Reese Kaplan -- It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn


It was supposed to be different this year.  After all, with so much money coming off the books the GM sought to bolster the roster through quantity rather than quality.  To call the results mixed is being charitable. 

On the offensive side of the ledger, the Mets as a team are hitting but .233 which places them at 23rd of 30 major league teams.  That’s not exactly the stuff of post-season contenders, is it? 

Well, they must be scoring runs then, right?  Through 37 games the Mets have driven in just 149 runs which is only good for 27th out of 30 teams.  That’s 4.02 runs per game.  In the World Series year of 2015 they averaged 4.22 runs per game, so they’re about 5% off that pace. 

They’re certainly not doing it with the long ball.  They have hit 37 homers which puts them in a 3-way tie with the Royals and Reds for 23-25th place out of the 30 teams.

How about stealing bases…surely there’s some good news to be found? 

Ummm, no…in fact, they are surprisingly as high as 24th in that category with 15.  The team leaders tied with three apiece are not names you would have guessed going into the season – Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier.  For all of his career history as a threat, Jose Reyes sits at but 2.  Then again, you actually have to get on base in order to have the opportunity to steal.  To illustrate how bad that is, he’s actually tied with Mr. Plantar Fasciitis, Jay Bruce, not exactly someone who strikes fear into opposing batteries.  . 

So if it’s not hitting that’s helping them win ballgames, it must be pitching, right?


The Jason Vargas and Matt Harvey inflated team ERA is 4.16.  That’s not awful and places the Mets at 14th in the pack.  Now if you consider they’re giving up 4.16 runs while only scoring 4.02 runs, the fact that as of Monday they’re 1 game over .500 means they’re actually outperforming their numbers.  (Wow, that’s agent-spin if ever I heard it!)

With all of those big arms, surely the Mets are striking people out at a prodigious pace, right? 


As of Monday, the Mets had struck out 343 batters which gives them a tenuous grip right smack in the middle of the pack at 15th place.  If it’s any consolation to former Indians pitching coach and current Mets manager Mickey Callaway, it’s Cleveland that sits a single strikeout behind them.

Surprisingly the most impressive number on either side of the ledger has been saves where the 12 recorded by the Mets places them in the top 10 in all of baseball (7th to be exact).  Of course, 11 of them belong to Jeurys Familia.  I guess that whole closer by committee thing floated during Spring Training didn’t take root after all.  (And trivia question…who has the other save?  You’ll certainly be forgiven if you didn’t guess Jacob Rhame.)

There have been some good signs of late.  Last night's laugher was long overdue.  On offense Michael Conforto and Wilmer Flores are showing signs of breaking out of their slumps.  Asdrubal Cabrera has slowed down a bit but still is providing more than they could realistically have hoped.  Juan Lagares is also catching some folks off guard with his strong start to the season. 

On the pitching side of things, Steve Matz has now turned in two stronger efforts in a row.  Zack Wheeler was sensational in his first game with Devin Mesoraco behind the plate.  Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard may not be in Cy Young form yet but they are not the ones who cause pitching coaches to have sleepless nights.  Jeurys Familia has been brilliant and there have been some fine outings from Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo and Paul Sewald at various times (the big dinger off Sewald in the Phillies series notwithstanding). 

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating…with a rookie manager, a myriad of health problems and some highly questionable roster decisions, you should probably be counting your blessings to be only 4 games out of first and with a winning record.  Terry Collins couldn't do that.  Try to erase the past 25 games from your memory, but also erase the 11-1 start.  Think about the team as if the season is starting today and it would seem there’s pretty much nowhere to go but up. 


Thomas Brennan said...

Hopefully last night's robust hitting will be a turning point.

Mack Ade said...

Last night was fun but I am far off declaring victory here.

Adam Smith said...

Can we keep Lagares in the lineup for a while?

Mack Ade said...

And let us not sign off that Syndergaard is a great pitcher.

Last night was (I think) his 70th start and he still has not one complete game.

He is a 7 inning pitcher at best.

Thomas Brennan said...

I would DL Cespedes for the next what FIVE games? Get him right. Play Lagares.

Reese Kaplan said...

DL stints cost money because you must fly in a replacement. These are the Wilpons, after all :) Also the only person on the 40-man roster who can play OF is Phil Evans hitting .240.

Thomas Brennan said...

Max Scherzer took a while to get going. If I were Thor, I would study Scherzer tapes. He is the best.

Mike Freire said...

Agreed, Reese......I think the hot start changed some expectations (unjustly) and it made the follow up seem worse, if that is possible.

I see a team that will hover around .500 the rest of the way.

Oh and it looks like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Wheeler) made his "ugly" appearance today.....that dude is the poster child for inconsistent.

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