New York Mets Have Your Number: 10 Batters and Pitchers the Amazin's Own
The New York Mets are half way through spring training down in Port St Lucie, Fla., and Opening Day is just 17 days away.
The first round of predictable roster cuts have been made and more will follow in the next few days as the 25-man roster takes shape.
Single-game tickets go on sale today and while there should be a sense of optimism, too many people have condemned Terry Collins' first season before it's even began.
Is it bleak? Sure. Financially tight? Absolutely. But impossible? Of course not.
Here are some numbers to cheer you up somewhat.
David Wright is hitting .600 off Brad Penny and the Mets face the Tigers for a three-game set at the end of June.
Francisco Rodriguez has held the Yankees Mark Teixeira and A-Rod to a combined 5-for-41 and will surely be in the thick of things when the Mets have their traditional home and away series in inter-league play.
And Jose Reyes has killed Giants' Matt Cain to the tune of a .571 average, five extra-base hits and five RBI. The Mets play the world champs six times before the All-Star Game.
It's a little whimsical, but here's a slideshow of 10 guys the Mets have owned throughout their careers.
Wright's a career .300 hitter and there are several pitchers he has owned over his young career.
Nobody has had less success against the Mets third baseman than Brad Penny.
Wright is 12-for-20 with four homers, 11 RBI and five walks against him. For those keeping score, that's a .600 batting average and a ridiculous 1.904 OPS.
Nobody with more than 25 at-bats against an active pitcher has a higher OPS than that.
Wright has also had a lot of success against Horacio Ramirez (8-for-12, two doubles, four homers, six RBI), Kevin Correia (11-for-14, three doubles, two homers) and Andy Pettitte (10-for-21).
While researching some numbers for Rodriguez, an unexpected name sprung up...Bernie Williams.
Bernie was 0-for-13 against K-Rod, and he holds the distinction of facing the closer the most times without recording a base hit.
Their careers overlapped for five seasons, but Williams certainly wasn't a guy I expected to see on my list.
You know who else I wasn't expecting to see? Career .331 hitter Ichiro Suzuki.
He has collected the most hits in the league in seven of his 10 seasons (including each of the last five years) and he has batted .350 or higher on four occasions, including .372 in '04.
None of that explains the 2-for-24 (.083) mark against Rodriguez.
Something else that grabbed my attention was the feast-famine of the Yankees.
Mark Teixeira is .136 (3-for-22) lifetime and A-Rod is .105 (2-for-19 with 10 strikeouts), but Derek Jeter, not that dissimilar to Ichiro in some aspects, is a .438 hitter.
Others who have struggles include Matt Stairs (0-for-10) and Alfonso Soriano and Torii Hunter (both 1-for-11).
He can finish as many games as he wants in 2011 if any of these guys are coming to bat.
Reyes has Giants' starter Matt Cain's number.
New York's speedy leadoff man is 8-for-14 with two doubles, two triples and a homer. He also has a pair of walks and five RBI off San Fran's No. 2.
Reyes is also .583 (7-for-12) lifetime against Joel Pinero and .615 (8-for-13) off Odalis Perez.
There's also Jo-Jo Reyes. In 10 plate appearances, Jose is 4-for-6 with a double, two homers and four walks.
Looking at bigger sample, Reyes is 13-for-28 with four triples and four doubles against John Lieber and 10-for-21 with seven walks against Kyle Davis.
You know who Reyes will not be happy to see in interleague play this year? A.J. Burnett. He's 0-for-17 against the hard-throwing Yankee and he is yet to reach base against him.
More so from his time with the Minnesota Twins than with the Mets, Santana has dominated some pretty big names.
Alfonso Soriano (0-for-17), Jerry Hairston (0-for-14), Jonny Gomes (0-for-12), Jose Guillen (0-for-13) and Jose Batista (0-for-11) are a combined 0-for-67, and there are plenty of others who are so far below the Mendoza line that it looks like a speck.
Jason Michaels is 1-for-23. Jason Kendall is 2-for-29. Dan Uggla has struck out 10 times in 19 at-bats.
Jhonny Peralta got rung up 22 times in 30 at bats! They're wiffle ball numbers. Or Manny Ramirez playing cricket numbers.
Mets fans can't wait to see him back on the mound. Whether it's June or 2013, his presence is greatly missed.
Bay has owned Jeff Francis over the years and he is 8-for-12 with a pair of homers and five RBI in his career.
Add in a couple walks and Bay has an on-base percentage of .714 and an OPS of 1.964, his career best against pitchers who he has faced at least a dozen times.
He is also 6-for-14 with three homers and four walks against Jeremy Guthrie and 7-for-14 with a homer, four RBI and three walks off Ramon Ortiz.
Looking at former rivals, Bay was also 14-for-32 (.438) against Andy Pettitte and 12-for-28 against Greg Maddux.
There are plenty of hitters who have struggled to get to grips with Big Pelf in his short career.
Nobody illustrates this better than Clint Barmes, who is 0-for-14 with three strikeouts against him.
Barmes is a career .254 hitter, so it's not just Pelfrey he struggles against. Still, take away those 14 at-bats and the Rockies infielder sees his average rocket up to .256.
Hey, every little bit helps.
Others who have struggled against Pelfrey include Jerry Hairston (1-for-14, five strikeouts), Brad Hawpe (1-for-12) and Adam Kennedy (1-for-13).
People forget just how good Beltran was just a couple short years ago, and that's a shame.
Fans associate him with injuries and that called third strike, but the reality is he represented an awesome power-speed combo until very recently.
So, who has Beltran had the most success against? The winner is Jaret Wright, who Beltran was 12-for-20 with three homers, three doubles, five RBI and three walks against.
That's a .600 batting average and 1.880 OPS.
On a bigger scale, Beltran is 20-for-37 with four homers, 12 RBI and nine walks lifetime against Kyle Lohse.
Spare a thought for Edgar Gonzalez, who Beltran is 4-for-8 with three homers against.
Hands up if you can't hit Dickey's knuckleball. Yes, I'm looking at you Eric Hinske.
Hinske is 2-for-16 lifetime against the Mets latest reclamation project while Jeff DaVanon is batting at just a .083 clip in 14 at-bats.
Nyjer Morgan is also just 1-for-11 and Dan Uggla is yet to record a hit in 10 trips to the plate.
A special mention has to go out to Morgan. I wasn't going to mention the fact that he was hitting .176 against Pelfrey, but considering how badly he's also been doing against Dickey, I'll give him some extra column inches here too.
Angel Pagan may only have five pro years under his belt, but there are still a number of guys who want no piece of the Mets center fielder.
Pagan has a .636 average (7-for-11) off Craig Stammen and a .533 average (8-for-15) off Tim Hudson.
The sample sizes are admittedly small, but while we're admiring these tiny numbers, I might as well also mention that he also only has ever homered off the same pitcher more than once on three occasions.
One of those pitchers is none other than Pedro Martinez, who Pagan only faced three times. I guess this is more of an honorable mention than a sign of being owned.
Parts of me are going to miss John Maine.
Not the rational parts that value victories and quality starts, but the parts that hate to see once-good players go to pastures new after never really accomplishing much.
That 15-win season of 2007 sure seems like an eternity ago. Probably because I was in search of a 10th player for my slideshow, I wanted to add him to the list.
Maine doesn't get too much credit, mainly because he has stunk lately, but he has the number of a couple big leaguers who have embarrassed their fair share of hurlers.
Christian Guzman is 0-for-13 lifetime against him and Andre Ethier has just two singles compared to seven strikeouts in 16 at-bats.
Aaron Roward is hitting .067 against Maine and Braves catcher Brian McCann is 2-for-14.
Other divisional rivals who saw him a lot but still struggle to hit him are Ryan Zimmerman (.189), Jimmy Rollins (.179) and Chris Coghlan (.091). Josh Willingham, a lifelong Met-crusher, was just 2-for-13, too.