Monday, September 04, 2006
What drama is left for September?
With Labor Day in the rear view window and the Mets’ lead around 15 games, it’s safe to say the only drama for September will be around individual accomplishments.
I was curious to see if any of the season records will be in reach for our slugging Metropolitians with just 27 games to go (and we’re playing the Braves as I type this to make it 26).
Batting average: John Olerud, 1999, .356
2006: Paul LoDuca, .317
Olerud’s record is safe. And since we’re talking about Lo Duca, I think we can say that all those predictions of him fading horribly I the second half were way off.
On-base percentage: John Olerud, 1998, .447
2006: Carlos Beltran, .386
I’d forgotten just how good Olerud was, this mark seems safe, too.
Slugging: Mike Piazza, .614, 2000
2006: Carlos Beltran, .626
Looks like Beltran is ahead of Piazza! He’ll have to keep up his torrid pace for the last month – and stop running into fences -- which might be tough.
On-base plus slugging: Mike Piazza, 1.024, 1998
2006: Carlos Beltran, 1.013
Carlos has a chance to take this one, provided the extra-base hits keep coming.
Games: Felix Millan in 1975, Olerud in 1999, 162
2006: David Wright, 131
Wright’s already missed a couple games, so there’s no chance to tie this record. And truthfully, we’d rather have him get some rest.
Hits: Lance Johnson, 1996, 227
2006: Jose Reyes, 166
“1-Dog” had an awesome year in 1996. Even if Reyes gets a hit a game for the rest of the year he’d still fall about 30 knocks short of Johnson.
Doubles: Bernard Gilkey, 1996, 44
2006: Carlos Beltran, 36
Eight doubles in a month would be impressive, so Gilkey is probably safe. Wright finished 2 shy last year, and his slump probably put it on out of reach this season.
Triples: Lance Johnson, 1996, 21
2006: Jose Reyes, 16
Reyes is one away from his 2005 total, but asking him to hit five in a month is a tall order. But I think it’s safe to say Jose will lock this one up at some point in his career.
Home runs: Todd Hundley, 1996, 41
2006: Carlos Beltran, 39
This one could be over by sometime this week! Beltran’s 2006 total is already the third-best in team history – Strawberry did it in 1987 and 1988 – and is one behind Mike Piazza’s 40 from 1999.
Base on balls: John Olerud, 1999, 125
2006: Carlos Beltran, 75
Freaking Olerud! How did we let this guy go to Seattle?
RBI: Mike Piazza, 1999, 124
2006: Carlos Beltran, 112
Beltran should take this one with the homer record by the end of next week, too.
Stolen bases: Roger Cedeno, 1999, 66
2006: Jose Reyes, 55
I expect Jose to purge Mr. Cedeno from the record books by the end of the season.
ERA: Dwight Gooden, 1985, 1.53
2006: Pedro's at 3.84, Glavine's at 4.13
A-freakin’-mazing. Safe to say, that record’s safe.
Wins: Tom Seaver, 1969, 25
2006: Steve Trachsel, 14
Since Trachsel has six starts max, we can say this one won’t be touched. And I’m OK with that, because I don’t we want to see Steve Trachsel ousting Tom Seaver from the record books. Actually, with people saying that 15 wins in the new 20, I’d even go far as saying this one’s safe forever. By the way, Seaver, like all Mets, got screwed out of the MVP Award that season.
Losses: Roger Craig in 1962, Jack Fisher in 1965, 24
2006: Tom Glavine and Orlando Hernandez, 6
Considering that most manager throw a pitcher on the shelf when he gets close to 20 losses, it’s possible we won’t see the likes of anyone with 24 losses again – at least we hope not.
Games: Mike Stanton, 2004, 83
2006: Aaron Heilman, 64
This seems safe. Even if Heilman pitches in half the remaining games, we’re looking at the upper 70s. Possible? Yes. Likely? No.
Innings pitched: Tom Seaver, 290.7 in 1970, 290 in 1973
2006: Tom Glavine, 165
This is another one that’s probably on the shelf forever. Can you imagine the uproar if Willie dragged 300 innings out of a young arm like Pelfrey’s or a tender vet’s wing, like on Pedro.
Complete games: Tom Seaver, 1971, 21
2006: Trachsel, John Maine, El Duque, Alay Soler with 1
Seaver was a monster in 1971. But the game has changed so much that you’ll never see any starting pitcher throw so many complete games again.
Saves: Armando Benitez, 2001, 43
2006: Billy Wagner, 34
I’d love to see Armando purged from the record book. Can Billy Wags do it? Nine saves in a month is possible, but pretty tough. I suspect he’ll come close.
So it looks like the pitching records are safe, which is not surprising when you consider that they’re held my one of the best pitchers ever and a guy who had an amazingly dominant season.
But Carlos Beltran’s run at a number of the hitting marks demonstrate what a fantastic season he’s having – a most valuable season, one might say!