Fun Facts For A Slow News Day

An article by posted on December 21, 2010

Well, some of the facts may not be “fun” for Mets fans, but the April 17th Mets/Cards 20-inning game made some wierd history. Jayson Stark writes a column for espn.com with a “Strange But True” theme every so often, and his year-end article featured the early-season marathon.

Here’s some of his findings:

Stranguest But Truest Game Of The Year

Yeah, there were many, many insane baseball games in 2010. But for seven mind-boggling hours of pure, cue-the-Twilight-Zone-theme-music strangeness, you couldn’t beat this classic: Mets 2, Cardinals 1, in 20 seemingly never-ending innings April 17.

• This game began with neither team scoring for 36 consecutive half-innings — after which, of course, the same two teams scored in three half-innings in a row! First time in history anything like that had ever happened.

• The winning team (the Mets) went all 20 innings without getting a hit with a runner in scoring position (0-for-7).

• The Mets also made it through all 20 innings without an extra-base hit — and won. (Only two other teams in the past century pulled that off, according to the Elias Sports Bureau: the 1971 A’s and 1940 Dodgers.)

• How ’bout this: The Mets won this game even though one of the first 37 hitters they sent to the plate got a hit, and they got eight times as many hits in extra innings (8) as they got in regulation (1). Try that trick on your Xbox sometime.

• The winning pitcher (Francisco Rodriguez) was the only guy on his team who gave up a run — in 20 innings.

• This was the first game since 1979 in which a pitcher (emergency Cardinals outfielder Kyle Lohse) recorded two putouts in a game he wasn’t pitching in.

• This was also the first game in 31 years in which a team (in this case, the Cardinals) had to point two different position players (Felipe Lopez and Joe Mather) to the mound to get nine outs.

• And it was the first game in the history of baseball in which a position player (Mather) took the loss, a closer (K-Rod) got the win and a starter (Mike Pelfrey) wound up with a save. So if you can beat that one for Strange-But-Trueness, let us know.

And four more Strange But True facts about the 2010 Mets:

• The Mets could have had a whole Strange But True column all to themselves. For one thing, they threw 19 shutouts — but went 60-83 when they made the mistake of giving up a run — making them the first team since the ’89 Dodgers to throw that many shutouts and finish with a losing record.

• Another incomprehensible Mets feat: They allowed 12 grand slams (most in the big leagues) — but hit zero grand slams (fewest in the big leagues, obviously). Not surprisingly, no team in history has ever served up that many slams while forgetting to hit at least one salami, according to Elias.

• As ESPN Stats & Information guru Mark Simon never gets tired of reporting, the Mets also had a thing for Tuesdays. They went 13-0 at home on Tuesdays — but only won 34 home games on all those other days on the calendar.

• And one more: The Mets made it all the way from Opening Day to Aug. 22 before they finally won a series on the road against another team in their league. (Of course, they didn’t get to visit the Pirates before that.)

The entire article can be read here. There’s some great stuff on the historically atrocious offensive season the Seattle Mariners had.

Here’s hoping someone trades for someone soon. It’s been a boring past few days in baseball.

About the Author ()

Born in Queens and raised in the Bronx, Xtreem grew up in a family of Mets fans with a father who worked for the New York Parks Department and had a box at Shea. Thus, it begun. With a degree in Broadcast Journalism and bylines in publications from the New Haven Register to the Key West Citizen, Xtreem has experience in a variety of formats and topics. He is thrilled to be given the chance to lend his name to MMO.

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