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Chris Capuano’s Unique Place in Mets History



By Mike Silva ~ August 29th, 2011. Filed under: New York Mets.

With everyone preparing for Hurricane Irene you might have missed a dominant pitching performance by Chris Capuano on Friday.

Capuano’s complete game 13 strikeout shutout of Atlanta might appear to be another win in a season that will end short of the playoffs, but as Mark Simon noted at ESPN NY this is one of the best pitching performances in team history. It was also the best performance by any pitcher in 2011

Simon used Bill James Game Score, which rates starts, with the number usually coming between 0 and 100– higher being better. Pitchers get rewarded for finishing innings, not allowing base runners, and striking batters out.

The scoring system is as follows:

Start with 50 points.
Add 1 point for each out recorded, so 3 points for every complete inning pitched.
Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th.
Add 1 point for each strikeout.
Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed.
Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed.
Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed.
Subtract 1 point for each walk.

The highest Game score in the history of baseball is Carl Hubbell (127), who pitched 18 scoreless innings in 1933 at the Polo Grounds against the Cardinals. The Giants won the game 1-0 with a run in the bottom of the 18th.

As Simon points out, Capuano’s performance is tied with Tom Seaver‘s near perfect game against the Cubs.

Here are the top 20 Game Scores in Mets history via Baseball-Reference

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 Rob Gardner 1965-10-02 (2) NYM PHI T 0-0 GS-15 15.0 5 0 0 2 7 0 112
2 Tom Seaver 1974-05-01 NYM LAD L 1-2 GS-12 12.0 3 1 1 2 16 1 106
3 David Cone 1991-10-06 NYM PHI W 7-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 1 19 0 141 94 99
4 Tom Seaver 1971-08-11 NYM SDP L 0-1 GS-10 10.0 3 0 0 2 14 0 98
5 Tom Seaver 1970-05-15 NYM PHI W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 3 15 0 97
6 Jerry Koosman 1969-05-28 NYM SDP W 1-0 GS-10 10.0 4 0 0 2 15 0 97
7 Chris Capuano 2011-08-26 NYM ATL W 6-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 2 0 0 0 13 0 122 79 96
8 Tom Seaver 1970-04-22 NYM SDP W 2-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 2 1 1 2 19 1 96
9 Tom Seaver 1969-07-09 NYM CHC W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 0 11 0 96
10 Dick Selma 1965-09-12 NYM MLN W 1-0 SHO10 ,W 10.0 4 0 0 1 13 0 96
11 Al Jackson 1962-08-14 NYM PHI L 1-3 CG 15 ,L 15.0 6 3 2 5 6 0 96
12 David Cone 1991-09-20 NYM STL W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 1 11 0 131 81 95
13 Tom Seaver 1971-04-16 NYM PIT W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 0 14 0 95
14 Jerry Koosman 1968-08-19 NYM SFG L 0-1 GS-12 12.0 5 0 0 5 8 0 95
15 Craig Swan 1976-06-17 NYM LAD W 1-0 GS-10 10.0 3 0 0 0 8 0 94
16 Jerry Koosman 1975-09-26 (2) NYM PHI W 3-2 GS-11 ,W 11.0 4 1 0 3 10 0 94
17 Tom Seaver 1972-09-29 NYM PIT W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 2 0 0 2 13 0 94
18 Nolan Ryan 1970-04-18 NYM PHI W 7-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 6 15 0 94
19 Rick Reed 1999-10-02 NYM PIT W 7-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 0 12 0 114 82 93
20 Bret Saberhagen 1994-07-15 (2) NYM SDP L 1-2 GS-10 10.0 5 0 0 0 11 0 131 98 93
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/29/2011.

Amazing that Rob Gardner‘s 15 shutout innings in 1965 stands out above the rest. David Cone‘s 19-strikeout performance against the Phillies on the last day of 1991 is right up there.

Also amazing is that Dwight Gooden is not in the top 10. As a matter of fact, you have to scroll down to 22 to find the first mention of Doc’s name. Ahead of him are games pitched by Al Jackson, Dick Selma, Rick Reed, Craig Swan, Bret Saberhagen, and Sid Fernandez.

Capuano’s performance on Friday ranks 7th in Mets history if you subscribe to James’s Game Score formula. This is quite an accomplishment considering the great hurlers we have seen over the 49 years of this clubs history.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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5 Responses to Chris Capuano’s Unique Place in Mets History

  1. Stu B

    Nothing amazing about Gardner’s game standing out – nobody pitches 15 innings anymore, and just his innings put him at 117 points in this system.

  2. Wes

    Sensational website, fellas!
    Where does Bobby Jones’ playoff performance rank on this list. Didn’t see it unless I missed it.
    Thanks!

  3. Wes

    Just looked up the boxscore and did the math. If I am correct, he got an 89 for the 1 hit playoff game. Gave him 50 to start, 27 for the 9 innings, 10 for the innings after 4th, 5 for the K’s, less 2 for the hit, 2 for the two walks. 50+27+10+5-2-2=89. Correct?
    No bonus for post season?
    W

  4. Mike Silva

    Wes – good work

    B-R has the score at 88 (you were one off). No bonus for postseason, and the list was just regular season games

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN200010080.shtml

  5. Wes

    How embarrassing – and I’m an accountant, too! I’m a little surprised not to see Jon Matlack on here, also, seeing as he also pitched in an era where starters went the distance alot.
    Still, the point of the article is well taken. Capuano spun a gem. In yet another season with some disappointment, he provided us with a pretty good highlight. It was a great performance!
    W

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