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Fun With the Play Index: Mets Hitters

In celebration of the inane hogwashery that is today's Hall of Fame voting at the jittery hands of the BBWAA, Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index is free for everyone this week, registered user or nay. Of course, as a loyal paying customer I expect that my 2% refund for this free week will be arriving in my mailbox any day now.

The possibilities of the Play Index are virtually limitless, with its applications ranging from rudimentary to esoteric. For example, you can get a list of the most homeruns in a season for a Met:

Player HR Year
Carlos Beltran 41 2006
Todd Hundley 41 1996
Mike Piazza 49 1999
Darryl Strawberry 39 1988
Darryl Strawberry 39 1987

Or, the most times on base in a season:

Player TOB Year
John Olerud 309 1999
John Olerud 297 1998
David Wright 296 2007
Edgardo Alfonzo 279 1999
Edgardo Alfonzo 276 2000

Is it any wonder that Olerud is my favorite all-time Met? The guy was simply an on-base machine. His 125 walks in 1999 are a Met record by a mile:

Player BB Year
John Olerud 125 1999
Darryl Strawberry 97 1987
Keith Hernandez 97 1984
John Olerud 96 1998
Carlos Beltran 95 2006

Those are easy ones. What if we wanted to know all of the Mets who have accrued 30 homeruns, doubles and steals in a season. Well, PI can tell us:

Player HR 2B SB Year
Darryl Strawberry 39 32 36 1987
Howard Johnson 38 34 30 1991
Howard Johnson 36 34 41 1989
David Wright 30 42 34 2007

David Wright joined some pretty Elite (for the Mets) company last year, as it turns out. I guess we kind of already knew that, but now we have more evidence to that point.

In addition to its seasonal tools, PI also lets you search for individual games given specific criteria. Let's say you wanted to know how many Mets have ever clocked three homeruns in a game:

Player Date Opp
Jose Reyes 8/15/2006 @PHI
Edgardo Alfonzo 8/30/1999 @HOU
Gary Carter 9/3/1985 @SDP
Darryl Strawberry 8/5/1985 @CHC
Claudell Washington 6/22/1980 @LAD
Dave Kingman 6/4/1976 @LAD
Jim Hickman 9/3/1965 @STL

Only seven Mets have ever accomplished the feat, the most recent being Jose Reyes at CBP two years ago. Interestingly, none of the seven games were played at Shea, and (not so surprisingly) the Mets won six of the seven.

We can also use PI to find batting streaks, such as the most consecutive games safely reaching base:

Player # Games Year(s)
John Olerud 47 1998-1999
David Wright 35 2006-2007
Jose Vizcaino 32 1995-1996
Darryl Strawberry 32 1987
Keith Hernandez 32 1983

Jose Vizcaino is the only surprising name here, and it's no shock to see Olerud's name atop this list as well.

This is just a small sample of the things you can do with PI. There are similar tools for pitchers, which I will dive into later on.