By John Schweibacher
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The National League East champion New York Mets will finish out the 2015 regular season this week with their final three road games of the year in Philadelphia, before returning home to close things out against the team they dethroned for that title, the Washington Nationals.
The Mets clinched the NL East Saturday with their 10-2 win over the Reds. The Mets had clinched a division title on the road only one other time. Here are the Mets’ NL East clinchers and the winning pitchers:
9/26/15: Mets 10 at Reds 2 — Matt Harvey
9/18/06: Marlins 0 at Mets 4 — Steve Trachsel
9/22/88: Phillies 1 at Mets 3 — Ron Darling
9/17/86: Cubs 2 at Mets 4 — Dwight Gooden
10/1/73: Mets 6 at Cubs 4 — Tom Seaver
9/24/69: Cardinals 0 at Mets 6 — Gary Gentry
The division title was the sixth in club history. Three teams have won the NL East more often:
Braves (1994-present): 12
Phillies (1969-present): 11
Pirates (1969-1993): 9
Mets (1969-present): 6
Cardinals (1969-1993): 4*
Nationals/Expos (1969-present): 3*
Cubs (1969-1993): 2
Marlins (1993-present): 0
(* Total includes best overall division record in strike seasons)
Terry Collins had never managed a team that reached the postseason. When this season concludes, Collins will have managed the fifth-most games of any major league manager before his first postseason game:
Gene Mauch: 3,456 — 1982 Angels
Bill Rigney: 2,169 — 1970 Twins
Ned Yost: 1,734 — 2014 Royals
Bobby Valentine: 1,704 — 1999 Mets
Terry Collins: 1,688 — 2015 Mets
Jack McKeon: 1,628 — 2003 Marlins
Don Zimmer: 1,545 — 1989 Cubs
Casey Stengel: 1,488 — 1949 Yankees
Chuck Tanner: 1,465 — 1979 Pirates
Miller Huggins: 1,348 — 1921 Yankees
The Mets won the second game of the four-game series with the Reds, 12-5, Friday night. Lucas Duda drove in six runs with a pair of three-run homers, giving him six multi-homer games this season, the third-highest total for any Mets player in a single season:
- Dave Kingman: 7 — 1976
- Carlos Delgado: 7 — 2008
- Lucas Duda: 6 — 2015
- Frank Thomas: 5 — 1962
- Bobby Bonilla: 5 — 1993
- Carlos Beltran: 5 — 2007
The Mets began their final road trip of the season Thursday night in Cincinnati. Daniel Murphy’s RBI triple in the seventh inning broke a 3-3 tie and put the Mets ahead to stay in their 6-4 win.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Murphy, who has 70 runs batted in this season, has driven in 31 this year in the seventh inning or later.
Freddie Freeman delivered a pinch-hit two-run double in the seventh inning and then added a three-run home run in the ninth inning off Jeurys Familia to lead the Braves to a 6-3 win over the Mets last Wednesday night at Citi Field.
Freeman became only the second player to come off the bench and drive in at least five runs in a game against the Mets, joining Luis Melendez of the St. Louis Cardinals, who knocked in five back on June 24, 1972 at Shea Stadium. Melendez hit a pinch-hit grand slam against Ray Sadecki in the top of the fifth, remained in the game and added an RBI single in the sixth in an 11-0 Cards win.
Murphy had two doubles in the Mets’ 6-2 loss to the Braves last Tuesday night to move into second place on the club’s all-time leaderboard for most career two-base hits:
- David Wright: 382
- Daniel Murphy: 228
- Ed Kranepool: 225
- José Reyes: 222
- Howard Johnson: 214
- Edgardo Alfonzo: 212
- Carlos Beltran: 208
- Mike Piazza: 193
- Darryl Strawberry: 187
- Cleon Jones: 182
Jon Niese, Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard and Familia combined to shut out the Braves, 4-0, last Monday night at Citi Field. It was the fifth time in club history the Mets used at least four pitchers in a shutout against Atlanta:
9/21/15 Braves 0 at Mets 4 (Niese, Reed, Clippard & Familia)
9/19/14 Mets 5 at Braves 0 (Wheeler, Torres, Familia & Carlyle)
4/5/12 Braves 0 at Mets 1 (Santana, Ramirez, Byrdak, Rauch & Francisco)
6/15/11 Mets 4 at Braves 0 (Gee, Carrasco, Parnell & Rodriguez)
4/15/04 Braves 0 at Mets 4 (Leiter, Weathers, Moreno & Looper)
Hall of Famer Yogi Berra passed away last week at the age of 90. Berra managed the Mets from 1972 to 1975, including their National League championship in 1973, after serving as a coach from 1965 through 1971.
Berra appeared in four games as a player for the Mets in that 1965 season, and at the time of his death was the oldest living former Mets player. That distinction now belongs to Dave Hillman, who pitched in 13 games for the Mets in 1962 and turned 88 years old on September 14.
Happy Recap: Smooth Road — The Mets completed a four-game sweep in Cincinnati Sunday, defeating the Reds, 8-1. It was the Mets’ 31st consecutive road game in which they scored three or more runs, matching the longest streak of its kind in National League history. The Mets went 26-5 in those 31 road games.
Nine Miles of Rough Road Home: The Mets went 3-6 on their most recent homestand, their first losing one all season (7-1-3). They are 6-12 in their last 18 games at Citi Field.