By: Brian Mangan
On a hot, lazy 4th of July afternoon, I was lucky enough to catch the Mets on TV as they took on the Arizona Diamondbacks. It seemed, as I tuned in, that the Mets had been playing a lot lately, or just that I’ve just been lucky to catch them on TV a lot. Either way, I’ve been able to catch an unusually high number of Mets games lately — lucky me!
As the game progressed into the later innings, Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, two-thirds of the Mets’ unparalleled broadcast team, were discussing what a long series the Mets and Diamondbacks had been subjected to. Not just in terms of the length of the games themselves, but in total time spent at the ballpark. After an extra-inning affair on Monday, the Mets and Diamondbacks waited through multiple-hour delays to start their games on both Tuesday and Wednesday. And wouldn’t you know it? There was bonus baseball on Thursday as well.
(Did anyone else think that the Mets dugout might have been a little mad at Anthony Recker for tying up the game yesterday with his two-out home run in the 13th inning?)
In any event, I had been having the same thought; it felt like the Mets were playing every single day and that every week or so they would find themselves in a game of epic proportions. So I decided to take a look:
- From June 8th through today, the Mets have had only two off days (June 10th, a travel day from New York to Atlanta and June 24th, a travel day from Philadelphia to Chicago).
- They have had several days of games back-to-back in different cities, including a dreadful stretch where they played games on three consecutive days in Chicago, Colorado, and New York, thanks to an April snow-out against the Rockies.
- They have played FOUR extra inning games, two in back to back games against the Marlins (June 8th, 20 innings, June 9th, 10 innings) and two in the most recent series against the Diamondbacks (13 and 15 innings) for a total of 22 extra innings of baseball.
- They played a doubleheader in Atlanta in the midst of a road trip, then traveled to Philadelphia without an off day.
Essentially, in the last 26 days, the Mets have played 25 scheduled ballgames, along with 2.5 additional games (in the form of 22 extra innings), making for almost 27 games worth of baseball over this hellish stretch. This is not to mention, of course, traveling from Miami to Washington to New York to Atlanta to Philadelphia to Chicago to Colorado and back home in just over a month. They’ve already been in ten extra-inning games this year — not sure if we’re on our way to a record yet.
This is by no means an excuse for the fact that the Mets are 35-47 and generally unwatchable. But for the Mets to have hung in there and gone 12-13 since June 8th is a testament to … well … it’s got to be a testament to something.
As a fan, I have enjoyed being able to flip on the TV and catch the Mets seemingly any time I want to. But your heart has to go out to David Wright, who plays just about every single day.
Ed.: Since the publication of this article on the 5th, the Mets have flown cross-country to San Francisco and found themselves playing yet another extra inning game. This one, a fifteen inning affair, had Terry Collins say to reporters afterwards, ”I’ve never heard of anything like this. It’s unbelievable.”
According to STATS Inc., via Yahoo! Sports, the Mets improved to 1-3 in games of at least 15 innings. The last team to play that many in one season was the 2004 Minnesota Twins.
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Brian Mangan is glad he decided to become a lawyer rather than pursue his professional baseball dreams because his elbow is sore after just one game of baseball per week. Be sure to “follow” the Read Zone on facebook!
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