The Mets made history last month and I didn’t even realize it.
Their 4-0 victory over the Phillies April 13 was achieved behind a starting lineup whose summed uniform numbers totaled 64–obliterating the lowest combo we found the last time we researched this question, which I’m also pretty sure is the only time that question has ever been asked. Granted there are Marcus Stroman wearing No. 7 starts that our data scientists are busy researching. But here’s the new winning combo:
- 9 Nimmo, CF
- 12 Lindor, SS
- 2 Smith, LF
- 20 Alonso, 1B
- 6 McNeil, 2B
- 11 Pillar, RF
- 1 Villar, 3B
- 3 Nido, C
- 0 Stroman, P
That 64 crushes the combined 84 we’d found from July 3, 1962.
But there’s still more. The Stroman start came in the second game of a double-header in which Taijuan Walker started the first game, making for an unbeatable spread between starter digits. It also happened to be only third time in club history the the Mets had Black starting pitchers start both games of a doubleheader, according to research from my friends at the Crane Pool Forum. Al Jackson and Roadblock Jones started a twin-bill on April 29, 1962. And On Aug. 17, 1980, Ray Burris and Roy Lee Jackson did it.
So three all-Black-starter doubleheaders; all of them against the Phillies; the Mets split ’62; were swept in ’80; and swept in ’21.
Sorry to have overlooked this incredible achievement; I have to admit, I only realized this because I was thinking the other way.
With James McCann turning into a double-play machine and magic squirting out of the bat of Patrick Mazeika, I thought “Why not give the rookie a start?” And if we did, why not pair him up with Taijuan Walker? That starting-battery sum of 175 I’m certain would be a club record. The Nido-Stroman duo is also the lowest-ever, darn near the lowest possible.)
But when trying to construct a mock Met lineup whose combined total would surpass the magic number of 300 I could barely do it (the record for highest-ever lineup, we’ve figured, occurred back in 2016, when it totaled 324). There are simply too many guys with sensible numbers on this team. Plus two outrageous outliers in Walker and Stroman, creating the opportunity to make history every time out there. You could look it up.
A seven-game win streak was put to a stop last night as Lindor, Conforto, Alonso, and Smith combined to go 0-for-15 (throw in McNeil, 1-for-19), and the bullpen couldn’t save a tight one.
Not everyone can be as hot as Villar or Pillar. And if you told me we’d get 7 in a row without deGrom…
Albert Almora, who intrepidly smashed face-first into the fence the other night at Citifield (we we over in the left-field corner: the sound was scary), is on the IL and Khalil Lee, the prospect acquired from Kansas City in the three-team deal that facilitated Andrew Benintendi’s move from the Red Sox to the Royals (Franchy Cordero went to Boston, along with Josh Wincowski, a relief pitcher the Mets acquired in the Steven Matz trade–plus an Ex-Met To Be Named Later) is up with the club, wearing No. 26, and has inherited Almora’s role as the least-used guy on the roster. Like Daniel Zamora, who’s been up-and-down a couple of times already, he’s yet to seen any action.
Lee is a lefthanded-hitting speedster who strikes out too much but can go get in center field. Let’s hope he can complement the “Bench Mob” behind this recent hot streak.