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The week in 'MET'rics (April 26-May 2)

A pitch-by-pitch look at Justin Turner's 13-pitch walk last Thursday.An eventful trip to Colorado highlights our Mets week in review. As always, much of our assistance comes from the great work done at Baseball-Reference.com.

Stat of the Week

The Mets finished April with a 13-10 record despite being outscored by 20 runs for the month (111-91).

The last time the Mets finished a month with a winning record and were outscored by at least 20 runs was in June, 1997, when they went 15-12 despite being outscored 147-122.

That team, managed by Bobby Valentine, lost games in June by scores of 10-0, 10-1, 14-7, and 14-0, but was boosted by a 6-2 record in one-run games (same as the 2012 Mets had in April).

Turner’s Magic Moment

Justin Turner’s 13-pitch game-tying walk versus Heath Bell in the ninth inning of last Thursday’s win over the Marlins brought back memories of Shawon Dunston’s marathon at-bat in the 15th inning of Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS against the Braves. It also made for an easy choice for Moment of the Week.

Baseball-Reference.com has pitch-by-pitch data for most games back to 1990 and has no other instances of a game-tying walk in the ninth inning or later in a plate appearance that lasted at least 10 pitches.

Justin Turner's Walk
By the Numbers

It does have five instances of go-ahead walks of 10-plus pitches that late in a game (including one by Carlos Delgado for the 2007 Mets), but none lasting as long as Turner’s.

This was the longest plate appearance of Turner’s career, the first longer than 10 pitches. It matched the longest plate appearance of the season for the Mets, who got a 13-pitch appearance from Josh Thole against the Braves on April 17.

The longest recorded plate appearance by a Met is the 16-pitch battle that ended with a walk by Ruben Tejada against Antonio Bastardo and the Phillies on May 27, 2011.

Other notes from that game:

The Mets used an all homegrown lineup for the third time in team history and the first time since September 19, 1971.

This was the Mets third walk-off win of the month. It marked the fifth time that they won at least three games in April via walk-off, the first since 2008. The club record for walk-off wins in April is four, set in 1985.

This was the third time the Mets won a game via walk-off in which they drew at least four walks in the ninth inning against the losing reliever. The other such instances were in 1969 (against Joe Gibbon of the Giants) and 2002 (against Vic Darensbourg of the Marlins).

Metsiepalooza

Last weekend, a group of Mets fans gathered at Hofstra University for a three-day symposium on the 50th anniversary of the team.

One of the statistical highlights of the symposium was a presentation by Craig Glaser of Bloomberg Sports, who showed that the odds of the Mets having no no-hitters in their history were approximately the same as them having between 11 and 13 no-hitters in their history.

My favorite stat that I shared from the conference stemmed from a discussion on underrated Mets, at which point I cited John DeMerit.

DeMerit was 3-for-16 in 14 games with the 1962 Mets, but because of the manner in which he was used (pinch-hitter, defensive replacement), the team went 11-3 when he played. They went 29-117 when he didn’t.

Hairston’s bizarre cycle

Scott Hairston matched original Met Jim Hickman for the quickest cycle in Mets history in the loss to the Rockies last Friday.

Largest Defeat (since 1900)
When Player Hits for Cycle

Hickman and Hairston each got the four needed hits within the first six innings of the game, with Hickman doing so in 1963 against the Cardinals.

The Elias Sports Bureau chimed in with a couple of statistical lowlights from this game:

The Mets four errors in the fifth inning were their most in an inning since making four in the eighth inning against the Cardinals on April 4, 1996. They allowed 11 runs in an inning for the first time since April 7, 2004 against the Braves.

Dillon’s Birthday earns a Gee Whiz

Dillon Gee beat the Rockies last Saturday night to earn the win on his 26th birthday. Gee became the first Mets starter to pitch on his birthday since Mark Clark in 1996, and the first to win on his birthday since Dave Mlicki in 1995.

The youngest Mets starter to earn a win on his birthday was SNY’s Ron Darling, who won on his 25th birthday in 1985. He’d win again on his 26th birthday the next year. The other two Mets starters to win on their birthday are Ray Burris (1980, 30th) and Wally Whitehurst (1991, 27th)

Mets starters are now 6-1 with two no-decisions in nine career starts on their birthday. Mets relievers are 4-2, with the most recent win coming from John Franco in 2001.

Extra, Extra

The Mets 11-inning win in the series finale at Coors Field last Sunday brought back memories of the ballpark’s opener in 1995, when the Mets blew repeated leads and lost to the Rockies in 14 innings on Dante Bichette’s walk-off home run.

Leaderboard of the Week
Most No-Decisions by Mets Pitcher
In Starts Allowing 0 Runs

Sunday’s win marked the first extra-inning victory for the Mets at Coors Field in the ballpark’s 18-year history. They’d lost in extra innings on each of the two previous bonus-baseball occasions.

The quirk of the week: The Mets are 3-0 this season when Johan Santana gets a no-decision. They were 3-10 in the previous 13 games in which he got a no-decision.

Since joining the Mets in 2008, Santana has six starts in which he allowed no runs and got a no-decision. No other Met has more than two such starts in that span.

Astro-doom

The losses in the last three games to the Astros were statistically-forgettable games.

The weirdest thing that happened was on Monday when the Astros had four different pitchers each record a single out.

It’s the fourth time in Mets history that the Mets dealt with a quartet of one-out pitchers, the first since 2004, and the second time against the Astros (it previously happened in 1974).

Wednesday's finale got off to a rough start when Ruben Tejada doubled to lead off the game, then was thrown out at third base trying to extend it to a triple. It was the second time in Mets history that that happened. The other would-be tripler nailed was Jose Reyes in 2008.

Chris Johnson closed the Mets out with a four-hit, six-RBI game on Wednesday, the 11th such game against the Mets in their history. He joins a list of players to do that that includes Hank Aaron, Tom Pagnozzi and Cody Ross.

Vintage Metric of the Week

Todd Helton’s game-tying grand slam in that Sunday win serves as the springboard for this week’s flashback.

It was the unlucky 13th pinch-hit grand slam allowed by a Mets pitcher, the first since Aaron Heilman yielded one to Mark Loretta in the eighth-inning of a tie game in 2008.

But what leads to our time-machine trip is this note:

The Mets had only given up one game-tying pinch-hit grand slam in their history prior to Sunday—on July 2, 1969 when Ron Taylor allowed one in the eighth inning to Vic Davalillo of the Cardinals, also in a game that the Mets were winning at the time, 4-0.

This was one of the more remarkable games of that miraculous season in that the Mets managed to win despite the Cardinals having multiple chances to close them out.

The Mets threw out the potential winning run at home in the ninth inning, and escaped subsequent bases-loaded jams in the 10th and 13th innings before prevailing in 14 frames, 6-4.

We’ll see if the 2012 Mets have that kind of perseverance.