Enjoy this now, because it might not happen again for another twenty years. Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks is chipping away at one of my favorite kinds of records - a streak.
In this case, it's a consecutive-scoreless innings streak. Webb, after pitching a complete-game shutout against the Braves on Friday, is now at 42 straight scoreless innings, 17 away from the record, set by Orel Hershiser in 1988. Hershiser broke a record set in 1968, which broke a record set in 1947 (I think). So, this being 19 years since Hershiser, we stand a shot at seeing it broken...and I'm loving it.
Webb pitches again on Wednesday night against the Brewers, and what's nice about this streak is that it doesn't matter if Webb gets a decision - the streak will continue. For instance, if Webb uses a lot of pitches, but doesn't give up a run, and comes out after six innings, he'll pick it up in the next game. If he goes nine, but the Diamondbacks can't get him a run, it doesn't matter - he's continued his streak. It's unlike a perfect game or a no-hitter in that regard - whether or not he factors into a decision doesn't factor into the continuation of the streak.
This is one of those types of streaks that I always tried to build in video game baseball. Sometimes, if I was on a roll against the computer, I'd try to lower my ERA by having one of my pitchers get on one of these scoreless innings streaks. Even in doing that, though, I don't think I could challenge Hershiser's 59...that's how impressive this is.
Webb extended his streak in pretty strong fashion Friday night - he stopped a hot Braves offense cold in its tracks. He will need to do the same Wednesday night against the Brewers - they scored 8 on Saturday, 6 on Sunday, and 9 in beating Arizona on Monday...and they have some big bats in their lineup. Good luck, Brandon Webb - for your next few starts (so long as they don't interfere with my fantasy stats or Mets playoff hopes), johnnymets.blogspot.com will be rooting for you.
BIG WIN: The Mets blew a few leads Tuesday night against the Padres, but pulled out a dramatic win in the bottom of the ninth inning against Trevor Hoffman.
John Maine struggled, but left this game with the lead - and Scott Schoeneweis (not helped by a misplay by Lastings Milledge in right field), Jorge Sosa, and Billy Wagner all almost turned that into a loss. The Mets trailed 6-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth (Carlos Beltran did exactly what I called for him to do on Monday - he stayed hot coming back home - he had all 5 RBI for the Mets up to this point), when Milledge redeemed himself with a leadoff single. Mike DiFelice (doing great work filling in for the injured Ramon Castro and Paul LoDuca) bunted Milledge over, then pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson tied the game with a single up the middle. After a Jose Reyes bloop single, Luis Castillo continued his near-perfect play since joining the Mets with a game-winning base-hit, scoring the hustling Anderson from second.
The Mets need some wins like this - to remind them that they are the type of team that can win games like this. The Mets lineup is clicking right now.
-The Braves lost, but the Phillies won, so Philly stays 5 games back, the Braves are 6.
-I'll be in New York through the weekend, so this is the last post for a bit. I'm going to Friday night's Mets-Dodgers game, so when I'm back writing next week, I'll have an update on the progress of CitiField.