One would think there isn’t anywhere to go but up. I try to be as optimistic as possible, but with this team, it is becoming a struggle.
The Mets currently sport the WORST RECORD IN ALL OF BASEBALL. They are 1-8 at home, losing four of five to the Nationals and Astros, two of the worst road teams in baseball last season. David Wright has been flat out awful, and without Jason Bay, his lack of production stands out even more.
I hate to beleaguer a point, but there are very few positives with this team.
Jose Reyes has been the best player on this team, subtracting his base running gaff last night. Ike Davis is playing great, developing a lot faster than originally expected. Carlos Beltran has also started to come around. From videos I have found online, he seems to have that balanced swing he has had in the past. He has been keeping his bat in the hitting zone for a long period of time, making better contact than he made for much of last season. Lastly, as I mentioned previously, Taylor Buchholz and Pedro Beato have pitched very well. With Parnell on the DL with numbness in his pitching hand, look for these two to have expanded roles in the pen.
This lineup still has the potential to carry the team on a long winning streak. When Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Bay are hitting, with Pagan and Davis complimenting them, they will be very hard to pitch against.
However, at the end of the day, that’s all it is…potential. The pitching staff has the potential to be good. Today they sit 28th in baseball in ERA.
Their biggest issue has been fundamentals. Their base-running and defense has let them down time after time after time. Last night it happened again. The base-running of Pagan and Reyes, combined with Thole’s inability to get a bunt down cost them the game.
Hit the ball. Pitch the ball. Catch the ball. Sounds simple right?
I know i cannot play baseball at a professional level, not even close. These guys are incredible athletes. However, you do not need to be a world class athlete to make the routine play. The Mets need to get back to the fundamentals, and fast, otherwise the season will be lost.
Look at the Cleveland Indians. This is a team with a payroll is $49 million, compared to the Mets’ $118 million. They have a rotation composed of a bunch of cast-offs. Outside of Fausto Carmona, who only has 46 wins himself, the other four (ever heard of Justin Masterson, Josh Tomlin, Mitch Talbot, or Carlos Carrasco?) have a combined 38 wins between the four of them.
The Tribe are 13-5. Their pitchers are throwing strikes, with 35 walks in 109 innings whereas the Mets rotation 52 walks in 107 innings. A walk ratio of about 4.5 walks per 9 innings is unacceptable and is giving the other team too many free base runners to stay competitive.
However, even when the Mets pitchers are throwing strikes, the fielders are not making the routine plays. According to the “runs saved” metric, the Mets are the major league worst -26. This means their defense has cost them 26 runs this season. That’s over one run a game!
In trying to keep that optimistic attitude is that the Indians were terrible last season. They went 69-93. If the Indians, who are made up of mostly the same players, are capable of turning it around and playing this type of baseball, the Mets are as well.
In addition, the Rays started 0-5 at home and 1-8 overall. They are now 9-9 and only two games back of first place.
With Jason Bay’s return tonight, hopefully the Mets can win three out of the next four to salvage something out of this home-stand.