The Morning Report 8.25.2015 | Mets Clobber the Phillies, The Captain Has Returned, Are the Mets Good? Or is the NL East is Terrible?
Posted by Christopher Soto at 8:00 AM
Dayn Perry | CBS New York- In Philadelphia on Monday night (NYM 16, PHI 7), the Mets hit 6.3 percent of their 2015 home runs to date. Yep, that's eight homers (and 15 extra-base hits in all), and that's a franchise record. We've already explored the significance of David Wright's clout, and that's part of a roundly improved Mets offense. They're healthy, the depth was improved leading up to the deadline, and of course there's Yoenis Cespedes now in the fold. The Mets have fared much better at the plate in August, particularly when it comes to power. No, they're not going to continue slugging .472 the rest of the way, but this does profile as a respectable offensive alignment moving forward.
(Chris Soto: You have to give credit where credit is due. Everyone knew the Mets offense was the biggest weakness of the club in 2015 and we bashed Sandy Alderson all summer long for being too patient and continuing to trot the same pathetic line-up day in and day out. However, the patience paid off... the Tigers grew discouraged about their place in the standings and became willing to sell Cespedes for a "non-essential" pitching piece. There was also Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe...certainly not slam dunks, but strong pieces that provide depth in case the injury bug strikes again.)
(Chris Soto: The Captain Has Returned! Boy was that a bomb or what? Having David Wright back at even 50% strength is a massive improvement over what the Mets have been trotting out to 3rd base this season. The team ranked 29th out of the 30 teams in production from the position so far this season and Juan Uribe wasn't fairing any better than the likes of Eric Campbell, Daniel Muno, and others. His physical presence in the line-up isn't the only thing either. Just having him out there and back in the line-up is a massive boost mentally for the team. Enough so, that we kind of forgotten that one of the Mets best hitters, Lucas Duda, just went to the DL.)
David Schoenfield | ESPN SweetSpot- We all know the National League East is a bad division this season, but I didn't realize how bad. The 2015 NL East is 155-210 outside the division, a .425 winning percentage. This stuff matters because of the way baseball's honors get distributed. Regardless of the strength or weakness of your schedule or your divisional opponents' schedule, the team that finishes atop its division gets into the playoffs. It's not about absolute quality; it's about relative quality to your group. So when a division is very weak -- as the 2015 NL East unquestionably is -- I think it's fair to ask a question like, "Are the Mets actually any good, or are they just less bad than the field?"
(Chris Soto: Mr. Schoenfield makes a fair point, the NL East certainly has been a dumpster fire this season. You know what though? Who cares? There is at least 1 division like this every single season. The fact of the matter is, no matter what the talent level in within your division or outside of your division....you still need to beat the other guys. So far the Mets succeeded more than they have failed.)