Not So Amazins

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A few random and most likely irrational fun-facts about the now 37-36 New York Mets:

– Only the Giants (45) have hit less home runs than the Mets (46) this season.

– In the first year of a three-year, $36 million contract, the Mets are
paying Oliver Perez $12 million in 2009. So far that’s good enough for
one win. A pretty good win-to-highway-robbery ratio if you can get it.

– While David Wright has whiffed 73 times already this season (on
pace for 163), the Mets have struck out less (394) than any team in the

– Gary Sheffield, who wasn’t even under contract with the club until April 3, leads the team with just nine home runs.

– Brett Gardner has more hits (5) than the Mets (4) during the first two games of this weekend’s Subway Series.

– Bouyed by the strong play of Omir Santos, Mets catchers have driven in more runs (51) than any other team in the majors.

– And finally, according to Mets Today,
the team currently has approximately $67,675,000 worth of players on
the disabled list. This figure is roughly equal to that of the Twins
payroll, while higher than the Rays, Athletics, Nationals, Pirates,
Padres and Marlins.

You know, the other night, as I watched Fernando Nieve toss six
scoreless innings against the Cardinals and Nick Evans go 2-for-3 with
a home run, it was easy to feel pretty darn good about this pack of
scrappy nobodies. Unfortunately for Mets fans, nearly every underdog
story comes with an expiration date. And after being humbled through
the first two games of this weekend’s interleague series against the
Yankees, I’m afraid we’re left rooting for curdled milk.

Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom create MLB first with 11 strikeouts each in the playoffs

Jacob deGrom
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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For the first time in major league history, both pitchers in a playoff game have struck out at least 11 batters, per’s Paul Casella. Mets starter Jacob deGrom has pitched just a hair better than Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw overall. deGrom has blanked the Dodgers over six frames on five hits and a walk. Kershaw made one mistake, resulting in a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning. He’s allowed four hits and four walks total in 6 2/3 innings.

The last time opposing starters each struck out 10 in a post-season game was back in 1944 in Game 5 of the World Series when Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals struck out 12 and Denny Galehouse of the St. Louis Browns struck out 10.

Michael Cuddyer not shining in left field early in NLDS Game 1

Michael Cuddyer
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.

Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.

With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.

Mets take lead during NLDS Game 1 with Daniel Murphy’s solo homer

Daniel Murphy
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek
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Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, belting a solo home run to right field at Dodger Stadium off of starter Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw threw a 2-0, 94 MPH fastball and Murphy didn’t miss it.

Both teams’ starters are pitching quite well overall. Kershaw has allowed the one run on three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Jacob deGrom started off the game with six consecutive strikeouts and has struck out seven total while blanking the Dodgers on three hits and a walk in three innings.

Kershaw doesn’t have the most impressive post-season track record, owning a career 5.12 ERA across eight starts and three relief appearances spanning 51 innings. Aside from the homer, the lefty appears to be putting that notion aside.