<
>

The Week in 'Met'rics (April 5-11)

John O'Boyle/The Star-Ledger/US Presswire

It was a cream-filled celebration for Daniel Murphy and the Mets after a 4-0 start.Welcome to the first edition of "The Week in 'Met'rics," where we celebrate all that is amazin' and some of what is not about Mets statistical and historical accomplishments.

Our biggest resource in this search is the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index, a source of much entertainment and amusement.

We begin with a look at the opening week of the season:

Stat of the Week

This is only the third time since 2000 that the Mets have started with a 4-2 record or better. They started 5-1 in 2006 and 4-2 in 2007.

This is the 12th time that the Mets have started with four wins in their first six games. The most successful of those seasons was 1973, when they came within one game of winning the World Series.

Opening Day: Won and oh …

Chances are you already know by now that the Mets got their second-ever 1-0 Opening Day win last Thursday. The first was a 14-inning affair against the Phillies, won on Alberto Castillo’s base hit.

But did you know …

The Mets have seven Opening Day shutouts, with three of them coming in games played on April 5. Besides this one, the other two were in 1983 against the Phillies (Tom Seaver’s return) and 1993 against the Rockies (the first game in Rockies history).

Mets Week in Review

This was the third time that David Wright had the game-winning RBI in a 1-0 win. He previously did so on Aug. 26, 2005 against the Giants, and June 23, 2007 against the Athletics, the latter being a walk-off hit.

The four hits allowed on Opening Day was one shy of the club record for fewest in a season opener. The previous mark of three was set in 2009 against the Reds.

Ramon Ramirez became the first Mets reliever to get an Opening Day win in his Mets debut. Frank Francisco’s save marked the third straight Opening Day save for a Mets reliever in which the pitcher was making his Mets debut (the other two being Billy Wagner in 2006 and Francisco Rodriguez in 2009).

Our most obscure 'Met'ric: Tim Byrdak became the first Met to strike out multiple batters on Opening Day, in an appearance in which he struck out every batter he faced.

Lastly, the Elias Sports Bureau verified that the Mets did something to the Braves that no one had ever done before -- beat them 1-0 in an Opening Day game.

Nieu kid on the block

In the Mets' second win of the season, center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis had two hits in his major league debut, becoming the first Mets centerfielder with a multi-hit game in his debut since Lenny Dykstra in 1985.

Teammate Lucas Duda hit a pair of homers and thus made a list with Mike Piazza. The list is of Mets who had multi-homer games in the team’s second game of the season. Piazza did it in a 2004 loss to the Braves.

Niese looks no-so-nice

Jonathon Niese took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and became the seventh pitcher in Mets history to throw at least six innings, allow four runs or more, AND allow two hits or fewer in a game. He did so in the Mets' series-finale win last Sunday.

Leaderboard of the Week
Most Line Drives in 2012

The most recent prior to Niese was Kazuhisa Ishii against the Reds in 2005 (the rare six-run, two-hit combo). The last before that was Dwight Gooden against the Dodgers in 1993.

Francisco became the first pitcher in Mets history to record a save in each of the team’s first three games of the season.

Some might have thought thatRuben Tejada, at age 22, was among the youngest Mets to record a four-hit game. But that’s not close to being the case. Jose Reyes actually had six games of at least four hits prior to turning 23.

The youngest Met with a four-hit game is Ed Kranepool, who did so against the Cardinals in 1963 at age 18.

Murphy makes it happen

Moment of the Week
Daniel Murphy's walk-off hit

Daniel Murphy, who made a fine defensive play to end the top of the ninth inning, got his second career walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth on Monday, pushing the Mets' record to 4-0. That hit earns our first "Mets Moment of the Week" designation.

Murphy is the first Met to have a walk-off RBI as both a first baseman (in 2009) and a second baseman (in 2012).

The last time the Mets had a walk-off win that early by calendar date (April 9) was in 2006, when they beat the Marlins on April 9.

The other walk-off win to take place on April 9 besides those two is a famous one-- Gary Carter’s Opening Day game-winning home run against the Cardinals in 1985.

Thud!

The Mets took a couple of harsh steps back to reality with losses in the last two games of their series with the Nationals.

In the series finale on Wednesday afternoon, the Mets had 15 strikeouts and only three hits. It was the third time in Mets history that they had 15 strikeouts and three hits or fewer in a game.

The other two came on June 14, 1965 against the Reds, a game they won 1-0 despite 18 strikeouts and only two hits (they broke up a Jim Maloney no-hitter in extra-innings), and Sept. 15, 1971, when Burt Hooton of the Cubs beat them with a 15-strikeout three-hitter.

Vintage 'Met'ric of the Week

April 11 marked the 50th anniversary of the Mets' first game. Though the Mets lost that day, 11-4 to the Cardinals, rightfielder Gus Bell set a club record that has yet to be topped.

Bell had three assists in the game, preventing the score from being even worse than it was.

David Smith of Retrosheet dug through 50 years of play-by-play data and found only two games since in which a Mets outfielder matched that assist total. Gene Clines had three assists on May 7, 1975 in a loss to the Pirates, and Joel Youngblood did so on May 23, 1981 in a loss to the Cardinals.