Monday, July 4, 2016

Mets Lagging in Too Many Hitting Categories

Despite the Mets 14-3 shellacking of the Chicago Cubs yesterday, it is their pitching that enabled them to earn second place in the NL East in the season's first half. In many hitting categories, the Mets ranked in the bottom half.

After 81 games, here are 10 of their National League hitting stats:
  1. #13/15 in runs scored (308)
  2. #12/15 in batting average (.238)
  3. #15/15 in stolen bases (15)
  4. #2/15 in home runs (109)
  5. #8/15 (tie) in walks (254)
  6. #15/15 in runs scored with RISP (181)
  7. #15/15 in batting average with RISP (.212)
  8. #15/15 in sacrifice flies (14)
  9. #15/15 in plate appearances with RISP (661)
  10. #2/15 in runs scored with bases empty (66) 
In the first half, the Mets have done a great job hitting homers, especially with the bases empty, but when there are men on base, their difficulties are evident. In particular, they are last in number of plate appearances when runners are in scoring position: For some reason, in those situations they are just not getting enough batters to the plate. Further, they are last in the NL in ground out: fly out ratio (1.00) where fly outs exclude line drives. So they are hitting about as many fly balls as ground balls (721 vs. 718)— and are second-to-last in that stat in the Major Leagues.

They also do not seem interested in playing small ball. They have problems stealing bases and hitting sacrifice flies. Further, if in the second half their pitching slackens, the Mets anti-small ball philosophy could continue to affect how many runs they score — and they need to score more runs to take some of the pressure off the pitchers.

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