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Schwei: Mets Looking For Lucky Number 12

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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By John Schweibacher
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The Mets will have the 12th selection in the 2012 MLB First-Year Draft which takes place next Monday.

New York has picked 12th once before in club history, in 2003 when they chose Lastings Milledge. Milledge, who is now playing in Japan, appeared in 437 games in the majors, 115 with the Mets.

Here is a look at some of the more successful 12th overall draft selections in the 46-year history the June Draft ranked in order of games played:

Position Players

Kirk Gibson DET 1978:  1,635    255 HR*s
Delino DeShields MTL: 1987: 1,615
Nomar Garciaparra BOS 1994: 1434  .313 avg
Jeff Reed MIN 1980: 1,234
Doug Glanville CHI: 1991: 1,115

Pitchers

Billy Wagner HOU 1993: 854  422 Saves
John Curtis CLV 1966: 445
Brett Myers PHI 1999: 325
Matt Morris STL 1995: 309 121 Wins
Bobby Seay CHX 1996: 261

Other recent 12th picks include; Jay Bruce (Cincinnati 2005), Jered Weaver and Joe Saunders (Anaheim 2004 and 2002).

The Mets’ longest homestand of the season continues this week with visits from the Philadelphia Phillies and defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mets have gone 5 and 1 against the Phils so far this season, with all six meetings having taken place in Philadelphia. The Phillies took five of the nine games against the Mets at Citi Field last season and hold a slim 14-13 edge in Flushing at the new ballpark since it opened in 2009.

The Mets face the Cardinals for the first time in 2012 this weekend. It will also be the first time they face St. Louis with Carlos Beltran in the Cards’ lineup and without, for the first time in a long time, Albert Pujols.

Beltran has not appeared in a game against the Mets since 2004, when he played for both Kansas City and Houston. Beltran did not face the Mets last season after being traded to San Francisco. In his nine games against the Mets in 2002 and 2004, Beltran went just 4-for-24 with one home run (against the left-handed Bobby Jones) and one RBI.

Albert Pujols appeared in all but one of the 72 regular season and seven post-season games the Mets and Cardinals played since his rookie season of 2001. Pujols hit .311 with 21 homers and 63 RBI’s in 280 regular season at bats against the Mets while with St. Louis and 7-for-22 with one home run and one run batted in during the 2006 NLCS. The last time the Mets faced the Cardinals without Pujols on the St. Louis roster was during the 2000 NLCS when Will Clark was the Cards first baseman.

With Mike Matheny taking over as St. Louis’ manager, this will also be the first time since 1995 that the Mets face a Cardinals team led by someone other than Tony La Russa.

Joe Torre and interim manager Mike Jorgensen were the St. Louis skippers the season before La Russa took over in 1996. The two seasons prior to La Russa were the last back-to-back below .500 years for the Cardinals. Prior to 1994 and 1995, St. Louis last pair of consecutive losing seasons were 1958 and 1959.

The Mets took two of three from the eventual World Series winners last season and are 8 and 4 all-time against St. Louis at Citi Field.

R.A. Dickey struck out 11 batters without issuing a walk in the Mets’ 3-2 win at Pittsburgh last Tuesday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the knuckleballer, following in the footsteps of Dwight Gooden, Sid Fernandez, and David Cone, became only the second Mets pitcher in this century to strike out more than 10 batters in one game without allowing a walk. The other was Chris Capuano, who did it last season.

Here is a list of career 11 strikeout/no walks games by Mets pitchers:

•Tom Seaver 8*
•Dwight Gooden 3
•Sid Fernandez 3
•Jerry Koosman 2
•Ray Sadecki 1
•Jon Matlack 1
•David Cone 1
•Bret Saberhagen 1
•Rick Reed 1
•Chris Capuano 1
•R.A. Dickey 1

*-Seaver’s total includes one 11 K/0 BB post-season game.

Runs: Zero Turnaround. After allowing 12 runs in their first 10 innings against San Diego, Mets pitchers combine for 26 shutout innings vs. Padres.

Hits: Mike Nickeas. First career grand slam is Mets’ first bases-loaded homer this season. Jason Bay hit last Mets slam back on 9/8/2011.

Errors: Andres Torres. Mets CF begins week in 3-for-40 slump and is now hitting .195 for the season.