According to Gary Cohen, Bob L. Miller holds the record for most consecutive losses to start a Mets career. The unlucky right-hander went 0-12 for the 1962 Mets before finally picking up a win on the last day of the season.
Anthony Young went 0-13 for the 1993 Mets before winning his first (and only) game of the season on July 28th. The amazing thing about that streak is that half of his losses (and the victory) came when he was working out of the bullpen.
I’m not sure if any other Met has a longer string of losses before picking up their first ‘W’ of the season – it’s not something that’s likely to make its way into the team’s game notes. But it sure feels like Marcum is making a run at all of them.
Actually, I think I might have jinxed him tonight. My friend was looking for another starting pitcher for his fantasy team, and I suggested Marcum. I guess I forgot that pitching performances against the Miami Marlins (or the New York Mets) shouldn’t count as much since they don’t field major league caliber lineups.
The two best hitters in the Mets lineup had good nights at the plate. David Wright was on base all four times he was up, with three hits and a walk. (He also made one unfortunate baserunning decision that let struggling Cubs reliever James Russell escape what might have become a big inning with only two runs allowed, but let’s face it – station to station baseball has killed more Mets opportunities this year than aggressiveness on the base paths.)
Daniel Murphy had a pair of hits and two RBI. Even Lucas Duda managed an RBI single, his 22nd of the year. (Keep in mind that half of that total comes from driving himself in with home runs.)
Three runs might have meant a Mets victory on Thursday afternoon with Matt Harvey pitching, but with Marcum leaving the Mets in a six-run hole they just gave Kevin Gregg a save opportunity.
Tomorrow I’ll be at the ballpark in person to watch the Mets try again for a win. Maybe they’ll have better luck, and at least it should be a nice day for baseball.
With luck, Laffey will stay healthy and pitch effectively long enough for Mets fans to learn his name… but I’m not sure I like his odds.
Back in February, the plan was for Johan Santana to start on Opening Day, followed in some order by Matt Harvey, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee and Shaun Marcum. Jeremy Hefner, Jenrry Mejia and Collin McHugh were supposed to be part of the bullpen picture or providing depth at Triple-A.
The best of plans seldom survive contact with reality, and the Mets are not known for making the best plans.
Mejia, shut down two weeks ago with forearm tendinitis, will be idle for another two weeks before he starts to get ready to pitch for the Las Vegas 51s.
And today, Hefner left the Mets’ exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals after he was struck in the right elbow by a Carlos Beltran one-hop comebacker. On the bright side, x-rays were negative and Hefner is considered day-to-day. (Then again, it sometimes seems like the Mets medical staff have the same attitude about injuries as the Black Knight… “it’s just a flesh wound.”)
So for the first week, now we’re looking at Niese, followed by Harvey, Gee, Hefner, Niese again and Laffey… assuming Hefner’s elbow allows him to pitch and no one else gets hurt.
At least the rotation still doesn’t look quite as bad as the outfield, where the idea of giving Marlon Byrd at-bats doesn’t seem quite as terrible as it did when Terry Collins started talking him up as the starting right fielder at the beginning of camp.
“I’ve been optimistic about Opening Day since I came back to St. Lucie and talked with the doctors and the trainers about the diagnosis,” said Wright, who expects to play in another minor-league game Thursday. “It’s kind of the same thing today. It’s another step closer so I’m still very optimistic.”
Keep that optimism going, David. We’re all going to need it.