Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ten Things You Didn't Know About The 2012 Mets

And so it goes.  Another Mets season has been put in the books.  Here are the things you know about the 2012 Mets.

The Mets finished 74-88.  R.A. Dickey became the first Mets pitcher to win 20 games since Frank Viola in 1990.  Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in team history.  Jason Bay couldn't even hit Charlie Brown.

That you know.  This you don't.

Here are ten things you didn't know about the 2012 Mets, listed in no particular order (kind of like what Terry Collins did when he had to choose which relief pitcher to bring into a ballgame).

Was Terry Collins trying to hitch a ride out of town?  Or was he doing it for his relievers?

1.  The Mets just completed their fourth season at Citi Field.  In each of those four seasons, the team finished in fourth place in the NL East.  Prior to the opening of Citi Field in 2009, the Mets had ended a season in fourth place only twice (1996, 2004).

2.  In 2012, the Mets scored 650 runs, an average of 4.01 runs per game.  That's the fifth lowest average since the end of the 1983 season, when Tom Seaver pitched his final game as a Met.  The Mets averaged fewer runs per game in 1991 (3.98 runs per game), 1992 (3.70), 2001 (3.96) and 2003 (3.99).  Had the Mets scored nine fewer runs in the just-completed season, it would have been their lowest runs per game average in twenty years.

3.  If you think you saw a lot of strikeouts in Mets games this year, you're absolutely correct.  In 2012, Mets players struck out 1,250 times, establishing a new franchise record.  The previous record was held by the 1968 Mets, who struck out 1,203 times in "The Year of the Pitcher".  This year represented the fourth time in the team's 51-year history that the Mets struck out over 1,100 times, as they also accomplished the embarrassing feat in 1965 (1,129 strikeouts) and 2004 (1,159 strikeouts).  But look on the bright side.  Of all the Mets teams that struck out over 1,100 times, the 2012 Mets finished with the best record at 74-88.  However, it wasn't just players in Mets uniforms taking or swinging at strike three.  Mets pitchers also set a franchise record by striking out 1,240 batters, surpassing the old record of 1,217 strikeouts originally set by the 1990 Mets.  That's a whole lot of swingin' and missin', y'all.

4.  Last year, Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan combined to hit 20 triples for the Mets.  With both players moving on to other teams in 2012, dodos were seen at Citi Field more often than triples.  The 2012 Mets hit a total of 20 triples.  Only three times in team history had the Mets hit fewer than 20 triples in a season (1992, 1999, 2001).

5.  A total of 2,242,803 fans paid their way to see the Mets play at Citi Field.  That figure ranked them 11th in home attendance in the National League.  This is the ninth time the Mets finished outside of the top ten in home attendance in the league.  But hey, you can take solace in knowing that the 74 wins registered by this year's team represented the most wins by any of the Mets teams that didn't finish in the top ten in home attendance.

6.  With 41 doubles in 2012, David Wright registered his seventh season with at least 35 doubles.  How great of an achievement is that, especially in relation to those Mets who came before him?  No other Met has ever had more than two such seasons.  Only Howard Johnson (1989, 1990), John Olerud (1998, 1999), Edgardo Alfonzo (1999, 2000), Carlos Beltran (2006, 2008), Jose Reyes (2007, 2008) and Daniel Murphy (2009, 2012) reached the 35-double plateau twice as Mets.  Wright achieved his 35-double campaigns every year from 2005 to 2010 and once again in 2012.

I'm really glad David Wright hasn't tried to slide like this every time he's hit a double.  Ouch.

7.  Daniel Murphy drove in 65 runs for the Mets in 2012, despite only hitting six home runs.  In doing so, he became the fifth player in team history to collect 65 RBI while keeping his home run total in single digits.  Murphy follows John Stearns (9 HR, 66 RBI in 1979), Joel Youngblood (8 HR, 69 RBI in 1980), Dave Magadan (6 HR, 72 RBI in 1990) and Lance Johnson (9 HR, 69 RBI in 1996) as the only Mets to achieve this rare feat.

8.  Much has been said about Jason Bay having the lowest single-season batting average (.165) of any player in Mets history with at least 150 at-bats.  But one thing that has been overlooked is that Jason Bay collected a grand total of two doubles all year.  One.  Two.  To put that into perspective, on August 17, Scott Hairston hit three doubles in the same game.  I'm not even going to mention that Bay's hit total for the year (32) matched Ike Davis' home run total (32).  Okay, so maybe I did mention it.

9.  Speaking of Scott Hairston, he finished the year with 25 doubles and 20 homers, accomplishing his lofty extra-base hit totals in only 377 at-bats.  Prior to Hairston, only one player in Mets history had ever reached the 20 double-20 homer plateau in the same season with fewer than 400 at-bats, but that comes with an asterisk attached to it.  In 1998, Mike Piazza hit 33 doubles and 23 HR in 394 at-bats as a Met.  But Piazza didn't play the entire season in New York, as he also collected five doubles and nine home runs for the Dodgers and Marlins in 1998 prior to his trade to the Mets in May.  The closest any player came to doing it in a season spent entirely in New York was in 1994, when Bobby Bonilla collected 24 doubles and 20 HR in 403 at-bats.

10.  Finally, R.A. Dickey and Jonathon Niese were the two workhorses of the staff, making 33 and 30 starts, respectively.  No other Mets pitcher started more than 21 games (Johan Santana was third on the team with 21 starts), making this the first non-strike-shortened season since 1967 in which only two pitchers made more than 21 starts.  In 1967, Tom Seaver made 34 starts as a rookie.  He was followed by Jack Fisher, who made 30 starts.  Don Cardwell finished third on the team, but he only made 16 starts.  The 1965 Mets were the only other squad in team history with two players making more than 21 starts, as Fisher made 36 starts, Al Jackson started 31 times and Warren Spahn took the hill 19 times.



Anonymous said...

Great stuff! I wonder what Scott Hairston could have done with more ABs (granted, he did most of his damage against lefties). It sounds like Jason Bay's 2012 season deserves its own top (or bottom) 10 list.

DyHrdMET said...

there should be an asterisk next to Bonilla's feat in 1994 because the season was truncated by the Player's Strike. not that it takes away from what Hairston did this year, which is still better than Boonilla.

Sam Maxwell said...

At the beginning of the season, I talked with a friend about how it never instilled much confidence in us when we saw Hairston in the 4-hole. He was a very underwhelming 4-hole candidate. I've changed that view, though I'm not sure whether more at-bats would hurt or help Scottie. He obviously got more at bats as the season went on and did a very good job not getting over-exploited. Not sure his future with the team, but big props where props are due. Great job, Scottie.

Anonymous said...

# 8 is just sad. And to really put it into perspective, you know who had the same number of doubles as Bay? Our rookie pitcher Matt Harvey. In 18 AB's.

Ed Leyro (and Joey Beartran) said...

With Harvey more than likely on the Mets' 2013 Opening Day roster, I wouldn't be surprised if Harvey out-doubles Bay next year...