Reese Kaplan -- Consistency Is Easier on the Nerves


Let's take a moment to wish Mack and other folks in the path of Hurricane Dorian safety and dry land as they attempt evacuate to avoid the worst of the storm.  Towards that end I'm pinch hitting today.

Perhaps the most maddening thing for the manager and the fans is a lack of consistency from ballplayers.  Take last night’s stellar performance by Noah Syndergaard which came on the heels of his 10-run debacle in his last start.  I had a boss who once asked would I want to cross a river that was on average three feet deep?  The problem with saying “yes” is that there are sometimes those ultimate highs and lows that average out to be what you want but may not help you when you need it most.

It’s all the more reason to watch the great hitting streak by catcher Wilson Ramos.  He’s not likely to get too many infield hits due to his, ahem, limited running skills.  Yet there he is, day-in and day-out hitting the ball and raising his average close to the .300 mark in the process. 

Amed Rosario has been a picture of consistency for months, only getting better.  Not too many folks have mentioned his defense now that the offense is clicking, but coincidentally he’s not looked like the same guy at shortstop.  His glove seems to be catching up to his bat and his legs. 

It’s similarly one of the great things that people have seen with JD Davis this season.  After a period in which people were questioning his abilities, he got hot and never looked back.  He’s over .300 for the season and despite the manager thinking he needed a night off in order to get Juan Lagares’ balsa wood bat into the lineup, he came back on Monday without missing a beat.

The flip side, of course, are the folks who go through prolonged hot streaks and prolonged cold streaks.  We’ve already mentioned Juan Lagares, but his buddy Todd Frazier is another in this category.  Michael Conforto is another who goes though periods where he can’t buy a hit and others where he can carry a club on his back.

The jury is still out on both Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil as to where they fit.  Alonso, after the home run derby, went into something of a tailspin but seems to have broken out of it.  Jeff McNeil is uncharacteristically not doing particularly well at the moment, but it’s really hard to criticize what the man has done with the bat in his hands, particularly when he’s getting shuffled all over the diamond.

Pitching-wise, Seth Lugo is obviously in a groove.  Justin Wilson has been more of a year-to-year kind of inconsistency.  Luis Avilan has quietly been the single most effective arm in the bullpen for the past several weeks.  Even much maligned Paul Sewald has been doing it of late as well. 

The key to the potential for a post-season remains the man who has been consistent only when it comes to fanning opposing batters, Edwin Diaz.  Lately he has been pitching his best ball since the first week of the season.  Getting him to perform like a premier closer will go a long way towards fanning the post-season flames. 

I remember back in the day when I used to play fantasy baseball I was much more enamored of players who consistently delivered say 20 HRs and 80 RBIs or who would deliver pitching in the 3.00 to 3.50 range without blinking an eye.  It kept me from reaching for the antacids on a daily basis. 

Similarly it would be lot easier for the manager and the fans if you knew pretty much what to expect each time a batter stepped into the box or a pitcher took the mound.  Then again, that’s why they play the games…you never know what’s going to happen. 


Tom Brennan said...

Tough schedule right now - man up or go home. Starting today - Jake needs to beat Max. A 1-0 shutout would be fine. Just win.

I feel bad for McNeil, as his leg is probably still not 100%, but he is a gamer. We really could use a high functioning Lowrie and Cano back - NOW.

Funny how cast offs Montero, Robles, Flores, d'Arnaud, Blevins, Swarzak, Cabrera, and Walker are all doing well. Funny, ain't it?

bill metsiac said...

Funny that you don't list all those, like Harvey, Plawecki, et al, who are NOT doing fine.

Or the ones who were other teams' rejects, led by JDD, who are doing just fine here. In a small sample, how about Brach and Panik?

It works both ways.

Mack Ade said...

Thank you for your warm thoughts..

In reality, we have to beat either the Nats or the Cubs.

We have a killer schedule coming up.

I just do not see us winding up being rewarded after that critical 6 games lost.

Tom Brennan said...

Bill, yes it does.

The only 3 I really thought the Mets were wrong on were Robles, Blevins, and d'Arnaud. Robles, in that horrid 2018 pen, could have been kept as the last man - he had the best arm.

Blevins - quality - but I get Avilan instead.

d'Arnaud - I just felt they rushed him thru his minor league rehab when they did not have to - he should have stayed down there as long as it took to start hitting. Sometimes, impatience is not a virtue, even while acknowledging Travis was a repeated disappointment - I wanted to see how his arm was post-Tommy John. Apparently it is decent. And his bat is better than decent.

Tom Brennan said...

Mack, had they won just one vs. the Cubs, they'd be right in the thick of it. That 2 game swing from not winning just one really has them in a bad spot.

bill metsiac said...

Good luck getting through the storm, Mack! 👍

bill metsiac said...

With Lugo, Wilson and Avilan, not to mention Diaz/Familia, we don't miss Robles/Blevins.

And if we kept Travis, no Ramos.

I've got no regrets.

bill metsiac said...

We are 4 behind the Cubs with 25 to go. We're STILL in the thick of it.


Tom Brennan said...

Bill, we may not miss Blevins and Robles now - but we extremely missed them in the first 90 games of the season, when the pen virtually destroyed the season.

Nonetheless, this team could go on a tear when Lowrie and Cano get back. Deep offense, suspect defense, above average starters, and (gasp) possibly an above average pen the rest of the way. They have enough to get HOT and ROLL. Will they? I hope so - I love Mets miracles.

bill metsiac said...

Yes, we did miss them then, but if we kept them, would we have signed Wilson and Avilan? The injuries to those 2 hurt us, but I still think that they will be be more valuable than Robles/Blevins.

Tom Brennan said...

Bill - my brother the past two years all off season insisted the Mets needed more relievers of proven ability - frankly, it cost them a possible wild card last year, and a probable wild card this year. I thought at first the Mets could get by, like it seems you also think. My brother was dead-on right. A few more MLB quality pen arms in the first half and we may have won what, 6 or 7 more games?

I've come around to my brother's position - forget the budget, get a killer pen. Or your pen may kill you instead.

Tom Brennan said...

Bill, the pen improvement has been remarkable. Around mid-July it was really about to the worst in ERA and blown saves.

Now, it is 10th best in allowing just 4.66 runs per game (Yankees pen at 4.67 per game), and 21st in save % at 57% - St Louis is the save % leader at 79%.

So since mid July, this worst-in-baseball-at-the-time pen might just be the best in baseball - and look how much better the win loss record is over that time, in large part because of it.

bill metsiac said...

You can't blame anyone for injuries. But getting Wilson, Avilan, Familia and Diaz certainly qualifies as adding quality arms.

Mack's Mets © 2012