I guess I always knew in the back of my head that Hong-Chih Kuo has had some decent success against the Mets, but I never really bothered to look into it until a Mets fan friend of mine actually groaned upon seeing him enter the game the other night, saying, “Not Kuo! He always kills us.” When a fan of a team in a different division, on the opposite coast, isn’t happy to be seeing your little-known long reliever who has all of 58 career games of experience, that’s a pretty good sign that there’s something there worth investigating.
So after watching Kuo give up only 4 hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings in Shea this weekend, I looked up his career stats against the Mets, and let me just say: DAMN! Look at these absolutely ridiculous numbers, from the always-useful baseball-reference.com.
Kuo, career vs. Mets (regular season)
And as if his dominance from the mound isn’t enough, the man’s got one career homer. Who did it come against? That’s right, the Mets. That’d be Kuo circling the bases at right – I was hoping to find a picture or video of his infamous bat flip as the back end of back-to-back-to-back shots, but no luck.
Kuo’s somehow got the most innings against the Mets than he does against any other team, so despite the small sample size of his relatively brief career, it’s the most data we’ve got. By comparison, Kuo against every other team in MLB? A 5.42 in 106.2 innings pitched - 5 full runs a game more.
I couldn’t even begin to explain such a discrepancy; but I bet the Phillies wouldn’t mind having him! Hell, maybe Atlanta would cough up Tim Hudson, Jeff Francouer, and Chipper Jones.