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Schwei: Mets Looking For Better Days In May

(credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)  (credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images) (credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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By John Schweibacher
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The Mets finished the month of April with a record of 11 and 16 (.407), their worst April mark since going 9 and 14 (.391) in April of 2004.

Here are the Mets’ best and worst April records in club history:

Mets’ Best April Records:

·        1986:  13-3  .813  1st in N.L. East
·        1988:  15-6  .714  2nd in N.L. East
·        2006:  16-8  .667  1st in N.L. East
·        1972:    8-4  .667  2nd in N.L. East
·        1985:  12-6  .667  tied 1st N.L. East
·        1976:  13-7  .650  1st   in N.L. East

Mets’ Worst April Records:

·        1964:  2-10  .167  10th in N.L.
·        1962:  3-13  .188  10th in N.L.
·        1981:  4-10-1 .286  5th in N.L. East
·        1963:  7-12  .368  9th in N.L. East
·        1983:  6-11  .353  5th in N.L. East
·        1967:  6-11  .353  9th in N.L.

Ike Davis finished the month of April with five home runs and 20 runs batted in, becoming just the 10th player in Mets history to finish the first month of the season with at least that many homers and RBI’s. Here is a list of the 10 players in Mets history who hit at least five home runs and drove in at least 20 runs before the calendar turned to May:

Mets Player/Season       HR  RBI

·        Ike Davis 2011    5  20
·        Carlos Beltran   2007   6  23
·        Carlos Delgado 2006   9  20
·        Cliff Floyd        2005  6   21
·        Robin Ventura  2000   6   20
·        Todd Hundley   1997   6   20
·        Bernard Gilkey  1996   7  23
·        Todd Hundley   1996    8  21
·        Jeff Kent   1994   8  26
·        Dave Kingman  1976     9   20

Ronny Paulino set a club record with five hits in his first start as a Met in Sunday night’s 2-1, 14-inning win over the Phillies. Paulino did one better than these four players who each collected four hits in their first starts as Mets:

•4/3/06: Xavier Nady 4-for-4 in 3-2 opening day win over Nationals at Shea.
•8/4/02: Ty Wigginton 4-for-5 in 12-7 loss to Arizona at Shea.
•7/19/80: Bill Almon 4-for-6 in 13-3 win at Cincinnati.
•4/5/79: Richie Hebner 4-for-5 in 10-6 opening day win over Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Paulino made his Mets debut Friday night as a pinch-hitter, becoming the 33rd player to appear for the Mets already this season. The 33 players used by the Mets in April were the most in club history. New York used a total of 31 players in April 1962 and in April 2001 and used 30 players in April 2002, 2003 and 2010.

Jose Reyes appeared in his 900th game at shortstop for the Mets last week and this week should move past Rey Ordonez (907) for the second-most games played at short behind Bud Harrelson (1,281). Only eight Mets have played at least 900 games at any one position for the team in club history:

·        Ed Kranepool  1,304  1B
·        Bud Harrelson  1,281  SS
·        Jerry Grote 1,176  C
·        Darryl Strawberry  1,062  RF
·        David Wright 1,025  3B
·        Rey Ordonez  907  SS
·        Mookie Wilson 907 CF
·        Jose Reyes   904   SS

Three of the Mets who have played 900 games at one position have been shortstops. No other spot on the diamond has had even two players appear in that many games for the Mets. Here are the top three players in terms of games played at each position in Mets history:

Catcher:  Jerry Grote 1,176, Mike Piazza 827, Todd Hundley 745.

First base: Ed Kranepool 1,304, Keith Hernandez 854, John Olerud 463.

Second base: Wally Backman 680, Felix Millan 654, Doug Flynn 530.

Shortstop: Bud Harrelson 1,281, Rey Ordonez 907, Jose Reyes 904.

Third base: David Wright 1,025, Howard Johnson 835, Wayne Garrett 709.

Left field: Cleon Jones 794, Kevin McReynolds 758, George Foster 617.

Center field: Mookie Wilson 907, Carlos Beltran 723, Tommie Agee 593.

Right field: Darryl Strawberry 1,062, Rusty Staub 535, Ron Swoboda 435.

{Thanks to the Ultimate Mets Database for its help in compiling these lists.}

This week, the Mets play host to the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets took two of three from the Giants and swept all three games vs. the Dodgers last season at Citi Field.

The Mets have faced a reigning world champion 25 times in their history and in all but three of the seasons since interleague play began back in 1997. Here are the Mets best and worst records against the defending World Series winner in seasons past:

Best Records vs. defending World Series winners:

·        5-2  (.714) vs. St. Louis Cardinals 2007
·        2-1  (.667) vs. Anaheim Angels 2003
·        7-5  (.583) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers 1989
·        7-5  (.583) vs. Cincinnati Reds 1991
·        7-5  (.583) vs. Florida Marlins 1998

Worst Records vs. defending World Series winners:

·        2-10    (.167) vs. Cincinnati Reds 1977
·        3-15-1 (.184) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers 1964
·        4-15     (.215) vs. Florida Marlins 2004
·        5-13     (.277) vs. St. Louis Cardinals 1965
·        2-5       (.286) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks 2002

Schwei’s Runs, Hits and Errors:

Runs:  Chris Young. Lowers ERA to 1.88 with seven shutout innings against Phillies.

Hits:  Ronny Paulino. Sets Mets record with 5 hits in his first start.

Errors:  Slammed again. Ryan Howard’s grand slam vs. Dillon Gee was the 18th straight allowed by the Mets since Angel Pagan hit the last grand slam for the Mets back on August 1st, 2009.