Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Little "Extra" Research

There's a whole lot of nothin' goin' on.

If you're as big a Mets fan as I am, then there's no doubt you've been getting very little sleep lately.  It's not because the Mets are playing so badly, they're making it hard to sleep.  On the contrary, the Mets have played very well over the past month, going 16-11 over their last 27 games (16-9 before losing their first two games in Pittsburgh).

No, my friends.  The reason why you've been losing a few Zs at night is because you're still up watching the Mets hoping for a few late-night Ws.  And with so many extra-inning games recently, you're probably looking forward to the All-Star Break for more than just the game.  You need it to reset your sleep patterns.

The Mets have played a dozen extra-inning games so far this season after playing just ten extra-inning affairs during the entire 2012 campaign.  The team is on pace to play 21 extra-inning games in 2013, which would be their highest total since they played 23 in 1986.  (The Mets went 13-10 in those 23 extra-inning contests.  The 13 extra-inning wins in 1986 are tied for the most in franchise history.  It was first accomplished by the 1971 squad, who went 13-9 when they needed overtime.)

The most games the Mets played in a single season that were tied after nine innings was 25, which they accomplished in 1978, going 8-17 in those extended games.  The 17 losses represent the highest total of defeats suffered by the Mets in extra innings in any one season.  In fact, the Mets have only played as many as 17 extra-inning games in 18 of their first 51 seasons.  Overall, the Mets have played 803 extra-inning affairs since their inaugural season, winning 380, losing 422 and tying one (a scoreless affair against the Phillies in 1965 that was called after 18 innings).  Their .474 winning percentage in games that go past nine innings is just slightly lower than their .478 winning percentage in all games, regardless of length.

So which teams do the Mets fare well against in extra-innings?  And which teams have the Mets' number once the game continues past the ninth inning?  The charts below list the five teams against whom the Mets have had the greatest extra inning success and the five teams against whom the Mets wished the game ended in nine innings (minimum 20 games vs. opponent).

Mets’ Extra-Inning W-L Record vs. Team
Mets’ Extra-Inning Win Pct. vs. Team
Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates
San Francisco Giants
Miami Marlins
Cincinnati Reds

Note:  The Mets are undefeated in extra innings against the Los Angeles Angels (2-0), Toronto Blue Jays (2-0), Chicago White Sox (1-0), Detroit Tigers (1-0) and Oakland Athletics (1-0).  They also have a .714 winning percentage in extra innings against the Milwaukee Brewers (5-2).

Mets’ Extra-Inning W-L Record vs. Team
Mets’ Extra-Inning Win Pct. vs. Team
Houston Astros
Los Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia Phillies
Mil./Atl. Braves
St. Louis Cardinals

Note:  The Mets are winless in extra innings against the Boston Red Sox (0-1) and Minnesota Twins (0-1).  They also have a .333 winning percentage in extra innings against the Colorado Rockies (4-8), Arizona Diamondbacks (3-6) and New York Yankees (2-4).

The Mets have already played four games that lasted a minimum of 15 innings this year, matching the team record originally set in 1968.  The team is 2-2 in those games, defeating the Diamondbacks in 13 innings and the Giants in 16, while losing to the Marlins in 20 and the D-Backs in 15.

Prior to this season, the Mets had only played in 46 games that went past the 14th inning in team history, with 34 of those games occurring prior to 1988.  Since the start of the 1998 season, games of extreme length have become as rare as a Shaun Marcum victory.  From 1998 to 2012, the Mets played four games that reached the 15th inning, the same number of 15+ inning games the Mets have played in 2013 so far.

How many more of these long extra-inning games can we expect?  How many total extra-inning games will the Mets play this season, period?  And how may more times will we go to bed wishing we hadn't stayed up to watch extra inning after extra inning?  It's just an "extra" concern fans of the 2013 Mets have to deal with.

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