this no-hit bid turned out to be the 22nd one-hitter in team annals.

“I loved Glendon because of the attitude he brought to the park,” Valentine said recently. “I wish he could have pitched for me every day. He was the perfect choice for my 1,000th win.”

Just not perfect enough for a no-hitter.

Nor was Bobby Jones one-hit shutout of the Giants in Game 4 of the 2000 NLDS. Jones’ wife Kristi told Valentine that her husband would pitch “the game of his life” that day. He did, and were it not for a fifth-inning line drive from Jeff Kent that just got over the glove of leaping third baseman Robin Ventura, it could’ve, would’ve, should’ve been a no-hitter.

“I wish Robin was 7-foot-4, so he could have caught it,” Jones said a few years later. “But he saved me many a time.”

Joe Morgan, announcing the game for ESPN said after Jones got the final out : “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game pitched this well, other than a perfect game.”

Others might beg to differ.

The Mets pitcher to come closest to a perfect game was Tom Seaver, whose bid lasted 8 1/3 innings on July 9, 1969, broken by a clean single to center from Cubs centerfielder Jimmy Qualls. When Qualls reached first base, who was there to greet him but Cubs coach Joey Amalfitano -- the same guy who had the only hit in Al Jackson's one-hitter in 1962.

Seaver would describe Qualls in his post-game press conference as “a sticky little hitter.” That also seems an apt name for David Eckstein, who had the only hit in the first of two Steve Trachsel one-hitters as a Met, this one featuring the fewest strikeouts (one) against the Angels in 2003.

Trachsel's other Mets close call was broken up by someone with the fewest career hits of anyone to have the only hit in a Mets one-hitter: Rockies starter Chun-hui Tsao (the first of two career hits) in the sixth inning of a game in 2003.

Seaver’s five one-hitters are the most in Mets history. His second was a 15-strikeout effort against the Phillies on May 15, 1970 that scores highest in Bill James Game Score metric (a 98) of any of the 198 games Seaver won as a Met.

It was the second time in a month that the Phillies fell victim to a 15 strikeout one-hitter, part of a two-year streak in which the Mets shut them out five times in a row (the 2010 squad would be envious). Nolan Ryan had the other, his best performance as a Met prior to being traded, beating future Hall of Famer (and past perfect-game vs the Mets-tosser) Jim Bunning.

It was also the second time in three days that the Mets came that close to a no-hitter. Gary Gentry pitched a one-hitter against the Cubs two days prior.

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks lined an eighth-inning single to left field, which may have been caught by left fielder Dave Marshall had wet grass not caused him to slip in his initial pursuit.

“I thought it would be caught,” Banks, who’d hit his 500th homer the day before, told the media after the game, but Marshall was only able to nick the ball with his glove before it dropped in.

THAT one was close. So was Dwight Gooden’s against the Cubs at Shea on September 7, 1984. Gooden had told Valentine, then the club’s third base coach, that he’d no-hit the Cubs someday. Had third baseman Ray Knight been able to get Keith Moreland’s slow roller in the fifth inning out of his glove, he might’ve kept Gooden’s bid intact. Instead, there was no grip, no throw, and no no-no.

The glory days passed Gooden by, but for the Mets one-hitter, the best of times were the early 1970s, with the team netting eight of the 80 thrown in the majors from 1970 to 1974, and the 2000s, in which they had at least one one-hitter from 2000 to 2008.

Seaver and Gary Gentry each tossed one against the world-champion Pirates in 1971, the latter broken up by Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente’s sixth-inning triple. Seaver would throw another vs the Padres on July 4, 1972. Leron Lee, father of Derrek, snapped that one with San Diego's only hit with one out in the ninth inning.

Seaver also had the Mets longest no-hit bid, against the Cubs in 1975 (halted by a Joe Wallis single with two outs in the ninth) but that doesn’t make the list because the game would go extra-innings and the Mets would lose 1-0, the victims of four hits and a game-ending bases-loaded walk.

The last of Seaver's Mets one-hitters came against the Cubs on April 17, 1977. In the fifth inning, Mets catcher John Stearns thought Seaver had Cubs third baseman Steve Ontiveros struck out, but umpire Andy Olsen called the pitch a ball. On 3-2, Ontiveros hit a bloop to right field, for which Ed Kranepool dove, but missed by inches.

Seaver would get his no-hitter on June 16, 1978 -- a year and a day after being traded to the Reds. And we should note that in his last appearance for the Mets, he allowed no hits -- albeit in one inning pitched on the next-to-last day of the 1983 season.

Was one of Seaver’s games the best Mets-pitched one-hitter?

The combo from John Maine (7 2/3 innings), Willie Collazo and Carlos Muniz against the Marlins on September 29, 2007 (the day before Tom Glavine gakked up the season), featured 14 strikeouts from Maine, and only a dink infield hit from Marlins catcher Paul Hoover. That one makes the most reasonable case among the most recent efforts.

Dickey's wasn't even the best this season. Jonathon Niese joined Seaver with the only one-baserunner, one-hitter earlier in the year against the Padres.

Niese and Dickey both make the list of unlikely one-hitter throwers, joining submariner Terry Leach, who threw a 10-inning one-hitter against the Phillies (ex-Mets coach Luis Aguayo had the only hit) in his second major league start on October 1, 1982, and not-so-well-liked Aaron Heilman, whose no-no attempt against the 2005 Marlins was broken up by an infield hit by current not-so-liked Met, Luis Castillo.


We break up this story on one-hitters to tell you that:

• The most Mets wins without a one-hitter: Jerry Koosman, 140

• The Mets have one-hit a soon-to-be World Series champ three times. We mentioned the two against the 1971 Pirates. The other -- a Jae Seo, David Weathers, Armando Benitez team effort against the 2003 Marlins, just before the beginning of a run in which the Marlins went 57-33 and won the wild card.

• Seven times, more than one pitcher has been required to complete a Mets one hitter. Current Mets analyst Ron Darling and Jesse Orosco paired on the first of those-- against the Pirates on April 17, 1985. The Mets enlisted the assistance of first baseman Keith Hernandez in that one-- his ninth-inning sac fly brought in the winning run.

• The Padres, who also have never thrown a no-hitter, have 24 one-hitters, including four against the Mets (one in each of four straight seasons from 1991 to 1994). The face of the Padres franchise, Tony Gwynn was the final out of a no-hitter by the Braves in 1991, but avoided any dubious distinction with a fourth-inning double, the only hit in a David Cone one-hitter for the Mets in 1988.

• This isn't the only thing the Mets haven't done. What's more likely to come first: A Mets no-hitter, or a Mets hitter homering three times in a game AT HOME? Neither has ever happened.


Seaver and Ryan are the two Mets who have pitched a one-hitter who are in the Hall of Fame, likely to be joined eventually by Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez, who gets partial credit for lasting four innings in a one-hitter against the Rockies on July 12, 2008 (four relievers finished the deal).

We’ll give an honorable mention to Shawn Estes, recently inducted into the Giants Wall of Fame. Estes threw a one-hitter for the Mets against the Brewers on April 26, 2002, beating the last Met to combine on one, Glendon Rusch, 1-0.

This bid was broken up by future ESPN baseball analyst Eric Young’s seventh-inning single. That’s not surprising given that Young hit .417 against Estes in the 36 at-bats in which they went head-to-head, though Estes got the last laugh by getting Young for the game’s final out.

Estes couldn’t win enough (his four wins as a Met are fewest among the one-hitter tossers), and the Mets don’t always win one-hitters. They’re 33-2 when they throw one, losing most recently to the Astros in 2006.

Cone and Jeff Innis lost their combined one-hitter to the Cardinals on September 14, 1991, but Cone would come back with a winning one-hitter against St. Louis in his next start (the only hit being a Felix Jose double to the warning track in left-center in the eighth inning).

“I wanted to treat these fans to something special,” Cone told reporters afterwards.

Those 1991 Mets would tease fans by throwing three one-hitters in an 11-day span near season's end (Pete Schourek had the other against the Expos, broken up by current White Sox GM Ken Williams), but couldn’t save the job of their skipper, Bud Harrelson, who would be fired a little more than a week later.

Harrelson held the Mets record for most one-hitters played in (of at least nine innings), with eight, until this year, when Jose Reyes surpassed him. Reyes also played in two rain-shortened one-hitters (by Glavine and John Maine) in 2007.

Reyes should remember the previously mentioned Trachsel one-hitter against the Angels well—it came the same day as his first big league grand slam.

That's a better memory than Mets legend Darryl Strawberry has of the one-hitter thrown against the Phillies by Sid Fernandez and Roger McDowell on May 11, 1985.

Strawberry tore ligaments in his thumb, preserving a then no-no with a third inning catch of a Juan Samuel fly ball, an injury that cost him 43 games, and may have made the difference in the Mets failing to beat out the Cardinals in the NL East race.

Strawberry came back from injury to help the Mets to the World Series title the next season. Jon Matlack came back from injury (a fractured skull suffered by being hit with a line drive) to nearly do so in 1973 (the Mets lost the World Series in seven games). But in lieu of a World Series, Matlack, who remembered throwing eight no-hitters in high school, threw one-hitters in both 1973 and 1974.

Matlack now works as the Tigers roving pitching instructor. Earlier this year, he tutored Armando Galarraga, not long before Galarraga threw his "imperfect game" against the Indians, so he can relate to what the Mets are going through in more ways than one.

"I think it's just bad luck," Matlack said, when asked for a former player's perspective on why we're celebrating Mets one-hitters instead of no-hitters. "The fates that go into it ... The baseball gods just haven't smiled on the Mets yet."

Maybe tonight.

10 things to know: Niese's one-hitter

June, 10, 2010
A major cap-tip to for its assistance in this compilation.

1- Jonathon Niese's one-hitter marked the 23rd time a Mets pitcher has thrown a regular season complete game one-hitter of nine innings or more. The Mets also had one in Game 4 of the 2000 NLDS against the Giants from Bobby Jones.

2- Of those 23, only two other Mets pitchers threw accomplished the feat without allowing either a hit batsman or a walk -- Tom Seaver against the Cubs in 1969 (his near-perfect game of 8 1/3 innings) and Steve Trachsel against the Rockies.

Niese and Seaver are the only pitchers in Mets history to throw a one-baserunner one-hitter (Trachsel's game also included a Mets error).

3- Technically speaking, it was the 34th one-hitter (complete game or combined) in Mets history (including the Jones' effort in the postseason). But that list includes two losses in which the Mets pitched only eight innings, and two wins in which the Mets pitched fewer than nine innings.

4- This was Niese's 18th major league game pitched. That's the fewest games pitched by any Met to throw a complete game one-hitter (nine innings or more). Aaron Heilman held the previous mark, getting a one-hitter in his 21st game, against the Marlins in 2005.

5- Since the Mets came into existence in 1962, Niese is one of only six pitchers to throw a complete game (nine innings or more), yielding one baserunner of fewer, within the first 18 games of his career.

Incredibly, the most recent was by Mat Latos, who got the win for the Padres in the first game of the doubleheader. He pitched a one-hitter against the Giants on May 13th in his 17th big league game.

6- Niese is the sixth Mets pitcher, age 23 or younger to throw a complete game one-hitter. The youngest on the list was 19-year-old Dwight Gooden (1984 vs Cubs). Others on the list: Pete Schourek, Jon Matlack, Gary Gentry, and Nolan Ryan.

7- By the Bill James metric, Game Score (which measures starts based on innings, runs allowed, hits allowed, strikeouts and walks), Niese finished with a game score of 91.

It marked the 40th time that a Mets starter pitched to a game score of 91 or better in a regular season game, the first since Tom Glavine scored a 92 with a two-hit, 11-strikeout shutout in 2005.

8- Of a much more trivial nature: Niese drew two walks, marking the 39th time in Mets history that a pitcher had a multi-walk game (the team record is three, shared by Jay Hook in 1962 and Jon Matlack in 1975.

9- This was the third time in Mets history that they pitched a one-hitter against the Padres. The others were by Seaver in 1972 (a no-hitter broken up in the ninth inning) and David Cone in 1988.

10- Chris Denorfia, who had the Padres only hit, was born in Bristol, Connecticut, the home of ESPN.

Mark Simon is a researcher for Baseball Tonight. Follow him on Twitter at @msimonespn or e-mail him at



Daniel Murphy
.295 8 42 62
HRL. Duda 19
RBIL. Duda 60
RD. Murphy 62
OPSL. Duda .864
WB. Colon 10
ERAJ. Niese 3.23
SOZ. Wheeler 125