By John Schweibacher
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The Mets are off to a 7-4 start in 2013 with the battery of Matt Harvey and John Buck leading the way.

Harvey improved to 3-0 with a win against the Twins on Saturday. Harvey has struck out 25 batters and permitted only six hits this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harvey is the first pitcher in modern major league history (since 1900) to win each of his first three starts of a season with at least 25 strikeouts and six or fewer hits allowed over those three games.

Elias also notes that Harvey is just the third pitcher since the end of World War II (1945) to open a season with three straight starts of seven or more innings pitched and three hits or fewer allowed. The other two are Nolan Ryan (1970 – Mets) and Jim Rooker (1979 – Pirates).

Ryan’s first three starts of 1970 were similar to Harvey’s this season, with one notable exception: walks.

Ryan’s Starts

· 4/18/70  vs. PHI: 9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 6 BB, 15 K

· 4/25/70  at LA: 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K

·4/30/70  at SF: 9 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 8 BB,  8 K

Harvey’s Starts    

·  4/3/13  vs. SD: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K

· 4/8/13  at PHI: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K

· 4/13/13 at MIN: 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Buck hit six home runs through 10 games, the second-most in team history behind Dave Kingman’s seven home runs through 10 games in 1976.

All but one of “Kong’s” first seven homers came on the road:

· 4/11/76 vs. MTL: Fred Scherman

· 4/14/76  at CHI: Tom Dettore

· 4/15/76  at CHI: Bill Bonham

· 4/15/76  at CHI: Tom Dettore

· 4/17/76  at PIT: Dave Giusti

· 4/18/76  at PIT: Jerry Reuss

· 4/18/76  at PIT: Jerry Reuss

Buck has already out-homered last season’s Mets catchers, as well as topping nine other season totals by Mets backstops:

· 2012: 5 (Shoppach 3, Thole 1, Nickeas 1)

· 1991: 5 (Cerone 2, O’Brien 2, Hundley 1)

· 1984: 2 (Fitzgerald 2)

· 1983: 1  (Fitzgerald 1)

· 1981*: 2 (Stearns 1, Hodges 1)

· 1980: 0

· 1973: 3 (Grote 1, Dyer 1, Hodges 1)

· 1971: 4 (Grote 2, Dyer 2)

· 1970: 4 (Grote 2, Dyer 2)

· 1967: 4 (Grote 4)

(*-strike-shortened season)

The Mets scored five runs in the top of the first inning in their first game at Target Field and five more in the second inning. According to Elias, they are the first team in major league history to score five or more runs in each of their first two innings at a particular ballpark.

One other team was in double digits after two innings in their first game at a venue. On July 20th, 1893, the Cleveland Spiders scored 10 in their first two innings at the second Eclipse Park in Louisville (a fire destroyed the original Eclipse Park). Those teams were both in the National League at that time.

The Phillies’ first six batters reached base safely (via hit, walk or HBP) against Jeremy Hefner on Wednesday night in the Mets’ 7-3 loss in Philadelphia. In Hefner’s last game against the Phils on September 20th, 2012, he faced seven batters and they all reached base safely.

Elias also tells us that Philadelphia’s streak of 13 consecutive batters reaching base safely against Hefner is the longest streak by any team against any pitcher since 13 straight Mariners batters reached base safely via hit, walk or hit by pitch against Toronto’s Dave Lemanczyk over three games in 1978.

Bobby Parnell recorded the Mets’ first save of the season on Saturday, finishing off the 4-2 win over the Twins at Target Field. The save became an official stat in 1969, but including the first seven years of their history, 11 games equals the second deepest into a season that the Mets have gone before registering a save:

· 2013: Bobby Parnell at Minnesota (Game 11)

· 2010: Mike Pelfrey at St. Louis (Game 11)

· 1971: Tug McGraw at Cincinnati (Game 11)

· 1965: Dennis Ribant at San Francisco (Game 11)

· 1963: Roger Craig  vs. Milwaukee  (Game 11)

· 1962: Roger Craig at Philadelphia  (Game 20)

Happy Recap: The Mets lead the National League with 69 runs scored through their first 11 games played.

Nine Miles of Rough Road: Ike Davis — The Mets’ first baseman is off to another poor start, hitting just .128 (5-for-39) through his first 10 games. Davis began 2012 by hitting .139 (5-for-36) in his first 10 games.

Can you believe how dominant Harvey has been this season? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…

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