The New York Mets’ season can be aptly represented by a handful of pivotal statistics.
For all the talk about the New York Mets’ rotation, it’s been a “light’s out bullpen” and mediocre lineup that has headlined the team’s dithering start to the 2016 MLB season.
These are the focal stats that encapsulate the team’s enthralling beginning to the 2016 campaign.
The Amazin’s are in the league’s cellar in terms of AVG with RISP…
Wright, who is inked to a mammoth-sized contract that expires following the 2020 season, has been a liability in both the field and in the batters box.
Despite once being one of the best corner infielders in the game, he has regressed into a mediocre third baseman — one plagued by spinal stenosis, a weak arm, and a tendency to swing at pitches outside of the strike zone.
Granderson, who was the team’s best leadoff hitter in years last season, has struggled to get on base (and his bases on balls tally reflects that).
Duda, who is currently on the disabled list, was putrid with the exception of a handful of homers. Similar to the rest of the team, he relies fully on the long ball.
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But… they are at the top of the majors in HR differential…
‘Chicks dig the long ball’ was a popular slogan in the 1980s. For the New York Mets, that adage applies in 2016 as well.
When New York hits multiple homers in a game, they are 15-3.
Without a big fly, they’re a below-average squad. This should come as a surprise, especially since guys like Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker, Kevin Plawecki and David Wright have always been contact-over-power hitters.
It’s less surprising when one takes into account the team’s power-pitching prowess, though. The power arms in the team’s rotation have catapulted them into the upper echelon of the league.
Thanks to Yoenis Cespedes‘ torrid start…
“A Cespedis for the rest of us!”
A last-minute acquisition by Sandy Alderson this offseason, Cespedes has single-handily carried the Metropolitans to victory on multiple occasions. He’s also batting over .300 with a plus arm and a bevy of speed.
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And the bullpen’s dominance…
Despite being a question-mark at the outset of the season, the Mets’ bullpen is tops in the big leagues with an outstanding 2.20 ERA.
Familia is 14-for-14 on save opportunities (which ranks second in the bigs), while flame-throwing right hander Hansel Robles has an earned-run average of less than a buck fifty, and setup man Addison Reed has nearly one-and-a-half strikeouts an inning.
But more remarkable is the performance of Jim Henderson and Logan Verrett, two guys who were considered long-shots to even make this team when the offseason began. The two have combined for 42.2 IP and an ERA in the low-3s.
Terry Collins went on to tell the News:
“We’ve talked a lot about the importance of having guys who have closed, where they don’t get caught up necessarily in big situations, because they’ve all been there.I look at Addison, Jim Henderson, Bastardo’s pitched the eighth and ninth (innings). They’re not intimidated by big situations and know they have to make pitches. Jimmy Henderson, with proper rest, will be a real dynamic guy as we get to the middle of the summer. You saw today, he’s 94-96 (miles per hour), good slider. Still, we’ve got to watch the shoulder a little bit because of the surgery, but if we give those guys proper rest, they get big outs.”
And the rotation’s brilliant command.
Even with Matt Harvey’s recent woes and the media’s infatuation with the term “underperforming,” the team’s rotation has been one of the league’s best — especially in the area of walking hitters.
Bartolo Colon‘s craftiness has been well documented over the years, but while everyone has been speaking about the veteran’s impeccable command, Noah Syndergaard has been subtly surrendering zero free passes to opposing hitters.
With Harvey being the outlier (15 walks), a threesome of Mets pitchers have been unbelievable in this regard: Syndergaard (nine), Colon (nine), and Matz (eight) equate up to just 1.913 walks per nine innings, nearly half the league rate, according to NJ.com’s Ryan Hatch.
This, of course, isn’t just limited to the starters. The bullpen has been awesome as well, thanks to pitching coach Dan Warthen.
Noah Syndergaard also spoke with the Daily News:
“I feel like the growth that I’ve had in the span of one year has been night and day. I owe a lot of the success to [pitching coach Dan Warthen], who’s been a joy to work with every day and helped me with the ability to go out there and have the amount of confidence that I can throw any pitch at any given time.”