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Schwei: Mets’ Justin Turner Is Turning Heads

Justin Turner (credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Justin Turner (credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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By John Schweibacher
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Justin Turner has become an unexpected hero for the Mets, especially with David Wright going on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his lower back.

Turner’s RBI single against the Yankees Saturday night gave him his 7th straight game with an RBI, breaking the Mets franchise rookie record set by Ron Swoboda in 1965. Swododa drove in a run in both ends of a doubleheader August 22nd of that season at Shea against the Cardinals and drove in one run in each of the next four games in a four-game home series with the Dodgers. Warren Spahn and Frank Linzy of the Giants ended Swoboda’s RBI streak the following game, in what was the next-to-last career win for Spahn.

Turner also had two hits and at least one RBI in three consecutive games from 5/15 through 5/18, tying a Mets rookie record. Six other Mets rookies had at least two hits and one RBI in three consecutive games:

Rod Kanehl in 1962, Benny Ayala in 1974, Hubie Brooks in 1980 and 1981, Edgardo Alfonzo in 1995, Alex Ochoa in 1996 and Ike Davis in 2010.

Dillon Gee beat the Nationals, 1-0, last week and held them hitless until Livan Hernandez singled with two outs in the sixth inning.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the longest no-hit bid by a Mets rookie since August 16th, 1999, when Octavio Dotel kept the Padres hitless through the first six innings of a game in San Diego. Dotel walked the first two batters in the seventh inning and then gave up a three-run homer to Phil Nevin. Gee was also the first Mets rookie starter to win a 1-0 game since May 30th, 1996, when Paul Wilson beat the Giants at Shea Stadium.

Bill Pulsipher (8/16/95 vs. Montreal), Bobby Jones (6/15/94 vs. Philadelphia) and Ron Darling (7/6/84 vs. Cincinnati) were the last three pitchers prior to win a 1-0 game at home for the Mets as rookies.

The Mets return to National League play this week as they visit the Cubs at Wrigley Field and return home to host the Philadelphia Phillies.

This will be the first meeting between the Mets and Cubs this season.

The Cubs took two of three from the Mets in their lone visit to the Windy City last September after the Mets took three of four in their series at Citi Field in April. The Mets have not won a road series at Wrigley since 2007.

The Phillies took two of three in both of their series against the Mets so far in 2011, but this weekend’s set will be the first played between the two teams at Citi Field. The Mets won five of the nine contests vs. the Phils in Flushing last year.

Ryan Howard drove in six runs in the Phillies 10-3 win over the Mets back on April 29th in Philadelphia. It was the 5th time a Philies hitter knocked in six or more runs in a game against the Mets and the first in nearly 26 years.

Here is a list of the Phillies who have driven in six or more runs in game vs. the Mets:

· Ryan Howard 4/29/11 6 RBI 10-3 @PHI
· Von Hayes 6/11/85 6 RBI 26-7 @PHI
· Mike Schmidt 4/22/80 6 RBI 14-8 @PHI
· Deron Johnson 6/20/71 6 RBI 9-7 @NYM
· Dick Allen 9/28/68 7 RBI 10-3 @NYM

Jose Reyes begins the week tied with the Cubs Starlin Castro for the N.L. lead in hits with 62. Credit SNY for this list; the most hits by a Met through the first 45 games of a season:

· Derek Bell 63 2000
· Lance Johnson 63 1996
· Jose Reyes 62 2011
· Carlos Beltran 62 2009
· Keith Hernandez 61 1986

Chin-lung Hu was outrighted to Buffalo by the Mets last week. Hu had just one base hit in his 20 at bats this season, so for now, his .050 batting average ranks as one of the lowest in club history for any position player who had at least 10 career at bats for the Mets:

· Bart Shirley 0/12 .000
· Rich Puig 0/10 .000
· Joe Nolan 0/10 .000
· Sandy Alomar, Sr 0/22 .000
· Chin-lung Hu 1/20 .050
· Tito Navarro 1/17 .059
· Rick Parker 1/16 .063
· Terry Blocker 1/15 .067
· Don Zimmer 4/52 .077

Schwei’s Runs, Hits and Errors:

Runs: Pedro Beato. Allows first earned runs of career in Sunday’s loss to the Yankees but his 18 & 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run broke Mets record held by Jack DiLauro who went 17 & 2/3 before allowing any earned runs at beginning of a Mets career.

Hits: 1st things 1st: Mets have outscored their opponents 27-14 in the 1st inning this season.

Errors: Josh Thole. Mets catcher has gone just 1-for-25 over his last nine games.