Little-Known Facts, Odd Stats And Strange Records, Home Opener Edition

By John Schweibacher
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The New York Mets begin their first homestand of 2015 this week after going 3-3 on their season-opening road trip.

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Bartolo Colon allowed three runs in seven innings and drove in a run with an RBI single to improve his record to 2-0 this season as the Mets won, 4-3, in Atlanta on Sunday.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 41-year-old Colon, who won the Mets’ season opener last Monday, is the first starting pitcher to register two victories within his team’s first seven days of a season at age 40 or older since Roger Clemens did it — at 40 — for the 2003 Yankees.

The Mets’ 5-3 loss to the Braves Saturday night was their 100th all-time at Turner Field in the regular season. Atlanta now has a 100-56 record against the Mets in their current home ballpark, which opened in 1997 and will close after next season.

The Braves went 100-90 all-time against the Mets in their 31 seasons at Fulton County Stadium in the regular season from 1966-96. The Mets’ 100th loss at Fulton County Stadium came in their next-to-last game there, a 6-1 defeat on September 7, 1996. John Smoltz, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, struck out 13 in a complete-game win.

In the postseason, the Mets won both of the games played at Fulton County Stadium in the 1969 National League Championship Series but lost all three at Turner Field 30 years later in the 1999 NLCS.

Matt Harvey dominated the Nationals last Thursday in his return from Tommy John surgery, striking out nine in six shutout innings in the Mets’ 6-3 win.

Harvey has pitched at least five innings, allowed zero or one run, and struck out at least seven in each of his five career starts against Washington. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the second-longest streak by any pitcher at any point of his career against the Expos-Nationals franchise. Ex-Met Mike Scott had a similar run of six straight starts for Houston against Montreal from 1986-1988.

Buddy Carlyle picked up the save in the Mets’ 3-1 opening day victory over the Nationals. It was the first career save for Carlyle, who made his major league debut back in 1999. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three others pitchers earned their first career save 15 years after making their Major League debuts; Frank Tanana, Livan Hernandez (who each at one time pitched for the Mets but did not record a save with them) and Jamey Wright.

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Carlyle joined this odd collection of Mets who recorded the club’s first save of a season dating back to 1969, when the save became an official MLB statistic:

· 2014 Jose Valverde
· 2011 Blaine Boyer
· 2010 Mike Pelfrey
· 2004 Orber Moreno
· 1999 Allen Watson
· 1993 & 94 Mike Maddux
· 1989 Don Aase
· 1978 Mardie Cornejo
· 1969 Nolan Ryan

Colon struck out eight over six innings in his win last Monday. The eight strikeouts tied for the fifth-most by a Mets pitcher on Opening Day:

· Pedro Martinez, 12, 4/4/05 at Cin
· Don Cardwell, 9, 4/11/67 vs. Pit
· Tom Seaver, 9, 4/8/75 vs. Phi
· David Cone, 9, 4/6/92 at Stl
· Tom Seaver, 8, 4/6/73 vs. Phi
· Tom Seaver, 8, 4/6/74 at Phi
· Tom Seaver, 8, 4/9/76 vs. Mtl
· Dwight Gooden, 8, 4/3/89 vs. Stl
· Johan Santana, 8, 3/31/08 at Fla
· Bartolo Colon, 8, 4/6/15 at Was

Travis d’Arnaud became the first catcher in Mets history to hit a triple on Opening Day. Only three other Mets hit a triple in the first game of the season: Jason Bay (2010), Jose Vizcaino (1994) and Del Unser (1976). Only three other Mets catchers hit a triple during the first 10 games of a season: Todd Hundley (1993, sixth game), Gary Carter (1987, eighth game) and Jerry Grote twice (1972, ninth game and 1970, sixth game).

The Mets host the Phillies in their home opener Monday afternoon at Citi Field. The Mets are 32-21 all-time in their home openers, having gone 7-1 against the Phillies. The lone defeat against Philadelphia came in 2008, a 5-2 loss in the final home opener ever played at Shea Stadium.

More notes:

Happy Recap: Opening Up. With their win last Monday against Washington, the Mets (35-19, .648) have the best winning percentage on Opening Day in MLB history.

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Nine Miles of Rough Road: Jenrry Mejia. Mets reliever began the week by going on the DL with a sore elbow after being unable to pitch on Opening Day and then on Saturday was suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for Stanozolol.