The Mets club record for walks in a game is 15, which they've only "accomplished" once, on 9/16/73 in an 18-5 drubbing at Wrigley Field. Tom Seaver started the game, but was granted an early shower after allowing eight runs on six hits, five walks and two homeruns in just 2.1 innings. The Mets bullpen walked another ten Cubs in the remaining 5.2 innings -- yes, the Mets managed to walk fifteen cubs in just eight innings -- led by Bob Rauch's five free passes in 1.2 innings.
Including Monday's walkfest the Mets have played 116 games in which their pitching staff issues at least nine bases-on-balls, having won thirty of them. Quite honestly, I'm surprised they've won as often as they have, though it naturally gets worse as the walk count climbs. They're 9-35 in ten-walk games; 2-17 in eleven-plus-walk games. The Mets had two eleven-walk games in 2007, both Oliver Perez starts, both losses to the Phillies.
So their pitching did the Mets no favors in their opener against the Nationals, but the umpiring crew picked up the slack. Gary Sheffield's three-run homerun in the sixth almost certainly wasn't going to clear the fence in left field, but neither the SNY nor the MASN feed must've featured the side-angle view which surely would have exposed the bad on-field call. The Mets were fortunate that the initial ruling was for a homerun, because video replay wouldn't have been compelling enough to overturn a no-homerun call. Nevertheless, even had the call been reversed the Mets would have plated one run on the play and still have had runners on second and third with none out. Given the way the rest of the inning played out (and how the alternate reality inning might reasonably have been played out were the call reversed), another two runs is probably a safe wager, so we'd all have hung on for a 4-2 win instead of the actual 5-2 margin of victory.
The nine walks might not have cost the Mets this game, but Robert Parnell, J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez threw 25, 29 and 23 pitches, respectively, so at least one and possibly all three relievers might be unavailable for Tuesday night's contest.
Big winners: John Maine, +25.0% WPA, Carlos Beltran, +15.4% WPA
Big losers: Bobby Parnell, -17.4% WPA, Omir Santos, -10.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Sheffield three-run "homerun" in sixth, +21.0% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Nieves RBI single in second, -9.0% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +33.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: +16.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Gary Sheffield
Nice job by MetsGeek; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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