Hope is the best of things – June 11

Mets split DH with Padres

Yesterday was a rare occasion where each team dominated in a very similar fashion. In the first game, Mat Latos handcuffed the Mets, as did Luke Gregerson, Mike Adams and Heath Bell, as they retired the final 22 Mets to come to bat.  Those are the types of games where most fans cry about their team not trying.  This was not the case yesterday.  As much as I asked myself “Who are these guys” that seem to grow on the Padres bullpen tree, I quickly found out after looking up their numbers.

As shocked as I was the see the names and the ERAs of the pitchers on the Padres, these guys can throw.  Latos has NASTY stuff, and who really knows where Gregerson or Adams came from, but combined they have allowed just 13 ER in 60.2 IP this season (1.92 ERA) while holding opponents to a .133 BA.  They also have not allowed a run in their last combined 22.2 IP.

Pitchers like Luke Gregerson are the reason the Padres are 9 games over .500 this season.

Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams – Combined Stats in 2010

Games         57

W-L             2-2

ERA             1.92

Opp. BA      .133

K/BB           71/11

After Henry Blanco went deep in the second inning to give the Mets a 2-0 lead, the Mets didn’t have another player reach base.  Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other team, and these pitchers on the Padres deserved it in Game 1.

Game 2 was a very different story.  Jon Niese took the mound for the Mets looking for his second straight victory.  What he gave the Mets almost mirrored the output of the Padres from the 2nd inning on in Game 1.  Niese allowed just one runner to reach base (Chris Denorfia) who led off the 3rd inning with a opposite-field double.  From there on out, Niese faced 21 batters and retired them all.

Niese joined Tom Seaver and Steve Trachsel as the only Mets to throw CG shutouts allowing just one baserunner.

Overall it was probably the most effective Mets performance I have ever seen from a Mets starter.  The start was just Niese’s 18th in his career.  Thanks to good friend and ESPN researcher Mark Simon, he helped put Niese’s accomplishment in perspective.

Niese became just the just the 8th pitcher in baseball history to throw a shutout where only ONE player reached base.  Niese became just the 2nd Met pitcher to throw a SHO where 1 player reached base (joining Tom Seaver in 1969).  Amazingly, Game 1 starter Mat Latos accomplished this same feat less than a month ago. Overall, it was the 23rd time during the regular season a Mets pitcher has thrown a complete game one-hitter of nine innings or more (Bobby Jones threw a one-hitter in the 2000 NLDS).

Pitchers to throw CG of 9+ IP – First 18 games

Allowed 0 or 1 base runner – MLB history

2010 Jon Niese                NYM-18th start

2010 Mat Latos                   SD -17th start

2008 Hiroki Kuroda         LAD -16th start

1986  Jimmy Jones              SD -1st start

1970  Vida Blue                 OAK -16th start>

1966  Woody Fryman        PIT -17th start

1958  Von McDaniel           STL -9th start

1922  Charlie Robertson  CHW -5th start>>

> No-hitter

>> Perfect game

(Special thanks to Mark Simon and Baseball-Reference for their help on this.  For a deeper perspective on Niese’s accomplishment, see Mark’s article on ESPN.com http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/4574/10-things-to-know-nieses-one-hitter)

Vida Blue threw a no-hitter in just his 16th major league start.

For the series with the Padres the Mets hit a combined .196 with 7 runs scored.  I kept wondering how the Padres could be 10 games over .500.  Now I know that they are because they have great pitchers who no one knows.   Jason Bay had by far the worst series for Mets hitters, going 0-9 with ZERO RBI and ZERO runs scored.  In his last 9 games Bay is hitting just .189 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored.

Jason Bay – Last 9 games

H-AB       7-37

BA            .189

HR               0>

Runs            1

RBI              1

BA RISP   .100 (1-10)

>Has not homered in his last 58 AB (3rd longest streak this season)

Jason Bay acknowledged to the press yesterday that he has really struggled this season.

Mets travel to Baltimore to take on the Orioles

Tonight, the Mets travel to Camden Yards to face the team with the majors worst record in the Baltimore Orioles.  This will be the Mets 2nd straight season playing at Camden and the 6th time since interleague play started in 1997.  Overall the Mets are 8-6 in 14 games played there.

Mets W-L at Camden Yards

2009         1-2

2001         2-1

1999          2-1

1998          1-1

1997          1-2

Overall this will be the 7th time that they have faced the Orioles as the Mets have won 13 of the 22 all-time regular season matchups between these two teams (don’t forget the Mets won the 1969 World Series vs the Orioles in 5 games).   Hopefully Jason Bay will be able to regain some of his offensive touch as he has historically done well at Camden Yards.

Jason Bay – Career at Camden Yards

Games            13

H-AB             16-51

BA                  .314

HR                     5

RBI                  10

Runs                13

R.A. Dickey takes his perfect 3-0 record as Met out there against Jeremy Guthrie whom the Mets beat last season in there only win against the Orioles.  This will be the Mets first visit to an AL park this season.  They also travel to Cleveland and the Bronx to face the Yankees.  Historically, the Mets have not done well playing on the road against the AL, as they have had just 2 seasons of winning records since inter-league play began in 1997.  Overall they are 44-63 (.411) on the road in inter-league play.

R.A. Dickey will look to improve to 4-0 tonight as the Mets take on the Orioles.

Mets W-L on road vs American League opponents

2009       4-5

2008       5-1

2007        2-4

2006        3-6

2005        3-6

2004        2-7

2003        4-5

2002        3-6

2001        4-5

2000        4-5

1999         5-4

1998         4-4

1997         1-5

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About Mark Kelly - CKMagicSports

Sports Historian that is well versed at the four major sports first, then College Hoops, Football, Olympics, Tennis, Golf and NASCAR. Former ESPN Researcher in Bristol, CT. After a 10-year career working in everything from SportsCenter to ESPNNEWS to Cold Pizza. Had to retire due to complications from Cancer treatment. I am a now 25-year survivor that still suffers everyday from the side effects of chemotherapy & radiation. Suffer from Crohn's disease and Lymphedema everyday and started a website called CKMagicSports.com that I do podcasts on that you can help support by clicking on KNOCKOUTCANCER link on my CKMagicSports website. https://www.gofundme.com/KOCANCER Read more about my 25-year battle with the disgusting side effects of this disease here. http://www.ckmagicsports.com/marks-story/
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