Mets

Schwei: The Mets And The .500 Mark

Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets stretches before the first pitch of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at CitiField on July 22, 2012. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets stretches before the first pitch of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at CitiField on July 22, 2012. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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By John Schweibacher
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The struggling Mets have lost nine of their last 10 games and have fallen below the .500 mark for the first time in 2012.

It’s the third-latest point in a season in club history in which the Mets have dipped below the .500 level for the first time. There have been five seasons in Mets history in which the club played at or above .500 for the entire year:

•1971  August 14th (58-59)

•1972  Never below .500

•1985  Never below .500

•1991  August 16th (57-58)

•1998  Never below .500

•2006  Never below .500

•2007  Never below .500

•2012  July 22nd (47-48)

The Mets have lost eight of nine since the all-star break continuing a pattern of poor play in recent seasons following the mid-summer classic:

•2012  1-8

•2011  4-6

•2010  2-8

•2009  4-6

•2008  6-4

Jordany Valdespin delivered his fourth pinch-hit home run of the season in Friday night’s loss against the Dodgers, tying Danny Heep (1983) and Mark Carreon (1989) for the Mets’ single-season record.

Here is the list of Heep, Carreon and Valdespin’s pinch-hit homers:

•Danny Heep: 5/6/83 vs. Cin

6/14/83 vs. Chi

7/12/83 vs. Cin

8/4/83 vs. Mtl

•Mark Carreon: 5/24/89 at SD

6/4/89 vs. Pit

7/26/89 vs. Pit

9/22/89 vs. Mtl

•Jordany Valdespin: 5/7/12 at Phi

6/5/12 at Was

7/17/12 at Was

7/20/12 vs. LA

David Wright homered in the first and fourth innings of the Mets’ 9-5 win at Washington. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, with his first home run, Wright broke a tie with Darryl Strawberry for the all-time Mets lead in first-inning homers (37). With his second home run, Wright moved past Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran into sole possession of second place in team history with his 18th multiple-homer game. Strawberry holds that record (22).

According to the website UltimateMets.com, the wild pitch by Pedro Beato in last Tuesday’s loss at Washington was the seventh game-ending wild pitch in Mets history. It was the first walk-off wild pitch by a Met since Fernando Nieve threw one against the Marlins in 2010 and just the third in the last 30 years for New York:

•9/8/62 L 6-5 (10) at Hou Roger Craig

•8/25/66 L 3-2 at Chi       Bill Hepler

•8/15/70 L 3-2 at Atl       Tom Seaver

•7/22/72 L 2-1 at SF       Danny Frisella

•9/1/81 L 3-2 at Hou       Mike Marshall

•5/13/10 L 2-1 at Fla       Fernando Nieve

•7/17/12 L 5-2 (10) at Was Pedro Beato

Barry Larkin and Ron Santo were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on Sunday. Santo played 204 career games against the Mets during his 13 seasons with the Chicago Cubs hitting .282 with 27 home runs and 119 runs batted in vs. New York.

Larkin appeared in 139 games against the Mets over the course of his 19-year career with the Cincinnati Reds batting .279 with seven homers and 59 RBI’s vs. New York.

Long-time Mets broadcaster Tim McCarver received the Ford Frick award on Saturday in Cooperstown. During his 19 seasons as a player, McCarver appeared in 197 games against the Mets while with the Cardinals, Expos and Phillies hitting .266 with 13 home runs and driving in 73 runs as a Met opponent.

The Mets conclude their homestand with three games against the NL East-leading Nationals before heading west to begin an 11-game road trip with a four-game series in Arizona. New York has gone 3 and 6 against Washington so far in 2012, taking just one of the three games played with the Nats in their lone series meeting at Citi Field back in April.

The Mets took two of three against the Diamondbacks at home back in May but have dropped eight of their last nine meetings with the D’Backs in Arizona, including three-game sweeps in 2010 and 2011.

Schwei’s Runs, Hits and Errors:

Runs: Jordany Valdespin. Became the third Mets player to have two go-ahead pinch-hit homers in the ninth inning or later in the same season, joining Marv Throneberry (1962) and Chris Jones (1995).

Hits: Daniel Murphy. Went 9-for-11 in series vs. Dodgers and is hitting .440 (33-for-75) since June 26, raising his season average back over .300 to .306.

Errors: Extra-Painful. Mets fall to 1-4 in extra innings this season with their 8-3, 12-inning loss to L.A. and have not won an extra-inning game at Citi Field since July 20th of 2011 (0 and 5 since).