Saturday, July 15, 2017

Move Along, People! No Unicorn Score to See Here!

On Friday, the Mets defeated the Colorado Rockies by a final score of 14-2.  As blogfather, author and respected Unicorn Score researcher Greg Prince noted, it was the first time in the team's 56-year history that they had won a game by that exact score.  Hence, 14-2 is referred to as a Unicorn Score, which as defined by our fervent Faith and Fear friend is "a score by which the Mets win once and never again."

As of this writing, the fewest runs scored by the Mets in a Unicorn Score game is 11, which they accomplished on May 20, 1999 when they defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 11-10.  Not only is that the only time in Mets history that the team has won a game by an 11-10 score, but that May 20 affair was the first of two games played by the Mets that day; a day in which Robin Ventura clubbed grand slams in each game, which made him the first - and still only - player in big league history to accomplish that feat.

In addition, the Mets have never won a game by a 12-11 score in franchise history.  That remains the fewest runs needed by New York to win a game by a Unicorn Score.  (They've lost two games by a 12-11 score, but like the numbers of ringzzzz the Yankees have, we don't care about those.)

But what about anti-Unicorn Scores?  Which scores are the most common in Mets history when the team has taken care of business and emerged victorious?  I'm glad you asked.  (Trust me, you asked.  I heard you through the screen.)

The most common score in a Mets victory - an anti-Unicorn Score, if you will - is not surprisingly, a low-scoring game that was decided by one run.  The Mets have won 291 games by the exact final score of 3-2.  In their 1969 championship season alone, the Mets won 11 games by that score.  Incredibly, the Mets have won at least one game by a 3-2 score in each of their first 55 seasons.  However, they have yet to win a 3-2 game in 2017.

There are two other scores that have resulted in happy recaps more than 200 times.  Those scores are 2-1 (Mets have won 247 games by that score) and 4-3 (241 of those).

Want more?  The most repeated final score in Mets victories that weren't decided by a single tally is 4-2.  New York has celebrated 182 of those identical wins.  And the team the Mets have beaten the most by the exact same final result?  That one is a surprise.  Despite never playing in the same division and thereby having fewer games scheduled against them than they would against N.L. East squads, the Mets have defeated the Cincinnati Reds 33 times by a 3-2 score.  All but one of those 3-2 victories happened from 1962 to 2002, as the Mets have only defeated the Reds once in the last 15 years by a 3-2 margin.

Blue and orange unicorns do exist.
In 2015, the Mets won a 14-9 game for the first time in team history, defeating the Rockies by that score.  That Unicorn Score lasted 24 hours, as the following day, the Mets beat Colorado by that twice-in-a-lifetime score.  Last night, the Mets put up another Unicorn Score against the Rockies in their 14-2 victory.  Perhaps this time around, they'll follow it up by winning with the most common anti-Unicorn Score of 3-2.  If they do, it would be the first time they've defeated anyone by that score this year.

As the saying goes, if you watch baseball long enough, you'll end up seeing something you've never seen before, like a Unicorn Score.  Or maybe you'll see something you've seen over 200 times before, like a 3-2 Mets victory.  I wonder what the team has in store for us tonight.