By John Schweibacher
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The Mets conclude their first road trip of 2012 this week with a three-game series against the Braves at Turner Field.

New York took five out of nine against the Braves in Atlanta last season. It was just the third time (6-3 in 2006 and 5-4 in 2007) that the Mets posted a winning record at Turner Field.

David Wright’s two home run game in Atlanta last September gave him the Mets all-time lead for home runs hit at Turner Field:

·       David Wright 14

·       Mike Piazza 13

·       Carlos Beltran 11

·       José Reyes 6

·       Carlos Delgado 5

Wright is still two homers shy of the most by any Mets hitter in Atlanta. This is the leaderboard for home runs hit by the Mets at the Braves previous home; Fulton County Stadium:

·       Darryl Strawberry 16

·       Dave Kingman 12

·       Rusty Staub 7

·       John Milner 7

·       Howard Johnson 7

R.A. Dickey beat Cliff Lee in the Mets’ 5-2 victory last Friday night in Philadelphia. Dickey fanned seven in seven innings, and Bobby Parnell (one in one inning) and Frank Francisco (three in one inning) contributed to the team total of 11 strikeouts.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the fifth straight game in which Mets pitchers have produced a double-digit strikeout total, their longest such streak since they had a six-game run of 10-strikeout games in April of 1990. Mets pitchers had one other string of five consecutive games with 10-or-more strikeouts back in 1970.

Five straight 10-or-more strikeout games (1990):

·       4/15/90  10 Ron Darling (8), Julio Machado (1) Jeff Innis (1)

·       4/16/90  10 Frank Viola (8), Alejandro Pena (2)

·       4/17/90  10 Sid Fernandez (5),  Machado (4) Innis (1)

·       4/18/90  11 David Cone (8), Machado (1) Pena (2)

·       4/19/90  11 Dwight Gooden (7) John Franco (4)

·       4/20/90  12 Darling (7), Bob Ojeda (3) Machado (2)

Six straight 10-or-more strikeout games (1970):

·       9/8/70         10  Gary Gentry (3) Tug McGraw (6) Ron Herbel (1)

·       9/9/70  G1  14  Nolan Ryan (14) Danny Frisella (1)

·       9/9/70  G2  12  Ray Sadecki (12)

·       9/10/70       11  Jerry Koosman (8) Frisella (3)

·       9/11/70       10  Tom Seaver (10)

Last Wednesday, Washington’s Stephen Strasburg and three relievers combined for 15 strikeouts in the Nationals’ 4-0 win over the Mets. The 15 K’s by Mets hitters matched the 5th most in a nine-inning game in club history, done 10 previous times.

Here are the four instances where Mets hitters struck out more than 15 times in a nine-inning game:

·       19   9/15/69  Steve Carlton (19) 4-3 W at St. Louis.

·       18   4/10/05  John Smoltz (15) Roman Colon (1)  Jorge Sosa (2)  6-1 W at Atlanta.

·       17   5/28/82  Nolan Ryan (11)  Mike LaCoss (3)  Dave Smith  (3) 8-3 L vs.  Houston.

·       16  5/4/11 Tim Lincecum (12) Javier Lopez (1)  Sergio Romo (1)  Brian Wilson (2) 2-0 L vs. San Francisco.

Last Wednesday’s game was also just the third in Mets history where the opposition held New York to three or fewer hits and struck out 15-or-more batters.

On September 15th, 1971, Burt Hooton fanned 15 Mets in a three-hit, 3-2 win for the Cubs at Shea Stadium. The other, more famous instance came on June 14th, 1965 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati when the Reds Jim Maloney no-hit the Mets for 10 innings before allowing two 12th inning hits in a 1-0 loss while striking out 18.

The Mets return to Citi Field this weekend for a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants. Last December, the Mets dealt Angel Pagan to the Giants for Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres.

Player swaps between the Mets and Giants have been few and far between over the last 50 years, in fact last year’s deal which sent Carlos Beltran to San Francisco for highly-regarded pitching prospect Zach Wheeler was the first involving players (as opposed to a cash deal) from both teams in almost a decade and just the sixth all-time between the Mets and Giants.

Here are the seven player-for-player swaps between the two teams:

·       Mets traded Jim Gosger and Bob Heise to the San Francisco Giants for Ray Sadecki and Dave Marshall on December 12, 1969.

·       Mets traded Charlie Williams to the San Francisco Giants for Willie Mays on May 11, 1972.

·       Mets traded Bob Gallagher to the San Francisco Giants for Leon Brown on March 16, 1976.

·       Mets traded Rob Katzaroff to the San Francisco Giants for Kevin Bass on August 8, 1992.

·       Mets traded Tsuyoshi Shinjo and Desi Relaford to the San Francisco Giants for Shawn Estes on December 16, 2001.

·       Mets traded Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for Zach Wheeler on July 28, 2011.

·       Mets traded Angel Pagan to the San Francisco Giants for Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres.

No current Mets player has as many as five career homers against the Giants while playing for New York. Here is the Mets’ all-time leaderboard for home runs against the San Francisco Giants:

·       Ron Swoboda 16

·       Darryl Strawberry 14

·       Howard Johnson 14

·       George Foster 11

·       Mike Piazza 11

(Thanks to the Ultimate Mets Database for its help compiling these lists.)

Schwei’s Runs, Hits and Errors:

Runs: Jonathon Niese. Mets lefty allowed five hits over six and 2/3 innings in the Mets’ 5-0 win at Philadelphia Saturday after taking a no-hit bid to the seventh inning in the victory over the Braves in his first start. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, over the last 30 seasons, only one other Mets pitcher started and won each of his first two appearances in a season, shutting out the opposition through six innings in both: Frank Viola in 1990.

Hits: David Wright. Mets third baseman returns despite fractured pinkie and goes 3-for-5 with a home run in 5-0 win over Phillies.

Errors: Offense. Mets have scored just 30 runs in nine games so far in 2012, the third-lowest total in the National League.

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