Maybe the Mets will have better luck when they face two teams this week that they have not seen so far in 2010 as they visit the Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Mets won two out of three in their visit to the Lone Star State last season back on July 24th through 26th, 2009. The Mets lost all but one of their remaining nine road series the rest of the way and failed to win consecutive games away from Citi Field again in ’09 after taking the final two contests that weekend in Houston.
Overall, the Mets are 16 and 17 at Minute Maid Park, the Astros home since the 2000 season. The Mets lost three of the four games against the Pirates at PNC Park in 2009, losing all three contests of what was a scheduled four-game series in June before salvaging the make-up game of a rainout a month later. The Mets are just 13 and 15 in Pittsburgh since the Pirates moved from Three Rivers Stadium following the 2000 season.
The Mets begin this week’s road trip with a 15 and 35 record against N.L. opponents away from Citi Field. The Astros will come to Flushing on next week’s homestand while the Pirates will play a four-game series in New York in September,
Three of the Mets last four wins have been by 1-0 scores, including one in which Jeff Francoeur’s solo homer accounted for the game’s lone run. It was the 25th time in club history the Mets won a 1-0 game which was decided by a home run.
The only other such Mets’ 1-0 win over the Phils came back on April 30th, 1968, when Ron Swoboda’s 2nd inning homer against Chris Short was the difference in a 1-0 victory at Shea Stadium. The Mets have not had a 1-0 win on a home run at Citi Field, the last home victory of this kind came on April 26th, 2002, on Jay Payton’s 2nd inning homer off of ex-Met Glendon Rusch.
The only two walk-off homers in 1-0 wins in Mets history both ended 14-inning marathons. Tommie Agee’s which spoiled a Juan Marichal masterpiece August 16th, 1969 at Shea and Dave Kingman’s blast off of future Mets pitching coach Charlie Hough on June 17th, 1976.
The Mets have lost 22, 1-0 games which were decided by a home run. The last time it happened was in Pittsburgh on September 19th, 2004 when the Pirates Humberto Cota connected against Aaron Heilman in the 3rd inning for the game’s only run. The Mets have never lost a 1-0 game on a walk-off home run.
Only one opponent, Cesar Cedeno, has accounted for two career 1-0 wins with a home run. Cedeno beat Tom Seaver and the Mets 1-0 at Shea with a first inning solo shot back on July 17th, 1976 while with the Astros and did the same against Jesse Orosco in the top of the 10th in a 1-0 Cardinals win 11 years later in September of 1985.
Reliever Manny Acosta gave up three runs without retiring a batter in last Wednesday night’s loss to Colorado. The Mets bullpen has had four other outings this season (two apiece from Raul Valdes and Bobby Parnell) in which relief pitchers surrendered three or more runs and did not get a batter out. In their history, the Mets have now had 18 instances (seven since 2008) in which a reliever has allowed at least four runs without recording an out.
Here are three worst of those efforts; games in which a Mets relief pitcher gave up five runs and did not get an opposing batter out:
• Tom Gorman 9/21/83 at St. Louis–3 hits, 2 walks, 5 runs in 9-3 loss.
• Mel Rojas 7/1/98 at Toronto–3 hits, 1 walk, 1 hit batter & a home run, 5 runs in 15-10 loss.
• Francisco Rodriguez 8/7/09 at San Diego–2 hits, 3 walks & a grand slam, 5 runs in 6-2 loss.
In that same loss to the Rockies, Colorado pitchers struck out seven consecutive Mets batters. That tied a dubious Mets record for most hitters striking out in a row, which had occurred two previous times:
August 23rd, 1970 Reds at Mets:
Ray Washburn – 5th inning: Seaver
Don Gullett - 6th inning: Harrelson, Garrett, Jones – 7th inning: Singleton, Clendenon, Swoboda
October 3rd, 1972 Mets at Expos:
Steve Renko - 1st inning Milner – 2nd inning: Kranepool, Schneck, Dyer – 3rd inning: Hahn, Martinez, Seaver
Don Gullett got the win in relief of Ray Washburn in that 1970 game, retiring all 12 Mets batters he faced and striking out eight. Steve Renko took the loss in the 1972 contest and his seven straight strikeouts were his only seven K’s in six innings of work. Tom Seaver, the only batter to fan in both of those strings of strikeouts, was the losing pitcher in the 1970 game and the winner in that 1972 contest.
Schwei’s Runs, Hts and Errors:
Runs: Mets Starters. Pelfrey, Niese, Santana, Dickey and Misch combine for an ERA of 1.00 on homestand, yet Mets go just 3 and 3.
Hits: R.A. Dickey. Knuckleballer allows just one hit in 1-0 win over Phillies, the 34th regular season one-hitter in Mets’ history.
Errors: Errors. The Mets commit three of them in 4-0 loss to Phils, 2nd time this month and 3rd time this season they have made three or more in one game.