No-Hitters and Hitting Streaks

What do Warren Spahn, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jim Bibby, Bret Saberhagen, Al Leiter, Kenny Rogers, Hideo Nomo, David Cone, Dwight Gooden have in common?  They’ve all pitched for the Mets and they’ve all pitched no-hitters.  How many no-hitters have these pitchers pitched?  18.  How many have they pitched for the Mets?  0.

By my count, from the Wikipedia “No-Hitters” site, there have been 114 no-hitters since opening day in 1962.  Any random team that has been playing since 1962 should be expected to have had 5 or 6 no-hitters since 1962 (there are 30 teams now, but there were only 20 in 1962 and the number crept up slowly).  A team that has had the pitchers the Mets have had, pitching in the stadium they have had, should probably have been expected to have pitched at least 10.  How many no-hitters have Mets pitchers pitched?  You know the answer.  John Maine is the latest to have come reasonably close. 

I love freaky baseball facts like this.  I wonder how long the drought can last.  It will be fun, for anywhere from the next few days to the next half century, to wonder when the drought will finally end.

David Wright hit in his 25th consecutive game last night, to break the Mets team record.  Hubie Brooks hit in 24 consecutive games in 1984 and Mike Piazza tied his record in 1999.  Consecutive game streaks spread over two different seasons are a bit of a bummer, since this is a statistic that commemorates momentum and spreading the streak out over two seasons doesn’t give you the sense of momentum that you should have.  The point is particularly lost in this case since David had a disappointing postseason.  Still, he broke the record and it will really be something if he can start getting up into historic territory, which isn’t that far away.  Wouldn’t it be fun if he hit in 45 straight games got ahead of Pete Rose?

Whenever somebody breaks a record, it makes you think of the guys who previously held it.   We all remember Piazza, of course, but it is nice to be reminded of Hubie Brooks.  Hubie was an enormously popular player for the Mets, a terrific clutch hitter, and the best third baseman we had had up to that point.  He and Mookie Wilson were the home grown everyday players who started to give us some hope in the early ‘80’s.  He was a classy guy, a jazz enthusiast, and a real gentleman.  Ralph Kiner called him Mookie throughout an entire Kiner’s Korner and he didn’t embarrass Ralph by correcting him. 

Younger fans may wonder what happened to Hubie if he was so good and if he is remembered so fondly.  What happened was that he was sacrificed.  He got to be on our wonderful breakout 1984 team, but then he was sent to Montreal in the trade that brought us Gary Carter.  That kind of thing happens to some really good guys (think of Xavier Nady), and there really isn’t much you can say when the trade works out, or brings you the missing piece.  Hubie was sacrificed so that we could have Carter.  I’m glad the trade was made, but I was sad to see him go.  He did come back briefly to the Mets in the early ‘90s, but who remembers the early ‘90s?  Anyway, thanks to David for reminding us of Hubie. 



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