By John Schweibacher
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For the first time since 2006, the Mets have won their first two series of the season thanks to Marlon Byrd’s two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning that lifted the Mets to a 4-3 victory over the Marlins on Sunday.
The Mets had six wins in the bottom of the ninth inning last season (three of which came in April), and three of the Mets’ last five walk-off wins going back to last season have come against the Marlins:
•4/26/12: 3-2 vs. MIA, Kirk Nieuwenhuis RBI single in 9th
•9/23/12: 3-2 vs. MIA , Ruben Tejada RBI single in 9th
•4/7/13: 4-3 vs. MIA, Marlon Byrd two-RBI single in 9th
Collin Cowgill was the Mets’ leadoff hitter on Opening Day against the Padres and he hit a grand slam in the 11-2 win.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Cowgill became only the third player since 1900 to hit a grand slam from the first spot in the batting order in a season opener. The others to do it were Dain Clay for the Reds in 1945 and Alfonso Soriano for the Yankees in 2003.
It was also just the seventh time in Mets history that a player who started any game in the leadoff spot hit a grand slam:
Grand Slams By Mets Leadoff Hitters:
•Collin Cowgill: 4/1/13 vs SD
•Angel Pagan: 8/1/09 vs ARZ
•Jose Reyes: 8/6/06 vs PHI
•Carl Everett: 9/13/97 vs MTL
•Tommie Agee: 4/24/71 at CHI
•Jim Hickman: 8/9/63 vs CHI
•Jim Hickman: 4/21/63 vs MIL
It was just the 11th time in Mets history that a pitcher threw at least seven shutout innings while allowing just one hit and fanning at least 10 batters:
Mets Pitchers With 7-Plus Innings, One Hit, No Runs And 10-Plus Strikeouts:
•Tom Seaver: 7/9/69 vs CHI — 9, 1, 11
•Nolan Ryan: 4/18/70 vs PHI — 9, 1, 15
•Tom Seaver: 5/15/70 at PHI — 9, 1, 15
•Tom Seaver: 7/4/72 vs SD — 9, 1, 11
•Dwight Gooden: 9/7/84 vs CHI — 9, 1, 11
•Sid Fernandez: 6/12/88 at MTL — 8, 1, 10
•David Cone: 9/20/91 vs STL — 9, 1, 11
•Glendon Rusch: 7/14/01 vs BOS — 8, 1, 10
•John Maine: 9/29/07 vs FLA — 7 2/3, 1, 14
•R.A. Dickey: 6/18/12 vs BAL — 9, 1, 13
•Matt Harvey: 4/3/13 vs SD — 7, 1, 10
The Mets matched a club record by scoring 19 runs in their first two games of the season. The Mets also scored 19 times in the first two games in both 1969 and 1979.
The 1969 Mets, who went on to win 100 regular season games and a World Series title, lost their season opener, 11-10, to the expansion Montreal Expos and defeated them, 9-5, the following day.
The ’69 Mets would match or top that output of 19 runs in consecutive games three more times that season; 10-9 and 11-3 on May 16 and 17 in Cincinnati, and a three-game stretch which began on July 3 with an 8-1 victory in St. Louis followed by an Independence Day doubleheader sweep in Pittsburgh by scores of 11-6 and 9-2.
The Amazin’ Mets also would also put up 20 runs in the first two games of the 1969 National League Championship Series, beating the Braves in Atlanta, 9-5 and 11-6.
The less-than-Amazin’ 1979 Mets, who lost 99 games, also had three stretches of 19-or-more runs scored in back-to-back games.
The ’79 Mets began the season with 10-6 and 9-4 wins against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. On July 12 and 13, they posted consecutive wins at Shea Stadium by scores of 12-5 and 7-6 over the Dodgers and Giants and followed up a 5-2 loss on August 11 at home against the Expos with wins of 18-5 and 6-3 in Atlanta on August 14 and 15.
The Mets begin their first road trip of the season with three game series in Philadelphia and Minnesota this week.
New York went 10-8 against the Phillies last season, going 7-2 in Philadelphia. It was the most wins by the Mets vs. the Phils on the road since they went 8-1 at Veterans Stadium back in 1972.
This weekend, the Mets will play their first Interleague series of the season when they visit the Twins at Target Field. The Mets have played four previous series against Minnesota, going 5 -4 overall against the Twins at Shea Stadium and Citi Field. They were swept in three games in their only visit to the Metrodome back in 2004.
Happy Recap: Mets catchers John Buck and Anthony Recker combined for 10 runs batted in during the six-game homestand. Mets catchers had just 48 total RBIs in 2012.
Nine Miles Of Rough Road: Tejada was charged with four errors on the homestand. No other Met made any in the six games.
What’s your prediction for tonight, Mets fans? Will Harvey outduel Halladay? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…