Mike Freire - How Do You Spell UGLY?


Amid all of the clamor to "rebuild" and the general negativity that currently surrounds the Mets' roster, it is easy to simply view the entire organization as sub par and in need of an overhaul.  Like most things, "you are never as good as you think you are when things are going well", and conversely, "you are never as bad as you think you are when things are not going well".

The "question of the week" that Mack recently asked everyone centered around "silver linings" and it was an effort to focus on what is good about the team, as opposed to the things that are not going as intended. Most of the responses praised the general state of the pitching staff and how it was not necessarily the reason why the team is floundering.  Immediately after that declaration, most of the respondents pointed the "finger of blame" at the offense, which I  basically agree with and you will too, in a few more paragraphs.

So, how bad are things going on the offensive side of the ledger?

As of 06/15/18, the Mets are clinging on to fourth place in the NL East with a record of 28-37, which is 10.5 games behind the division leading Atlanta Braves.  They have scored 242 runs (3.72 average), while surrendering a total of 288 runs (3.72 average).  That is a negative run differential for the season (-46) and it does a good job of explaining why the team is struggling.

But, despite the struggles, the Mets are still in the middle of the pack with regards to runs surrendered (tied for 15th) and only a quarter of a run per game off the pace of several successful franchises, to include the Yankees (3.97 runs surrendered per game).

Yes, the Yankees are much better scoring runs as they are averaging 5.41 runs scored per contest which translates to a positive run differential (+92) and one of the best records in baseball.  That may be a bit of a "duh" moment, but it highlights the fact that the Mets are in need of some OFFENSE!

Offensively, the Mets are tied for next to last in all of baseball with the powerhouse Miami Marlins!  Plus, they are only eight runs scored ahead of the last place team in the league (Baltimore), who also happen to have an abysmal .284 winning percentage to date.  To make things worse (yes, that is possible), the team has been brutal since the "hot start", which I will refer to as "the mirage" from this point forward.

On 04/13/18, the Mets were 11-1, leading the division and they had a positive run differential (+25).  This was due to outscoring their opponents 61 to 36 during that time period.  Despite the small sample size, the team was averaging 5.08 runs per game and surrendering only 3.00 runs per game during that window.  Basically, the pitching was similar (slightly better) to what is taking place now, but we were scoring runs like the Yankees!

Is it any wonder why they were winning?  Or, you can ask Jacob deGrom and I am sure he can fill you in on what a lack of run support will do for you.

Since "the mirage", the team has stumbled to a record of 17-36, with a negative run differential of -71 which is right at the bottom of the league.  The pitching has gotten a bit worse, but the offense has been downright UGLY, scoring only 181 runs in those 53 games (3.42 average).

Perhaps injuries are partially to blame, or it is just a product of relying too much on "stop gap" veterans to get the job done in an effort to stay competitive.  In the end, it doesn't really matter because the final result is an unacceptable level of performance.  No anger, hatred or other hype needed.

Succinctly put, we are on track to have the WORST offense in baseball!

I am not sure how Sandy gets a pass for all of this, but that is an article for a different day.



Thomas Brennan said...

I put most of this on Cespedes. He had to know, coming in to this season, that his legs were his Achilles. Unnecessary running (stolen bases) and not wanting days off to rest the legs gets us to his having missed 5 weeks and counting.

If Cespy were healthy, they'd have been able to sit Bruce more - maybe with rest for his injuries, he'd have not been so terrible. Remove Cespedes' big bat and the pressure rises on everyone else.

His fault.

holmer said...

I don't disagree. The silver lining here is we would not know what kind of a player Nimmo is had Cespedes not been hurt. Most of us would still see him as a fringe player instead of a cornerstone piece. Personally, I have major issues with entitlement and I was not happy with Cespedes' signing. Having been a coach for many, many years I know what effect entitled players have on a team and Cespedes is the most entitled player I've ever seen in a league full of entitled athletes.

Reese Kaplan said...

Who wants to bet when Cespedes comes back it's Nimmo that sits? It is the most Metsian thing to do, after all.

Thomas Brennan said...

Nimmo is my 8:00 article tomorrow.

Holmer, yes, Cespedes' absence has led to the emergence of Brandon the Best.

And Holmer, I am afraid you are right on Cespedes' sense of entitlement.

He hated Terry Collins, I read, which at first might have endeared him further to fellow pundit and Terry non-fan Reese Kaplan, but is also the kind of attitude that self-entitled and self-important people like Cespedes tend to assume.

Cespedes needs to get back here, convincing himself he cannot run fast. Easy on the bases, easy in the outfield, and hopefully fierce at the plate. And add some humility. You can still be beloved in this town - but to do it, you have to play.

Reese Kaplan said...

I'm sure he wasn't alone in his disdain for the former Skipper. I wonder how he feels about the bearded Terry II in the dugout now?

Adam Smith said...

And yet, the team has continually made decisions that compound the issue. Trotting (limping, really) both Cabrera and Bruce out there - both clearly hurting - every day has been a disaster. Sandy recently lauded Cabrera’s grit for fighting through because they “need” him with others on the DL. But the results clearly indicate that putting nearly anyone else out there over the past month or more would have been a better option, both offensively and defensively. Surely Flores or Guillorme or even McNeil would have produced more over that stretch. And even with few OF options available, could anyone have been less productive than the staggering Bruce? The roster was poorly constructed, but they seem to have done everything they could to make the worst of a bad situation.

Mike Freire said...

I am still amazed that Sandy has not been held responsible for this mess.

Thomas Brennan said...

Adam, injured guys belong on the DL. Period. That includes Bruce. Had we lost him for 2 weeks a while back, maybe he is much better now.

Reese Kaplan said...

Wilpons hired Sandy (at the urging of the commissioner's office). They buck up against the commissioner if they hand Sandy his walking papers. They are gutless (and feckless).

Bob Gregory said...

Just wondering.....
How many relievers will Alderson trade deGrom for?

Reese Kaplan said...

Three with a combined ERA almost guaranteed to win at blackjack

Anonymous said...

The Empiricals

We have to remember this, to move forward substantially and finalize a young player's development at the MLB level, there will be inconsistency offensively that the team will have to go through in order to get a lot better as a whole. It's just a given. Last night's game (which was delayed considerably due to rain) is one such example.

The game prior was magnificent with the younger players, I was very proud of them all, then last night after the long wait it was what it was and Jason Vargas did not help this matter much either. The Mets team looked tired from the rain delay. Nothing to get excited about really. They will all be fine.

I would like to name the new core three the "BAM BAM Boys" for B-randon, A-med, and M-ichael. Two games ago they showcased what I am talking about here with them. Magical stuff.

This "new core" will expand out from the three "BAM BAM Boys" I believe and may soon include players like 1B Wilmer Flores, LF Dominic Smith, 2B Jeff McNeil, and 1B Peter Alonso. Wilmer Flores is solidifying on first base and has seriously more homerun power to explore. All four above have very good talent and skill levels. And then after these four, there will be more too!

Other Random Thoughts

Jose Reyes. I think Jose showed that what he said a couple of months back regarding the difficulty of playing sparingly after a career of starting at shortstop is not a simple transition to make for anyone. Jose needs to play more, it's just that simple. He is an inspirational type veteran player and could be played a lot more by subbing him into games maybe something like two games a week at second base for hamstrung Asdrubal Cabrera, and possibly too subbing in at shortstop or third some games as well to rest starters there. This would get Jose into like four games a week and keep Jose fresh. Jose still has it and his presence on the field is still noticeable and a factor. Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista are not your typical human specimens.

Todd Frazier does not look 100% well to me since his return from injury and is having a hard time hitting the ball out of the infield. I am not quite sure why he was out injured just recently, but I would offer this advice to him once he is close to being 100% healthy.

After age thirty (thirty being the utmost strong age in most men's lives) an athlete has to ramp up slightly his exercise program to "stay as is" when most primal. This means a regimented workout where upper, mid, and lower body are all exercised daily. It does not have to take forever in the gym either, it is just a maintenance type thing where slowly weight amounts can very gradually be increased over time. This is not "Mr. Universe stuff" here. Just a relatively brief workout including benchpress type lifting that slowly over time increases the amount of weight being used.

Players could go into a fitness center at the stadium there (or wherever) set 4-5 machines at once to their desired weight amount (adjusting it up gradually over time) then do these machines in succession so that your muscles do not have time to relax in between machines. This is the quickest way to do lift exercises and marginally build additional muscle than allowing your body to rest in between sets.

This would be my advice to the "Tom's River Hellcat" and Bull Durham doppleganger humanoid. Never be too proud to try a new approach if you haven't already. You may just be very surprised and feel 26 again. So there!

Anonymous said...

And This (too)...

The "Tom's River Hell Cat" (I just looked this up) had a hamstring injury. These can be very painful and annoying, I know. They are usually caused by not enough stretching before games, dehydration, or crap happens don't it. He and the Mets medical staff were right to rest it because if not already torn (just pulled) it could tear and then you got crutches and a backpack for four weeks! Yikes!

How do you prevent as many of these hamstring injuries type injuries as humanly possible because they are real time eaters away from the game. The best way that I ever found, was marginal weight leg-lifts on a machine. Nothing heavy and straining, just enough weight to easily lift so that the hammies are stretched and ready to run on. That's it and it is easy a thing to do.

I heard on Mets radio today that the Mets are down to having just three outfielders. What a fantastic opportunity for Dominic Smith to begin to make his name here as a NY Met, his personal dream! He will. Stoke that fire man! Dominic had a homer and a double two games back in a great jump up game for him. Dominic, Michael, and Brandon make three good young outfielders on this team. In addition, Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes, and even Wilmer Flores can play the outfield as well. If another outfielder is needed, I like Kaczmarski from Vegas too!

Plawecki two hits last night!!

Mack's Mets © 2012