Around The World In 8,000 Games
Last night’s game against the Miami Marlins was already going to be special for the Mets because it was to be their first game in the Marlins’ new ballpark. But Mets historians such as myself will remember the game for another reason, as it was the 8,000th regular season game in franchise history.
In their first 8,000 games, the Mets have emerged victorious 3,829 times, while falling short on 4,163 occasions. They have also played eight games to a tie. In addition, the Mets have finished with a winning record in 23 of their 50 campaigns, making the playoffs seven times (five division titles, two wild cards). All that you know. But what if I broke down the 8,000 games into eight 1,000-game periods? What would the Mets’ record be in each period? Which team did they defeat the most? Which team gave them the most trouble? Which pitcher was the most successful? Who hit the most home runs?
Ladies and gentle-Mets, without further ado, I invite you to join me as we go around the Mets’ world in 8,000 games (1,000 games at a time) to answer all these questions and perhaps find a nugget or two we weren’t expecting to find.
Games 1 – 1,000: April 11, 1962 – May 12, 1968 (1st gm of DH)
Record: 332 wins, 664 losses, 4 ties
Toughest opponent: Los Angeles Dodgers (27 wins, 87 losses, 1 tie)
Winningest pitcher: Al Jackson (40 wins, 74 losses)
Saves leader: Jack Hamilton (14 saves)
Top home run hitter: Jim Hickman (60 HR)
RBI leader: Ed Kranepool (223 RBI)
Games 1,001 – 2,000: May 12, 1968 (2nd gm of DH) – June 17, 1974
Record: 517 wins, 482 losses, 1 tie
Toughest opponent: Cincinnati Reds (30 wins, 51 losses)
Winningest pitcher: Tom Seaver (121 wins, 66 losses)
Saves leader: Tug McGraw (83 saves)
Top home run hitter: Tommie Agee (81 HR)
RBI leader: Cleon Jones (379 RBI)
Games 2,001 – 3,000: June 18, 1974 – July 18, 1980
Record: 451 wins, 548 losses, 1 tie
Toughest opponent: Philadelphia Phillies (40 wins, 73 losses)
Winningest pitcher: Jerry Koosman (55 wins, 65 losses)
Saves leader: Skip Lockwood (65 saves)
Top home run hitter: Dave Kingman (82 HR)
RBI leader: Lee Mazzilli (233 RBI)
Games 3,001 – 4,000: July 19, 1980 – April 19, 1987
Record: 500 wins, 498 losses, 2 ties
Toughest opponent: St. Louis Cardinals (49 wins, 64 losses)
Winningest pitcher: Dwight Gooden (58 wins, 19 losses)
Saves leader: Jesse Orosco (94 saves)
Top home run hitter: Darryl Strawberry (113 HR)
RBI leader: Darryl Strawberry (358 RBI)
Games 4,001 – 5,000: April 20, 1987 – May 24, 1993
Record: 527 wins, 473 losses
Toughest opponent: Chicago Cubs (50 wins, 57 losses)
Winningest pitcher: Dwight Gooden (89 wins, 51 losses)
Saves leader: John Franco (79 saves)
Top home run hitter: Howard Johnson (166 HR)
RBI leader: Howard Johnson (527 RBI)
Games 5,001 – 6,000: May 25, 1993 – September 5, 1999
Record: 499 wins, 501 losses
Toughest opponent: Houston Astros (27 wins, 41 losses)
Winningest pitcher: Bobby Jones (63 wins, 50 losses)
Saves leader: John Franco (189 saves)
Top home run hitter: Todd Hundley (112 HR)
RBI leader: Todd Hundley (338 RBI)
Games 6,001 – 7,000: September 6, 1999 – April 7, 2006
Record: 488 wins, 512 losses
Toughest opponent: Atlanta Braves (44 wins, 70 losses), St. Louis Cardinals (14 wins, 26 losses)
Winningest pitcher: Al Leiter (67 wins, 52 losses)
Saves leader: Armando Benitez (143 saves)
Top home run hitter: Mike Piazza (165 HR)
RBI leader: Mike Piazza (477 RBI)
Games 7,001 – 8,000: April 9, 2006 – May 11, 2012
Record: 515 wins, 485 losses
Toughest opponent: Atlanta Braves (52 wins, 62 losses)
Winningest pitcher: Mike Pelfrey (50 wins, 54 losses)
Saves leader: Billy Wagner (100 saves)
Top home run hitter: David Wright (143 HR)
RBI leader: David Wright (595 RBI)
About the Author: Ed Leyro
Ed Leyro was hatched in the Bronx, but spent most of his youth in Queens at Shea Stadium. Apparently, all that time spent at Mets games paid off as Ed met his wife (The Coop) for the first time at Citi Field during its inaugural season. Guess the 2009 season was good for something after all. In addition to his work at Mets Merized Online, Ed also owns, operates and is head janitor at Studious Metsimus, where he shares blogging duties with Joey Beartran. For those not in the know, Joey is a teddy bear dressed in a Mets hoodie. Clearly, Studious Metsimus is not your typical Mets blog.
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