By John Schweibacher
» More Columns
Jason Bay had his best week as a New York Met, going 8-for-22 (.364) in six games, ending the longest grand slam drought in club history as well as finishing off the Subway Series on a high-note for the Mets.
The Mets hit two grand slams Tuesday night in their win over the Tigers snapping a drought of 299 games without a bases-loaded homer, the longest such streak in team history.
Jason Bay’s bases-loaded home run was the Mets first since August 1st, 2009 when Angel Pagan cleared the bases with a homer against the Diamondbacks at Citi Field.
Carlos Beltran connected with a grand slam of his own an inning later. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one other team in major-league history ended a drought of at least 250 games without a slam by hitting two homers with the bases loaded. Brooklyn ended a drought of 263 games without a slam by hitting two at Cincinnati on September 23, 1901.
The two grand slam game was the second in Mets history. On July 16th, 2006, Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltran both connected with three men aboard in an 11-run, 6th inning in a 13-7 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
The Mets “slamwatch” lasted three games longer than the club’s previous record drought–a 296 game stretch from July 4th, 1978 through June 11th, 1980. Lee Mazzilli connected with the bases full in the opener of a holiday twi-night doubleheader vs. the Phillies’ Larry Christensen at Shea Stadium and that would be the Mets last grand slam until nearly two seasons later when Mike Jorgensen homered with bases loaded at Shea against the Dodgers’ Rick Sutcliffe.
The Mets also had a 270 game grand slam drought from August 30th, 2006 through June 27th, 2008. David Wright hit the Mets club record 10th and final grand slam of the ’06 season in Colorado that next to last day of August. The Mets would not hit another slam until late June of ’08 when Carlos Delgado went deep with the bases loaded in the team’s last-ever visit to the old Yankee Stadium as part of his Mets record nine RBI performance.
Jose Reyes finished June with 45 hits, 29 runs scored, seven triples and 11 stolen bases in 26 games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no other major-league player had reached all four of those levels in one month in almost 100 years, since Ty Cobb accumulated 68 hits, 33 runs, eight triples and 15 steals in 30 games in July 1912. Cobb hit .535 that month.
Elias also says that Reyes’ 4-for-4 performance last Tuesday in Detroit, with a triple and a stolen base, gave the Mets shortstop 98 triples and 360 stolen bases in 1,000 career major-league games. The only other player in major-league history with that many triples and stolen bases in his first 1000 career games was also Ty Cobb, who had 106 triples and 291 steals when he played his 1000th game, in 1912.
Last Tuesday night, while the Mets were beating the Tigers in Detroit, 14-3, the Yankees clobbered the Brewers in the Bronx, 12-2. It’s only the fourth time that both the Mets and Yankees each won by at least 10 runs on the same day. The last time it happened was July 27, 1985: the Mets beat the Astros 16-4 in the first game of a doubleheader at Shea Stadium while the Yankees won in Texas, 14-2, against rookie manager Bobby Valentine’s Rangers.
Also from Elias; the Mets 16-9 win against the Tigers last Wednesday was only the second game in major-league history in which a team hit no home runs and gave up at least five homers, but won the game by a margin of at least seven runs. On September 1, 1953, the Dodgers defeated the Cardinals, 12-5, in Brooklyn, in a game in which the Cardinals hit five homers (including one by Stan Musial), all off Dodgers lefty Preacher Roe, and the Dodgers hit none. The Mets’ negative-five home run differential tied the major-league record for a winning team and the 16 runs were the most without the benefit of a home run in any game in franchise history.
The Mets finish off the first half of the season with a seven-game road trip against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. The Mets lost three of four in both L.A. and S.F. in their visits there last season during a disastrous 2 and 9 western swing following the all-star break.
The Mets 52-run outburst during their last road trip set a club mark for runs scored over a four-game span. The Mets scored at least eight runs in each of the four games, matching the best such streak in club history. Three of the previous four Mets teams to score eight or more in four consecutive games made the postseason (1969, 2000 and 2006). The only one that did not were the 1998 Mets, who were eliminated on the final day of the regular season.
Schwei’s Runs, Hits and Errors:
Runs: All-Stars. Jose Reyes selected to his 4th midsummer classic and Carlos Beltran his 6th overall and 5th with the Mets.
Hits: Triple Crown. Mets hit 15 triples in June, breaking the club record for most triples in a calendar month, previously set in July 1979.
Errors: Automatic Outs. R.A. Dickey’s 3rd inning single Sunday vs. Yankees was just the 2nd hit in the last 80 at bats by a Mets pitcher.