Friday, November 1, 2013

Mets Games Just Kept Going... And Going... And Going


The 1980s was a decade loaded with many popular television commercials.  One such ad featured the Energizer Bunny, who seemingly never ran out of battery life because it was being powered by Energizer batteries.  As the catch phrase said, the pink critter with shades "keeps going ... and going ...  and going ...".

The '80s was also a very popular time for the Mets, who won two division titles and one World Series championship during the second half of the decade.  The 1986 squad set or tied many team records, including number of wins in a season (108).  One of the more obscure franchise records they matched was the number of extra-inning games won in a single season.  The '86 Mets played a total of 23 overtime affairs, winning 13 of them.  That matched a team record originally set in 1971, a year in which the club won 13 of 22 extra-inning games.  But the 1986 Mets fell just short of the team record for total number of extra-inning games played in one season, as the 1978 club played 25 games that went past nine innings.  Unfortunately, that squad was only able to win eight of those contests.

In playing 25 extra-inning games in 1978, the Mets needed an additional 44 innings to settle those affairs.  Meanwhile, the 1986 Mets needed to play 51 extra innings to come up with a winner in their 23 overtime games.

This year, the Mets played 20 games that required free baseball.  Four of those games went past the 14th inning stretch, including a 20-inning marathon on June 8 against the Miami Marlins.  In total, the Mets played a total of 57 extra innings in 2013, which was more than both the '78 and '86 squads needed to play 25 extra-inning games.

By now, I'm sure you're well aware of where this post is going.  Here is a list of the ten seasons in which the Mets did their best Energizer Bunny impression - as they kept going ... and going ... and going ... playing as many extra innings as needed before someone broke through with a lead that was never relinquished.


Year
Extra Innings
X-Inning Games
W-L Record
Most Innings In A Game
1979
60
21
8-12-1
18
1985
60
22
12-10
19
1968
59
15
2-13
24
1971
57
22
13-9
17
2013
57
20
8-12
20
1973
53
19
7-12
19
1974
52
20
4-16
25
1986
51
23
13-10
15
1975
48
18
8-10
18
2010
48
16
7-9
20


As many innings as the Mets played in 2013, they barely cracked the top five for most additional frames played by a Mets team in franchise history.  However, they did become the eighth squad in club annals to surpass 50 extra innings in a single season and fell just three innings short of the team record of 60, set in 1979 and tied six years later.  That's still far from the major league record of 82 extra innings, which was set in 1918 by the Washington Senators.

Long games don't always end up well for the Mets, as seven teams on the above list had losing records in extra-inning affairs, including this year's team.  Only the 1971 Mets (13-9), 1985 Mets (12-10) and 1986 Mets (13-10) had a winning record in their extra-inning games.  However, considering that the '85 and '86 teams combined to go 206-118 during those two seasons, but only managed to go 25-20 in games that went past nine innings, that's not exactly something they should be proud of.

Ten years ago, the 2003 Mets played seven extra-inning games during the entire season, needing a total of ten extra innings to settle those games.  This year, on June 8, 2013, the Mets and Marlins needed to play 11 extra innings just to settle one game.

Although there have been four seasons in which the Mets played as many (or more) extra innings as they did this year, it sure seemed as if many games this season just went on and on and on.  The Energizer Bunny seemed to thrive on the extra action.  Too bad the Mets and their fans weren't able to say the same.
 

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