Saturday, May 7, 2016

Few Runs, Nine Innings, Lots of Minutes

While staying up until 1:41 AM this morning to watch the Mets drop yet another game at Petco Park, I noticed this question being asked on Twitter by a good friend of the Studious Metsimus posse, Jason Bornstein (you may follow him on Twitter by clicking on his handle, @DyHrdMET).  Mr. Bornstein was wondering...

As you know, @greg_prince, otherwise known as Greg Prince of Faith and Fear in Flushing fame and the author of the recently released book, "Amazin' Again", is a noted Mets historian and one of the go-to guys when it comes to obscure Mets facts.

Being the buttinski that I am, I joined the conversation and suggested a game that oddly enough is not an SNY classic - a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies in 2012 that ended three hours and ten minutes after the first pitch was thrown.  And after doing some extra research, I can confirm that this is indeed the longest nine-inning, 1-0 game in Mets history.  It's also one of only four 1-0 nine-inning contests the Mets have participated in that made it to the three-hour mark.

But of course, last night the Mets did not lose by a 1-0 score.  After Mr. Bornstein's question made the rounds on Twitter, the Mets allowed a second and final run in their 2-0 defeat at the hands of the San Diego Padres.  Despite the low score, the game took exactly three hours to complete.  So I did more research (because like everyone else, that's how I spend my Saturday mornings and afternoons) and determined that it was just the 13th time in team history that the Mets needed three or more hours to play a nine-inning game in which they and their opponent combined for no more than two runs (i.e. a 1-0 or 2-0 final score).  The Mets have won five of the 13 games, taking two 1-0 decisions and three 2-0 affairs.  They've also lost two 1-0 games that lasted 3+ hours and dropped six others - including last night's contest - by a score of 2-0.

Here is a complete list of all the 3+ hour, nine-inning games involving the Mets in which the hours outnumbered the runs scored.  (You may click on the links in the final score column to see the full boxscores of each game.)

Final Score
Time of Game
vs. Philadelphia
Sept. 8, 2000
vs. Washington
Sept. 12, 2012
@ Florida
July 3, 2000
vs. NY Yankees
July 9, 2000
vs. Colorado
Aug. 23, 2012
@ Milwaukee
July 27, 2014
@ San Diego
May 17, 1988
vs. Montreal
May 3, 1987
vs. NY Yankees
May 15, 2014
vs. Tampa Bay
June 3, 2000
@ NY Yankees
June 15, 2007
vs. San Francisco
May 4, 2011
@ San Diego
May 6, 2016

It should be noted that the Mets' 2-0 victory over the Yankees on July 9, 2000 would have been the longest game on this list had the Mets needed to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning, which they didn't because the game was played at Shea Stadium.

Also of note, three of the 13 games were Subway Series matchups.  Those are the only interleague games on the list.  In addition, the Mets only played two low-run, nine-inning games in their first 38 seasons (from 1962 to 1999) that took a minimum of three hours to complete, but in their last 17 campaigns (from 2000 to 2016), a total of 11 such games have taken place, including last night's affair against the Padres.

Usually, Mets games that have been seemingly interminable have also been accompanied by tons of runs.  But in some rare instances, pitchers' duels have also taken their sweet time to complete.  Last night was the 13th time in club annals that the Mets participated in a game that featured no more than two runs and took at least three hours to complete.  And for viewers in the Eastern Time Zone, the game didn't end until 1:41 AM.

It was certainly a case where lots of zeroes on the scoreboard led to lots of zzzzzzz's in New York.

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