New York Mets: R.A. Dickey

R.A. Dickey a Nets fan?

October, 16, 2012
10/16/12
7:01
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It looks like the Nets have a big fan in Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

On Tuesday, Dickey tweeted that he’s “hopeful” for the Nets this season and added that point guard Deron Williams is “looking good.”

I wonder if Dickey, a leading candidate to capture the NL Cy Young award following his 20-win campaign, will be found sitting courtside at the Barclays Center this season.

The series in Metrics (Mets vs. Pirates)

September, 28, 2012
9/28/12
10:02
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The Mets closed out the home portion of their schedule in a positive way, taking three of four from the Pirates.

The Mets' time at Citi Field began well (four straight wins) and ended well (six wins in seven games). But in between, they were 26-44 in their home ballpark.

Let's try to stay positive and look at the highlights of the final series. There will be plenty of time for post-mortems. We wrote about R.A. Dickey here. Here's a look at the rest of the series.

The record is in the Wright hands
David Wright broke Ed Kranepool's all-time Mets hits record and had a terrific series, going 7-for-15 with two home runs and seven RBI.

For a thorough history of the Mets' hit record, I encourage you to read this piece from a friend of the blog, Ed Leyro (also known as Studious Metsimus).

What's the next record that Wright will break?

He has six games left this season to break the Mets' mark for sacrifice flies. He and Kranepool stand deadlocked at 58. Wright's last sacrifice fly was Aug. 28 against the Phillies.

Don't feel too bad for Kranepool. He still holds the Mets' records for games played (1,853, nearly 600 more than Wright), at-bats (5.436), singles (1,050) and grounded-into double-plays (138).

Be like Ike ... or not
Where will Ike Davis' 30-homer season rank among the 30-homer seasons in Mets history?

Consider this: Of the 29 seasons in which a Met has hit 30 home runs, Davis will likely finish with the second-worst batting average, third-worst on-base percentage and second-worst slugging percentage among them. Dave Kingman had the worst batting (.204) and slugging (.432) numbers in 1982 and the worst on-base percentage (.284) in 1975.

Hefner reverses course
Jeremy Hefner followed a start of seven runs allowed without recording an out by throwing seven scoreless innings in a win against the Pirates.

The last starter to allow seven runs or more without retiring a batter and then won in his next appearance (with that appearance being a start) was Bobby Jones for the Mets in 1997 (lost to the Braves, beat the Marlins).

The last pitcher to throw at least seven scoreless innings in a start following one in which he allowed seven runs in no innings was Ed Halicki for the 1976 Giants. Halicki is better known for having done something else in his career: pitching a no-hitter against the Mets.

Another four-hit game for Tejada
Ruben Tejada had his fourth four-hit game of the season in Wednesday's win. That matches the number of four-hit games Jose Reyes had last season. It is one shy of the club record for four-hit games by a shortstop. Frank Taveras had five in 1980. Reyes had five in 2005 and 2006.

Giving credit where it is due
Pirates right fielder Travis Snider made one of the best catches of the season with his climb-onto-the-fence-and-hang-on grab of Mike Baxter's home run bid on Thursday.

The video-reviewers from Baseball Info Solutions tell us that that is the first definitive home-run robbery in Citi Field history.

One more on R.A. Dickey
We did have one fun note left over on Dickey from his win Thursday. Dickey improved to 13-1 in day games.

The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that that's the best record in day games for a pitcher with that many decisions since ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe went 13-1 for the Cubs/Indians in 1984.

Dickey eyes No. 20 in Citi finale

September, 26, 2012
9/26/12
6:13
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R.A. DickeyJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesR.A. Dickey admits personal milestones are "bittersweet" in a losing season, but he'd like to give Mets fans something to cheer for on Thursday.
It will be extra sweet for R.A. Dickey if he's able to win his 20th game in front of the home crowd Thursday.

"I really hope for that," Dickey said. "That's one of the reasons I moved my start in the first place was to try to share a milestone such as that with the fans here. It would mean quite something. It may mean the most of things for me in this moment."

Dickey will get his first crack at 20 wins when the Mets face the Pirates in their home finale in a matinee game Thursday at Citi Field. Dickey also is lined up to start in the final series in Miami, giving him two chances to try to become the team's first 20-game winner in 22 years.

"I think there's obviously some energy that will be built into it just because of the nature of things but I don't feel like it's any additional pressure," Dickey said. "I'm just going to go out there and compete hard."

As Dickey has chased 20 wins, as well as the Cy Young Award, he and the team changed up his schedule to give him an extra start at home that could allow him to notch his 20th win at Citi Field. After he defeated Miami on Saturday for his 19th win, it set the stage for Thursday's start. Dickey opposes Pittsburgh's Kevin Correia at 1:10 p.m. ET.

Dickey is currently 19-6 with a National League-best 2.66 ERA. He is second in the NL with 209 strikeouts, and leads the NL in complete games, shutouts and innings pitched. He has 25 quality starts this season.

If Dickey can beat the Pirates, he'll be the team's first 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1990.

"Obviously there's something that looks pretty about that number," Dickey said. "So I'm not going to pretend that it's not nice. My whole mentality is geared around how can I be consistent, so I'm going to go out there and try to put up a quality start, just like I always do, and hopefully it will equal a win."

Just like third baseman David Wright, who will become the team's all-time hits leader with his next hit, Dickey acknowledges the team's struggles in the second half will make any personal accomplishment "bittersweet." The Mets will miss the postseason for the sixth straight year despite Dickey's amazing season.

"Regardless of how well it finishes for me personally, it will be somewhat bittersweet in the sense that we didn't do as a team what we set out to do," Dickey said. "Of course, you have to try to hold on to the positives when you can, and I'm so happy for David and for any player in here that hits a milestone or a goal he set for himself. There's that, too. You got to hold them both."

He added: "I would trade it for a playoff [spot]."

The series in Metrics: Mets vs. Marlins

September, 24, 2012
9/24/12
11:14
AM ET
Those who forgot what a series sweep looked like got one at the hands of the Miami Marlins, a team whose struggles may actually exceed those of the Mets.
The Mets have now won a franchise-record seven straight games against the Marlins.

The previous mark of six was set spanning the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

Let's take a look at some of the highlight from a rare positive series for the Mets.

One more for Really Awesome
R.A. Dickey’s win gave him 19, the most by a Met since Frank Viola won 20 and Dwight Gooden won 19 in 1990.

Dickey now ranks 14th all-time on the Mets single-season strikeout list with his 209 whiffs.

Dickey improved to 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA against the Marlins this season. Only one pitcher in Mets history has gone 5-0 in the regular-season against an opponent: Dwight Gooden was 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA against the Cubs in 1985.

Dickey will have a chance to go to 6-0 when he faces the Marlins in the final series of the season. No Mets pitcher has ever won six games against an opponent in the same season.

Dickey’s eight starts of at least eight innings and two or fewer runs allowed are tied for the most in the NL with Clayton Kershaw. Justin Verlander leads the majors with 13. Dickey is tied for the major-league lead in quality starts. He and Yovani Gallardo each have 25.

Dickey improved to 12-1 in day games with the win. Should he finish with that mark, it would be the best in the majors since Matt Morris went 12-1 in day games for the 2001 Cardinals.

Dickey’s next start is a daytime start against the Pirates. If he won that, he’d be the first pitcher to finish a season 13-1 or better in day games since Whitey Ford for the 1961 Yankees.


How did Dickey get it done?

The Marlins went 1-for-8 against what our pitch-tracking system labels “middle-middle pitches” (in other words, those in the middle-third of the strike zone, height-wise and width-wise).

Opponents are hitting .238 on "middle-middle" pitches this season, third-lowest among pitchers who are qualified for the ERA title. The major-league average on such pitches is .333

Niesely done
Jonathon Niese won his career-best 12th game on Friday. Niese has run off seven straight quality starts, during which time he is 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA.

The key pitch in this stretch for Niese has been his curveball, which has netted him 43 outs (an average of six outs per game) and yielded only four hits (all singles) and three walks in this span.

Prior to this stretch, Niese averaged four outs per game with his curve, and had an out-to-hit ratio of about three outs for every baserunner yielded with the pitch.

Wright guy on the mound for David
David Wright's home run against Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco gave him 25 hits, six home runs and 17 RBI against the Marlins righty. The hit and homer totals were already Wright's best against any pitcher, and the 17 RBI became his best against any pitcher, surpassing his 16 against Jamie Moyer.

Wright needs three hits to catch Ed Kranepool for the all-time Mets hit record (1,418) and one home run for his sixth season with at least 20 home runs. That would tie Mike Piazza for second most, two behind Darryl Strawberry.

Short stuff
Ruben Tejada's walk-off hit on Sunday was the first by a Mets shortstop since Jose Reyes had one against the Astros in 2005. Coincidentally, Reyes' had his first walk-off hit since then earlier in the week.

Wright on record chase: 'Bittersweet'

September, 23, 2012
9/23/12
5:42
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The final few home games at Citi have the potential to give the fans something to remember.

After going 1-for-4 with a home run on Sunday, third baseman David Wright stands just four hits away from breaking Ed Kranepool's franchise record of 1,418 hits. Meanwhile R.A. Dickey will try to become the team's first 20-game winner in 22 years when he faces Pittsburgh in the home finale Thursday.

To Wright, though, it's hard to get caught up in a personal milestone while the team struggles.

"I think R.A. would agree with me but it's tough to pat yourself on the back and enjoy these individual accolades when the team has struggled the way we have in the second half," Wright said on Sunday. "It's extremely bittersweet and difficult to enjoy, no question. Ultimately, you go out there for one reason and that's to win and we haven't able to do that in the second half. I'll be able to enjoy the personal accomplishments after I'm done playing, not while playing because I don't think that's the way that I'm programmed. It's tough to be satisfied with what you do individually when the team has struggled the way we have."

Wright currently has 1,415 hits after recording his 19th homer and notching his 84th RBI against the Marlins on Sunday. He's got 10 games left this season, four of which are at home, to become the new flag-bearer for the team.

"It's always fun to get hits whether you're closing in on some sort of milestone or not," Wright said. "You try to go up there and get hits every at-bat. Obviously it's special to me, but hits are fun, regardless of the situation."

Mets manager Terry Collins hopes to see Wright set the mark in Flushing.

"I hope David gets his hits here in the next few days so he breaks that record at home because I think he's such a big figure with our team and such a big figure in this city that it would be nice to have him break that record in front of our home fans," Collins said.

The series in 'Met'rics (Mets vs. Phillies)

September, 21, 2012
9/21/12
1:11
AM ET
Harvey Deserved Better
Matt Harvey allowed one hit in seven innings, but got a no-decision in the Mets' loss Wednesday night.

Of the last 100 times that a team had its starting pitcher go at least seven innings and give up one hit or fewer, the team with that pitcher won 92 of those games.

Seven different teams combined to lose those eight games. Of course, the Mets are the only one in that group with multiple defeats. They wasted a Chris Young seven-inning, one-hit effort against the Nationals last season.

Howard’s End
Ryan Howard’s go-ahead home run with the Mets one out away from a win on Wednesday brought back some bad memories for Mets fans.

It marked the first time the Mets lost a home game in which they gave up a go-ahead (or perhaps better-put: fall-behind) home run, one out from victory, since Aug. 20, 1989, when unlikely power threat Willie Randolph hit one off Don Aase, with the Mets leading the Dodgers 3-1 with two outs in the ninth inning.

That game is best remembered as one of the most notable defeats that led to that team’s failure to win the NL East.

This is the fifth time the Mets allowed a lead-producing home run, one out from a home win. The other three were by Curt Flood (1966 Cardinals), Jose Cardenal (1978 Phillies), and Derrel Thomas (1978 Padres).

Really Awesome in a Loss
R.A. Dickey posted the 23rd season of 200 strikeouts in Mets history, the 11th of 200 strikeouts and 18 wins.

Of those 11, Tom Seaver has six and Dwight Gooden has two. Jerry Koosman and David Cone have one each.

Dickey is currently averaging 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Only two Mets have whiffed that high a rate, won at least 18 games, and struck out at least 200 batters in a season: Seaver (1970, 1971) and Gooden (1985).

The 37-year-old Dickey is the oldest Met to strike out at least 200 batters in a season, surpassing Al Leiter, who was 34 when he did so in 2000.

With 205 strikeouts, Dickey needs 28 to climb into the Top 10 for a single season in Mets history (David Cone’s 233 in 1990 rank 10th).

Guest Metrics of the Series
My colleague John Fisher, a Phillies fan, generated an impressive Dickey list.

Dickey is just the 11th pitcher in major league history to strike out 200 batters in at least his age-37 season (37 as of June 30 of that season, per Baseball-Reference.com definition).

Of the six who are eligible, five are in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the other four will receive strong consideration when they finally appear on the ballot.

• Regular reader Eric Hornick, a statistician for New York Islanders telecasts, chimed in with this one:

The Mets struck out 15 times on Wednesday night. It's the fifth time this year they've struck out at least 15 times in a nine-inning game.

In the first 50 years of Mets history, there were only 14 instances in which 15 Mets struck out in a nine-inning game.

The Mets are the second team to strike out at least 15 times in a nine-inning game five times in the Live Ball Era.

The other is the Pirates, who have done so six times this season.

Hornick and my fellow researcher Ryan Feldman also chimed in with nuggets on Jeremy Hefner's Thursday misery.

Hefner was the first Mets starting pitcher to allow at least six earned runs without getting an out in Mets history, and the first to allow six hits without getting an out.

Elias Sports Bureau added that it was the first time the Mets ever allowed eight runs in the first inning of a home game.

It came on a day that the Mets suffered their second-worst home loss in franchise history (16-1), trailing only a 16-0 loss to the Braves in 1999.

The series in Metrics (Mets at Cardinals)

September, 5, 2012
9/05/12
5:59
PM ET
Really Awesome in the daytime
The Elias Sports Bureau noted that R.A. Dickey improved to 11-1 in day games this season. His win on Wednesday gave him 10 straight daytime wins, breaking the team mark of nine set by David Cone in 1988.


Dickey's 11 daytime wins are tied with Dwight Gooden (1985) for third-most in Mets history. Tom Seaver (13 in 1972 and 12 in 1975) is the only Mets pitcher with more.

Dickey's 18 wins are the most by a Mets pitcher since Frank Viola won 20 and Dwight Gooden won 19 in 1990

Be Like Ike Ike Davis hit a three-run home run on Wednesday, his 19th road home run of the season. His next home run would make him the eighth player in Mets history to hit 20 home runs on the road in a single season, the first since Carlos Beltran in 2007.

Davis would be the third Mets hitter to hit at least 20 home runs on the road as a left-handed batter in a single season. Beltran, a switch-hitter, had 22 in 2006 and Carlos Delgado had 20 also in 2006. Darryl Strawberry’s high for road home runs in a season was 19 in 1987.

Davis has seven three-run homers this season, most by a Met since Todd Hundley hit nine for them in 1996.

Wright of Way
Adam Wainwright’s home run against Dickey on Wednesday made him the 100th batter and first pitcher to hit a home run against Dickey.

Wainwright is the first pitcher to homer against the Mets since Tommy Milone, then of the Nationals, did so last season.

He’s the first Cardinals pitcher to hit a home run against the Mets since Jeff Suppan in the 2006 NLCS, the first in the regular season since Suppan in 2005.

The Mets had lost nine of the past 10 games in which the opposing pitcher homered. They are 2-7 in regular season games in which a Cardinals pitcher homered. The only other win came against Bob Gibson in 1969.

Single Occurrence
The Mets had nine singles and no-extra base hits in Tuesday’s loss. The last time the Mets had at least nine hits, but no extra-base hits against the Cardinals was in the 20-inning game in St. Louis, April 17, 2010 (also started by Jaime Garcia).

The last time the Mets had nine hits or more, all singles, in a nine-inning game against the Cardinals was June 20, 1983 (five days after the Mets received Keith Hernandez in trade), in a 3-1 loss.

With a cap-tip to Gary Cohen and Bob Waterman of the Elias Sports Bureau for inspiration, we can tell you that this was the first Mets game in which each team singled at least nine times without an extra-base hit since Sept. 7, 1986, when the Mets (14) and Padres (10) combined for 24 singles and no extra-base hits in a 6-5 Mets win.

The Mets had three other games in which that has happened -- in 1971 against the Cardinals (each team had nine), the Dodgers in 1974, and the Padres in 1978.

All in the Familia
Our obscure note of the week: Jeurys Familia is the fifth relief pitcher in Mets history to get a strikeout and a ground-ball double play in his major league debut. Josh Stinson was the previous one, doing so last season.

The series in Metrics (Mets at Marlins)

September, 2, 2012
9/02/12
7:04
PM ET
R.A. Dickey has been tough to hit all season.

We review a rare and unusual sweep for the Mets, with much help from our friends at Baseball-Reference.com.

Rah-Rah for R.A.
With his win on Friday night, Dickey became the first Mets pitcher to beat the Marlins four times in a season. He’s the fifth pitcher from any team to beat the Marlins four times in a season joining Tom Glavine (2002), Greg Maddux (2002), Jamie Moyer (2007 and 2008) and Roy Halladay (2010).

Dickey became only the second Mets pitcher to throw a shutout against the Marlins in Florida. The other is Pat Misch in 2009. Misch had the last shutout against the Marlins. The last one by a right-hander was Aaron Heilman’s one-hitter against them in 2005.

Dickey became the third Mets pitcher to throw complete games in consecutive starts against the Marlins joining Bret Saberhagen and Dwight Gooden, who both did so in 1993.

Dickey’s five complete games are the most by a Met since Gooden had seven in 1993. His three shutouts are the most by a Mets pitcher since David Cone had five in 1992.

Shop Around
Kelly Shoppach’s go-ahead hit in Saturday’s win marked the first time that a Met had a go-ahead hit in a “Bases loaded, two outs, down by a run with two outs in the ninth inning” scenario since Carlos Beltran’s go-ahead grand slam against Kevin Gregg and the Marlins on August 29, 2008.

The Mets have had a dozen hits in such situations, beginning with a go-ahead triple by Wayne Garrett off ex-Mets closer Tug McGraw and the Phillies in 1976.

Among the most notable were Kevin McReynolds' go-ahead grand slam vs Rich Gossage in 1988 and game-winning walk-off singles by John Olerud and Matt Franco against Curt Schilling and Mariano Rivera within a two-month stretch in 1999.

Shoppach only had one go-ahead hit in the ninth inning in his career prior to this—a walk-off homer against the Athletics in 2007.

It was the 14th go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later by a Mets player this season, the most since the team had 14 in 2007.

Shoppach was fortunate to bat in the ninth inning at all. Andres Torres, who batted prior to Shoppach, walked on a 3-2 pitch. Two of the balls during the at-bat were pitches deemed right on the edge of the strike zone by the Pitch F/X system in all 30 ballparks, including a 2-2 pitch that would have been a game-ending strike three.

This also marked the 20th time in Mets history that the team won a game in which the opposing starter went at least eight innings, allowing one run or fewer and three hits or fewer (as Josh Johnson did).

The last such win came in 2002 against the Brewers, a 1-0 triumph over former Met Glendon Rusch.

The Mets are now 20-215 all-time in such games, and snapped a 24-game losing streak in them.

A Happy Day of Play for Jason Bay
Jason Bay’s 25th home run as a Met was his third grand slam with them (he hit two in 2011). It was his fifth career grand slam, with each of the last four coming off a left-handed pitcher.

It was the first grand slam by a Met against the Marlins in Florida since the Beltran home run we mentioned in 2008. It was the fourth first-inning grand slam hit by the Mets in Florida. That matches the most that they have against a team- they also have four versus the Giants.

Bay became the fourth Mets player with multiple grand slams in the first inning for the team. The others are Rusty Staub, David Wright, and Darryl Strawberry, with two each.

The series in 'Met'rics (Mets vs. Astros)

August, 26, 2012
8/26/12
11:44
PM ET
Getty Images/Mike StobeDavid Wright and Ike Davis were the Mets; big homer hitters this weekend.

Be like Ike
Ike Davis' second career walk-off home run snapped a six-series home losing streak for the Mets, and the Elias Sports Bureau noted it saved the Mets from their longest home-series losing streak since 1993.

It was the first Mets walk-off homer since Angel Pagan hit one against the Cardinals last July 20.

My Stats & Information colleague Doug Kern went to work and quickly found that Ed Charles (May 20, 1968 vs. Pittsburgh) was the only previous player in Mets history to hit two home runs in a 2-1 win (his second was also a walk-off).

Elias noted that he's the only player in Mets history to hit more than one homer, account for all of his team's runs with those homers, and hit a walk-off homer in the same game.

Two others (Ed Kranepool and Cliff Floyd) hit two solo home runs in 2-0 Mets wins.

Davis hit both home runs on Sunday on pitches in the lower half of the strike zone. He has 15 home runs against lower-half pitches this season, well ahead of the next-best Mets: David Wright (8) and Jordany Valdespin (6).

Wright kind of numbers
On Friday, Wright became the 306th player in major-league history to hit 200 career home runs, and the 177th right-handed hitter. He’s the 116th player to hit 200 home runs within the first nine seasons of his major league career.

To put Wright in more exclusive company -- he’s the fifth player with 200 home runs, 800 RBIs and 150 steals in his first nine major-league seasons, joining Willie Mays, Darryl Strawberry, Alex Rodriguez, and Jeff Bagwell.

This was an unusual home run for Wright in that it came against a pitch that was located in the upper-third of the strike zone, over the outer-third of the plate. Wright hadn’t had an upper-third, outer-third homer since Sept. 21, 2010 against the Marlins in Florida.

Sweet 16 for R.A.
Dickey is the first Mets pitcher with 16 wins in a season since Johan Santana, the first Mets righty since Steve Trachsel won 16 in 2003. The only Mets righties with at least 16 wins in a season in the last 20 years are Dickey, Trachsel, and Rick Reed (16 in 1998).

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Dickey became the first Mets pitcher to win at least 16 of his first 20 decisions since David Cone in 1988 (17). Dwight Gooden (17, 1985) and Bob Ojeda (16, 1986) are the only other two Mets pitchers to do that.

It was an unusual way for Dickey to win, as he didn't dominate the areas of the strike zone that he usually does, as noted in the chart on the right.

This was Dickey’s 14th start of the season in which he pitched at least seven innings and allowed one run or fewer. That’s the most by a Met since Frank Viola (14 in 1990), and the most by a Mets righty since Gooden set the team record (18 in 1985).

Dickey was efficient in his seven innings, with his fourth-lowest pitches-per-plate appearance of the season (3.31) and his lowest foul-ball rate (27 percent, well below his season average of 37 percent). His 16 pitches thrown with two strikes were a season low.

Dickey also had a key hit, an infield dribbler, to drive in the Mets' first run. Dickey has proven to be a tough out at the plate this season. He’s missed on 13.7 percent of his swings (about one of every 7.5), second-best among pitchers to Barry Zito’s 13.4 percent.

Dickey likes pitches, like this one, that are on the outer-third of the plate or further away. Six of his 10 hits have come on pitches to that area.

Ridiculous stat of the series
Frank Francisco got his 21st save and lowered his ERA to 6.11. Francisco is going to almost certainly finish the season with the highest ERA among Mets relievers with at least 20 saves in a season. The current mark is 4.16 by Roger McDowell in 1987.

The series in 'Met'rics (Mets at Reds)

August, 16, 2012
8/16/12
10:58
PM ET
AP Photo/David KohlMatt Harvey had his best start in Wednesday's win.
For the third straight series, the Mets lost the first two games, than closed with a win. We look at the statistical highs and lows with the help of Baseball-Reference.com and other tools.

Harvey looks like an ace
Matt Harvey’s eight strikeouts gave him 34 in the first five games of his career.


The only Met with more through his first five appearances is Dwight Gooden with 36 in 1984. Bill Pulsipher slides down to third-most with 33.

Harvey also contributed with the bat, driving in two runs with a long double.

He’s the third Mets pitcher with a multi-RBI game within the first five games of his career, joining Julio Valera (1990) and Brian Bannister (2006).

The Bruce is Loose
Jay Bruce beat Josh Edgin and the Mets with his fourth career walk-off home run. Three of his walk-off home runs have come against current Mets pitchers, with the other two who allowed them being Manny Acosta with the Braves and Tim Byrdak with the Astros (a homer that clinched the NL Central for the 2010 Reds).

The Mets have allowed 13 walk-off home runs to the Reds, the second-most they’ve allowed to any team. They’ve allowed 16 to the Phillies.

This was the third time in Mets history that they lost when a walk-off homer broke a scoreless tie. The other two instances were against the Marlins (Derrek Lee) in 2000 and Brewers (Corey Hart) in 2010.

Young made viewers age
Chris Young had one of the worst good outings in Mets history, allowing eight hits and four walks, but no runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Prior to Tuesday, 343 starting pitchers had allowed at least 12 baserunners in a game this season. Every one of them gave up at least one run. He was the first Mets pitcher with a 12-baserunner, no-runs start since Bobby Jones against the Braves in 1996.

The last starting pitcher to allow at least 12 baserunners but no runs against the Reds was a former Met, broadcaster Bob Ojeda, for the 1992 Dodgers. The last before him: another former Met and current broadcaster, Orel Hershiser, for the 1989 Dodgers.

The Reds left 14 men on base through the first seven innings of Monday’s win without scoring a run. Elias noted that they were the first team to leave that many men on base without scoring in the first seven innings since the Senators against the Tigers in 1969.

The Thole Story
The Elias Sports Bureau noted that in Tuesday's loss, Josh Thole became the first catcher in Mets history to have three passed balls in one game.

Complete Effort
Mike Leake’s complete game was the first by a Reds pitcher against the Mets in Cincinnati since Bill Gullickson on July 4, 1987, the first against them in Cincinnati that featured four baserunners or fewer since Mario Soto threw one in 1982.

Tooting the Statistical ‘Horn’
New York Islanders TV statistician Eric Hornick chimed in with these terrific nuggets on R.A. Dickey’s loss on Wednesday.

He’s the third Mets pitcher with a nine-strikeout, three-homer game, with the other two thrown by Tom Seaver (1972) and Sid Fernandez (1992) and the first Mets pitcher with a nine-strikeout, 10-hits allowed game since Bobby Jones in 1995.

In another note (running through the teams with the most baserunners in a 1-0 win), Eric also came up with what should be this blog post’s philosophy: “As I've always said, 'if you can't be good, be historical.'"

The series in 'Met'rics (Mets vs. Marlins)

August, 9, 2012
8/09/12
6:11
PM ET
AP Photo/Peter MorganR.A. Dickey (shown from earlier this season) keeps reaching new statistical heights.
Hip, Hip, R.A.
R.A. Dickey finished with 10 strikeouts and no walks in Thursday afternoon’s complete game.

He has three starts this season with 10 strikeouts or more and no walks. That matches the single-season franchise mark shared by Tom Seaver and Jon Matlack.

Dickey had his sixth double-digit strikeout game of the season, the most by a Mets pitcher since David Cone had eight in 1992.

Shortstop Watch
Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 26 games with hits in the first two games of the series. That sets the mark for the longest hitting streak by a player after leaving the Mets.

The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that Jeff Kent previously held the “record” with a 25-game hitting streak for the 2004 Astros.

Reyes’ shortstop counterpart, Ruben Tejada, now has a 14-game hitting streak.

Both of Tejada’s hits on Wednesday were with two strikes. Tejada is 7-for-his-last-15 with three walks in the past 18 plate appearances in which he’s had a two-strike count.

Tejada’s two-strike on-base percentage this season is .342, which as of this afternoon ranked eighth-best in the majors.

Torres’ Near-Cycle
Center fielder Andres Torres had a double, triple and home run in Thursday’s win.

He became the fifth player in Mets history to finish a single shy of the cycle.

Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com, we can tell you that the others are Joe Christopher (1964), Ron Swoboda (1967), Darryl Strawberry (1987) and Gregg Jefferies (twice in 1988, once in 1989).

Yuck!
The 13-0 loss to the Marlins on Wednesday was the second-worst home shutout loss in Mets history. The only larger one was a 16-0 drubbing by the Braves on July 2, 1999.

It was tied for the fourth-largest shutout loss in Mets history, the largest since a 15-0 loss to the Yankees in 2009. It also gave the Mets nine straight home losses for the first time since 2004.

Amazingly, this wasn’t the worst home shutout loss of the day. The Cardinals lost to the Giants, 15-0.

The Elias Sports Bureau reports that it is only the second time in major-league history that there were two shutouts in which the winning team scored at least 13 runs on the same day.

The only other time that happened was on June 9, 1915 (White Sox, 13-0 over Yankees; Tigers 15-0 over Red Sox).

The Mets left 10 men on base in the 13-0 defeat. This was the second time in Mets history that they left at least 10 men on base in a game they lost by double figures.

The other instance was a 10-0 loss to the Cardinals in the second game of a doubleheader on August 18, 1962. The 2012 game was the Mets ninth straight home loss. That 1962 game was their ninth straight loss overall.

Lastly, Nate Eovaldi beat the Mets, despite finishing with two strikeouts and six walks. The last pitcher to beat the Mets with two or fewer whiffs and six or more walks: the amazingly named Beltran Perez (no relation to Carlos or Oliver) of the 2006 Nationals.

The only other pitcher to do so and allow no runs as well -- Mets-killer Larry Jackson for the 1963 Cubs.

Ridiculous Metric of the Week: This Olson has a twin
Garrett Olson joined Bob Shaw of the 1966 Mets as the only two pitchers to make their debut for the team by coming on in relief and allowing at least four runs in one-third of an inning or less.

R.A. Dickey joins 'The Herd'

August, 8, 2012
8/08/12
5:49
PM ET
R.A. Dickey was a guest on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" on Wednesday, talking about why he decided to focus on throwing knuckleballs back in 2005, how he prepares to pitch, his success, and more.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

The series in Metrics (Mets at Padres)

August, 6, 2012
8/06/12
10:30
AM ET
Stat of the Series
On Saturday, Mike Baxter tied an NL record and became the first Met to draw five walks in a nine-inning game, and the second to draw five walks in any game. (Vince Coleman did so against the Pirates in 1992.)

Baxter is the first player to draw five walks in a nine-inning game since a Yankee -- Mark Teixeira against the Red Sox in 2009 -- and the first to draw five unintentional walks in a nine-inning game since Ivan Rodriguez against the Mets for the 2003 Marlins.

Baxter, a native of Whitestone, N.Y., drew five walks in a game in his 75th career game. Via Baseball-Reference.com, we can glean that only three other players have had five walks in a nine-inning game that early in their careers. The last was Brooklyn, N.Y., native Jim Norris for the 1977 Indians (73rd game).

The Mets have issued five walks in a nine-inning game three times -- to Elrod Hendricks (1972 Cubs), Dale Murphy (1983 Braves) and Ivan Rodriguez (2003 Marlins).

What’s also unusual about Baxter drawing five walks is that he’s not someone who is a major offensive force at this stage of his career.

Unless he goes on to become a particularly good player, he’ll be the first player who had a five-walks-in-nine-innings game to finish his career with fewer than 200 home runs since Brett Butler (who drew five walks in a game for the 1990 Giants).

Murphy's record chase
Also on Saturday, second baseman Daniel Murphy had his fifth game this season with at least four hits.

That’s tied for the second-most in a season in Mets history with Tommie Agee (1970), Frank Taveras (1980), and Jose Reyes (2005 and 2006).

The club record is seven, set by Keith Hernandez in 1985.

Still R.A.-diculous
In Friday’s loss, R.A. Dickey recorded his seventh game of the season with at least nine strikeouts, a total that matches Stephen Strasburg for most in the National League.

Prior to this game, a nine-strikeout effort from Dickey was an automatic win -- but not in this game, in which he allowed three runs, two earned.

In fact, Dickey allowed more runs in this game (three) than in the other six games in which he struck out at least nine batters (two runs).

Gray ‘Matt’er
Matt Harvey got away from what had been working best for him in his outing against the Padres on Sunday.

In his first two starts, Harvey’s best location was working in the upper-third of the strike zone and above with his fastball, particularly against left-handed hitters. It netted him 12 outs and seven strikeouts in those first two games, neutralizing the edge that a lefty would have against a right-handed pitcher.

Based on Harvey’s first two starts, you would have expected 34 of Harvey’s 67 pitches to be in that upper-third-and-above area to lefties, but instead he only threw 19 there.

His other 48 pitches got rapped pretty hard, with the 31 in the lower-third of the strike zone or below yielding three hits, including the home run to Chase Headley.

Harvey had only allowed one baserunner on his previous 51 pitches that were lower-third or below in his first two starts.

The series in Metrics (Mets at Nats)

July, 19, 2012
7/19/12
5:38
PM ET
AP Photo/Carolyn KasterDavid Wright came through when the Mets needed him most.
With the help of Baseball-Reference.com and other tools, a closer look at the Mets series with the Nationals.

Wright Stuff

David Wright led the Mets to a series-finale win with home runs in his first two at-bats on Thursday, after homering in the ninth inning on Wednesday.

Wright moved past Carlos Beltran into second place on the Mets' all-time multi-homer game list. Darryl Strawberry is the club leader with 22, four more than Wright's 18.

As Adam Rubin noted, it marked the second time that Wright homered in three straight at-bats. He last did so in 2007, all against the Yankees.

This was the fourth straight season that Wright had a two-homer, five-RBI game. He’s the first player in club history with that sort of streak.

Wright’s four such games are tied with Carlos Delgado for third-most in Mets history. Dave Kingman (6) and Todd Hundley (5) had more.

Wright passed Carlos Beltran into second place on the Mets' all-time multi-homer game list. Darryl Strawberry leads with 22.

Wright recorded his 30th double of the season in Wednesday’s loss. He reached the 30-double mark in the team’s 91st game, the quickest any Mets player has gotten to 30 doubles in a season.

The previous mark was 96 games, set by Beltran last season.

The R.A.-diculous Streak Continues

R.A. Dickey extended his winning streak to 11 games and his unbeaten streak to 16 starts with Wednesday's win.

Dickey ranks third in the former, the full list of which can be seen in the chart on the right.

The latter ranks fourth-best in Mets history, trailing Seaver (1969-70), Gooden (1985), and Johan Santana (2008-09), who each had 18-gamers.

Dickey won on a day where he threw a season-high 29 fastballs, the first time he threw more than 20 in a game in more than two months.

Taken for a ‘Spin

In Tuesday’s loss, Jordany Valdespin became the seventh player in Mets history to hit a go-ahead three-run home run with the Mets trailing by two runs in the ninth inning.

He’s the first since Mike Piazza homered off Billy Wagner in a critical game in the wild card race in September, 1998, one they would end up winning on an extra-inning homer by Todd Hundley.

The full list is in the chart on the right.

Valdespin became the third Mets player to have two go-ahead pinch-hit homers in the ninth inning or later in the same season.

”Marvelous” Marv Throneberry did so in 1962 and Chris Jones matched that in 1995.

As my colleagues in Stats & Information noted: Valdespin is the only hitter in baseball this season with two go-ahead pinch-hit home runs in the ninth inning or later.

One wild ending

The wild pitch by Pedro Beato was the seventh game-ending wild pitch in Mets history. The website UltimateMets.com maintains a database of such games, and you can see the list here.

It was the first walk-off wild pitch by a Met since Fernando Nieve threw one against the Marlins in 2010.

Beato became the first pitcher in Mets history to throw a wild pitch in a game in which he was not credited with a batter faced.

Two pitchers have done so against the Mets -- Kevin Wickander for the 1993 Reds and Brad Clontz for the 1999 Pirates. The latter did that in a famous game in Mets history -- Game 162, which the Mets won to set up a one-game playoff for the wild card spot with the Reds.

Dickey to be guest with Letterman

July, 5, 2012
7/05/12
6:33
PM ET
R.A. Dickey may not start the All-Star Game, but the 37-year-old knuckleballer will appear on “Late Show with David Letterman” next Wednesday, according to two people familiar with his schedule.

This year alone, Dickey has scaled a mountain, written a book and become baseball’s best starting pitcher.

He enters Thursday night's start with a 12-1 record and 2.15 ERA.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
9 4.03 100 134
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .293
HRL. Duda 18
RBIL. Duda 56
RD. Murphy 59
OPSL. Duda .856
ERAJ. Niese 3.23
SOZ. Wheeler 121