By John Schweibacher
» More Columns
The New York Mets close out the month of August with a six-game homestand against the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies after going 2-3 on their California road trip. And while Lucas Duda stayed hot, captain David Wright was not.
Duda homered twice in the Mets’ 11-3 win Sunday at Dodger Stadium, and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the third player in the expansion era to participate in a triple play as a fielder in a game in which he hit more than one home run.
The other players to do so since 1961 are Gil Hodges for the 1962 Mets (in a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds in the second game of a doubleheader on May 30) and Alex Rodriguez for the Rangers in 2002. Hodges hit a pair of homers against Johnny Podres and recorded the third out of a triple play on a liner by Willie Davis.
Wright, who is hitting just .215 with no homers since the All-Star break, had another rough night at the plate in the Mets’ 7-4 loss to the Dodgers on Saturday night, going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and hitting into two double plays. According to the play finder at baseball-reference.com, the only other Mets player to have a stat line like this was Darryl Strawberry back on April 12, 1986 at Philadelphia. He went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts and hit into two double plays in a 9-8, 14-inning loss against the Phillies.
Wright has now hit into a career-worst 21 double plays this season. Here is the Mets’ single-season list of most double plays hit into in a single season:
• 27: Mike Piazza, 1999
• 26: Mike Piazza, 2002
• 26: Cleon Jones, 1970
• 24: Steve Henderson, 1978
• 24: Eddie Murray, 1993
• 23: Frank Thomas, 1963
• 22: Joe Torre, 1975
• 22: John Olerud, 1975
• 21: (seven different players)
Curtis Granderson has not hit into a double play this season. No Mets player has ever had 400 or more at-bats in a season without hitting into a double play. In fact, prior to Granderson, only one Mets player hit into just one double play in over 400 at-bats in a season. That player is Lenny Dykstra, who hit into just one double play in 431 at-bats in 1987, a 3-2-3 double play with the bases loaded against the Cubs on August 9 at Shea.
Zack Wheeler allowed four runs (two earned) over 5 2/3 innings and earned the win versus the Athletics on Wednesday. Over his last nine starts, Wheeler is 6-0 with a 2.20 ERA. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, over the last five seasons (since 2010), the only other Mets starting pitcher who went 6-0 (or better) with as low of an ERA over a nine-start span was R.A. Dickey in 2012.
Elias also notes that only three other Mets starters had a single-season span of this type at 24 years old or younger: Dwight Gooden (several times in the 1985 season), Ron Darling (June-July 1984) and Tom Seaver (August-September 1969).
The Mets split their two-game series against the A’s in Oakland last week at the O.co Coliseum and went 1-2 in their three games against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Those venues are two of seven current ballparks where the Mets have played a postseason game:
• Oakland Coliseum: 1973 World Series
• Fenway Park: 1986 World Series
• Dodger Stadium: 1988 NLCS and 2006 NLDS
• Chase Field: 1999 NLDS
• Turner Field: 1999 NLCS
• AT&T Park: 2000 NLDS
• Busch Stadium III: 2006 NLCS
(Chase Field was known as Bank One Ballpark in 1999, AT&T Park was known as Pac Bell Park in 2000).
The other six ballparks where the Mets played postseason games are either no longer in use by Major League Baseball or have been torn down:
• Shea Stadium: 1969, 1973, 1986, 1988, 1999, 2000 amd 2006
• Fulton County Stadium: 1969 NLCS
• Riverfront Stadium: 1973 NLCS
• Astrodome: 1986 NLCS
• Busch Stadium II: 2000 NLCS
• Yankee Stadium I: 2000 World Series
Wilmer Flores has one home run in 151 at-bats this season, but that one homer was a grand slam back on June 2 in Philadelphia. Two other Mets — Ike Davis and Taylor Teagarden — also hit just one home run this season with the Mets, and their homers were also grand slams.
Prior to this season, only five players (including two pitchers) in club history had homered just once in a season, which that lone home run coming with the bases loaded:
• 1963: Carl Willey vs. Hou (Ken Johnson)
• 1967: Jack Hamilton vs. Stl (Al Jackson)
• 1973: Jerry Grote at SD (Steve Arlin)
• 1999: Rey Ordonez vs. Phi (Carlton Loewer)
• 2012: Mike Nickeas vs. SD (Dale Thayer)
• 2014: Ike Davis vs. Cin (J.J. Hoover)
• 2014: Wilmer Flores at Phi (Phillippe Aumont)
• 2014: Taylor Teagarden vs. Mil (Marco Estrada)
Schwei’s Runs, Hits and Errors:
Runs — Road Runs: The Mets scored 11 times vs. the Dodgers in the series finale, their most away from Citi Field since June 22, an 11-5 win at Miami.
Hits: Curtis Granderson — The Mets’ outfielder hit his fourth leadoff home run of the year last Friday night and the 28th of his career. Granderson’s four leadoff home runs are tied for the third-most in a single season in team history with Tommie Agee (1969) and Jose Reyes (2008). Kaz Matsui hit five in 2004 and Reyes hit six leadoff home runs in 2006.
Errors: Errors! The Mets committed three errors in back-to-back games last week in Oakland and L.A., the first time since September 16 and 17 of 2007 that they had three errors or more in consecutive games.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories