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Schwei: It’s Rarely As Easy As 1-2-3 For K-Rod

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Francisco Rodriguez (credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Francisco Rodriguez (credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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By John Schweibacher
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On April 6th, 2009, Francisco Rodriguez made his Mets’ debut and recorded his first National League save with a 1-2-3 9th inning against the Reds in New York’s 2-1 opening day win in Cincinnati. Since then, 1-2-3 innings have not been exactly the norm for the Mets’ closer.

This season, for example, K-Rod has registered nine straight saves since a blowing one in his first outing of the year in Florida back on April 2nd, but until this past Saturday, none of the 13 innings he had started in 2011 had been 1-2-3 frames.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Rodriguez had just 19 1-2-3 innings in 64 opportunities (30 percent) back in 2009 and 21 out of 52 chances (40 percent) in 2010. Coupled with his 1-for-14 attempts at perfect innings this season, K-Rod is 41-for-130 (31 percent) over his Mets career. The Major League average of 1-2-3 innings for relief pitchers is around 40 percent.

San Francisco Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez struck out six and walked six batters in five innings in his loss to the Mets last week at Citi Field. It was only the second time in the last six seasons that an opposing pitcher had at least that many strikeouts and walks in a game against the Mets. Here are the last 10 pitchers with at least six walks and strikeouts vs. the Mets:

Pitcher           Opp.   Date     Inn.  Dec. BB K

Jonathan Sanchez vs SF 5/5/11   5.0   L   6   6
Jair Jurrjens   at ATL 8/30/10 5.2   W   6   8
John Lackey     vs ANA 6/12/05 5.2   ND 6   6
Brandon Backe   vs HOU 6/8/05 6.0   W   6   7
Tim Wakefield   vs BOS 7/12/01 6.0   L   6   6
Ted Lilly       vs NYY 6/17/01 5.1   ND 8   7
Chuck Smith     at FLA 6/2/01 6.0   L   6   6
Randy Wolf       vs PHI 5/28/01 6.0   ND 6   6
Chan Ho Park     at LA 5/29/00 7.0   W   6   6
Randy Wolf       at PHI 4/13/00 7.0   ND 6   7

Chris Young has battled injuries as well as hard-luck this season, already having a pair of starts in which he went seven innings, allowed two hits or less but came away without a decision. Since 1989, only nine other Mets pitchers had such a game. Here are the last 10 Mets pitchers, including Young, who went at least seven innings, gave up two hits or less but settled for a no-decision:

IP H R

Chris Young 5/1/11 at PHI 7.0 2 0
Chris Young 4/10/11 vs WAS 7.0 1 1
Kaz Ishii   4/13/05 vs HOU 7.0 2 0
Tom Glavine 4/16/04 vs PIT 7.0 1 0
Kevin Appier 6/3/01 at FLA 7.0 2 0
Octavio Dotel 8/16/99 at SD 7.0 1 3
Masato Yoshii 7/28/98 vs NYY 7.0 2 1
Armando Reynoso 5/19/97 vs COL 7.1 2 3
Robert Person 8/9/96 at FLA   7.0 2 1
Paul Wilson   7/21/96 vs PIT   8.0 1 1
Jason Isringhausen 7/17/95 at CHI 7.0 2 2

Giants ace Tim Lincecum established a Citi Field record by striking out 12 Mets in his start last week. The 12 K’s were also the most by a Mets opponent in New York since Randy Johnson fanned 14 Mets at Shea Stadium for Arizona back in 2004.

Here are the last 10 12-or-more strikeout performances by visiting pitchers vs. the Mets in New York:

IP K’s
Tim Lincecum   SF 5/4/11 7.0 12
Randy Johnson ARZ 8/15/04 8.1 14
Javier Vazquez MTL 9/18/03 7.0 12
Randy Johnson ARZ 4/27/03 6.0 12
Orlando Hernandez NYY 10/24/00* 7.1 12
Randy Johnson ARZ 5/21/00 6.2 13
John Smoltz   ATL 5/6/98   9.0 12
Pedro Martinez MTL 6/13/97 8.0 12
Denny Neagle   ATL 7/31/96 9.0 12
Hideo Nomo     LA 8/20/95 7.0 13
*-World Series

This week, the Mets will face the Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros as they complete their season series with the two clubs on a six-game road trip.

The Mets were swept by Colorado in their four-game series at Citi Field last month and are just 27 and 44 vs. the Rockies in Denver. The Astros took two of three against the Mets in Flushing in April and hold a 172-106 all-time edge vs. the Mets in Houston in regular season play.

In their history, the Mets have just a .381 winning percentage in the three Houston ballparks (Colt Stadium, the Astrodome and Minute Maid Park) and .380 in the two in Denver (Mile High Stadium and Coors Field).

Schwei’s Runs, Hits and Errors:

Runs: Jose Reyes. Mets SS raised his batting average to .331 after going 11-for-25, with two doubles and four triples on homestand.

Hits: O-fer for Ethier. Mets end L.A. Dodgers hitting streak at 30 games. Ethier’s streak equaled the longest in MLB since Chase Utley’s 35-game streak in 2006, which also came to an end against the Mets.

Errors: Jason Bay and R.A. Dickey. Mets LF has just four hits in his last 31 at bats while the knuckleballer has not won since first start of season.

How will the Mets fare this week? Make your prediction below…

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