Yankees

Schwei: Santana’s Stadium Start And Dickey’s Shutout Streak

Johan Santana (credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images), R.A. Dickey (credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Johan Santana (credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images), R.A. Dickey (credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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By John Schweibacher
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The struggling Mets have dropped six of their last seven games after suffering their first road sweep in the Bronx since 2003.

The Yankees hit four home runs off Johan Santana Friday night in his first start after no-hitting the Cardinals. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that matches the most home runs allowed by a pitcher in his first start after throwing a no-hitter or a perfect game.

Jim “Catfish” Hunter threw a perfect game against the Twins on May 8th, 1968 then allowed four homers in his next start, also against Minnesota, on May 14th. Rod Carew, Tony Oliva and Rich Rollins all hit home runs in a five-run first inning and Bob Allison homered in the 6th but Hunter and the A’s still won the game, 13-8.

Robinson Cano hit two of the four home runs off Johan Santana and both came on the first pitch. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Cano is the fifth player to hit two homers in a game off Santana, but he was the first left-handed batter to do it. The four other players with two homers in a game off Santana are Juan Gonzalez, Frank Thomas, Josh Fields (all while Santana was with Minnesota) and Hunter Pence (vs. Santana with Mets in 2010).

R.A. Dickey became the first nine-game winner in the majors this season with a victory over the Nationals last Thursday afternoon, extending his winning streak to seven straight  decisions, the second-longest in the majors this season; an eight-game win streak by Cole Hamels.

Dickey has won his last three starts without allowing a run. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other pitchers in Mets history to win three consecutive starts without giving up a run were Jerry Koosman in 1973 and Mike Pelfrey in 2010.

Koosman:

Opponent Inn H E ER BB SO
08/24/73 vs. Giants W 10.0 7 0 0 5 5
08/29/73 vs. Padres W 6.2 7 0 0 2 7
09/03/73 vs. Phillies W 9.0 7 0 0 3 4

Pelfrey:

Opponent Inn H E ER BB SO
04/15/10 at Rockies W 7.0 5 0 0 0 6
04/20/10 vs. Cubs W 7.0 3 0 0 3 6
04/25/10 vs. Braves W 5.0 5 0 0 5 3

The Mets road trip concludes with a three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. This will be the Mets first trip to St. Pete since June of 2001 and just their third visit ever to Tropicana Field. New York has gone 3-3 all-time there against the Rays, winning two of three in 1999 and dropping two of the three against Tampa Bay in 2001.

The two clubs last met at Citi Field in 2009 with the Rays taking two of three. The Mets lead the all-time series 8 to 7. Fred McGriff, who appeared in 11 games against the Mets for Tampa Bay, is their all-time leader with three homers and eight runs batted in against New York in interleague play.

The Cincinnati Reds make their second visit of the season to Citi Field this weekend. The Mets and Reds split their two game set in Flushing last month and will meet again for a three-game series in Cincinnati in August.

David Wright’s home run against the Yankees Saturday night moved him one home run shy of tying Howard Johnson for third place on the club’s all-time list with 192.

Mets All-Time Home Run Leaders:

· Darryl Strawberry 252
· Mike Piazza 220
· Howard Johnson 192
· David Wright 191
· Dave Kingman 154

Wright is also one of six different Mets to appear in at least one game at shortstop this season. In 2009, the Mets used eight different shortstops, the most at the position during any season in club history.

2009 Mets Shortstops Games Played:

· Alex Cora 56
· Anderson Hernandez 38
· Jose Reyes 35
· Wilson Valdez 32
· Ramon Martinez 10
· Angel Berroa 8
· Fernando Tatis 2
· Argenis Reyes 1

In 2008, the Mets used just two shortstops, Jose Reyes (158 games) and Damion Easley (8 games), the fewest to play the position during any season in club history.

Schwei’s Runs, Hits and Errors:

Runs: Jon Niese. Lefty had thrown 12 straight shutout innings before allowing two unearned runs in 7th inning in no-decision vs. Yankees.

Hits: Double Days. The Mets begin the week with at least one double in a franchise record 33 straight games dating back to May 7th. The old mark was 30 consecutive games with a double from April 20th through May 22nd, 2001.

Errors: Jon Rauch. Reliever falls to 3 and 6 with losses in three of his last four outings allowing six hits, four runs and two homers in just three innings pitched.

Will the Mets bounce back this week? Be heard in the comments below…