As I watched the Mets lose their second straight game to the lowly Colorado Rockies last night, it didn’t really bother me. Of course I want the team that I support to win, but looking back to the start of the season, I never thought the Mets would be competitive at all. In fact, in my preseason over/under predictions, I stated that the Mets would be lucky to win 70 games. With 39 games remaining in the season the Mets are currently nine games under .500 with a 57-66 record. They still may top my preseason prediction, but things sure have changed since the All-Star Break.
Heading into the break, the Mets were exceeding all expectations with a 46-40 record and were in third place in the National League East just a half game behind the Braves and four and half behind the Nationals. The Mets had defied their critics and energized their fan base. In my All-Star Break report card I stated that I had “misjudged the team” and gave them an overall grade of B.
Sadly, I may not have been too far off in my preseason predictions. Since the All-Star Break, the Mets have done a complete 180. The team’s play has gone from inspired to inept so fast—it’s as if the Mets’ light switch was suddenly turned off. Most fans seem to be taking it in stride as there were few expectations from the start. However, in typical Mets fashion, the club started off great when no one expected anything and faltered when expectations had been raised.
Here’s a look at some of the telling pre and post All-Star Game statistics.
Pre All-Star Game
- Heading in to the break, the Mets' pitching staff had a combined ERA of 3.96 which was ranked ninth out of the 16 National League teams.
- Through 86 games the staff compiled 22 saves, five complete games, 10 shutouts and a .251 opponent batting average.
Post All-Star Game
- Since the break the combined staff ERA has shot up to 4.89 dropping the team's rank from ninth to 14 out of 16 teams.
- The team is 14 games under .500 with an 11-25 record. The staff has registered seven saves, one complete game, one shutout and opponents' batting average has gone up to .257.
Pre All-Star Game: The Mets' starters were on top of their game throughout the first half of the season. Aside from Bobby Parnell, the bullpen was overall a disaster. Core staff members' ERA's were:
- R.A. Dickey 2.40
- Johan Santana 3.24
- Chris Young 3.41
- Jonathon Niese 3.73
- Dillon Gee 4.10
- Jon Rauch 4.02
- Bobby Parnell 2.83
- Frank Francisco 4.97
- Tim Byrdak 3.57
Post All-Star Game: Aside from Niese, who has looked sharp, and a resurgent Rauch the Mets' pitching has gone downhill fast.
- R.A. Dickey 3.74
- Johan Santana 16.33
- Chris Young 5.59
- Jonathon Niese.2.98
- Dillon Gee—Out for season
- Jon Rauch 1.32
- Frank Francisco 14.73
- Tim Brydak 6.75
Pre All-Star Game
- The Mets' offense was pretty solid throughout the first half of the season.
- Their team batting average was a respectable .259, which ranked them seventh out of 16 teams.
- They had an on-base percentage of .328 and a slugging average of .398.
- The club scored 294 runs, which ranked them third in the league.
Post All-Star Game
- Since the break the Mets have seen their numbers drop in all offensive categories.
- The team batting average is .246 and ranks them 12 out of 16.
- Their on-base percentage is .310 and their slugging average is 382.
- Most tellingly, with 130 runs scored, the Mets' ranking has dropped from third to 15th among all National League teams.
Pre All-Star Game: Outside of Ike Davis and Andres Torres, every position in the team's lineup has seen a decrease in production. Davis' increase is understandable considering the horrific start that he got off to. That leaves Torres as the most improved hitter following the break. Here are the breakdowns for the lineups' average, on base percentage and slugging percentage.
- David Wright .351, .441, .563
- Miguel Tejada .325, .381, .405
- Daniel Murphy .295, .335, .410
- Josh Thole .264, .316, .315
- Ike Davis .201, .271, .388
- Andres Torres .201, .323, .284
- Jason Bay .187, .253, .373
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis .268, .329, .402
- Lucas Duda .249, .341, .405
How have the Mets performed so far this season?
Post All-Star Game: There's bad and then there is Jason Bay. As hard as it is to believe, his post All-Star break numbers are even worse than they were in the first half of the season.
- David Wright .252, .346, .430
- Miguel Tejada .288, .319, .353
- Daniel Murphy .279, .333, .402
- Josh Thole .232, .308, .305
- Ike Davis.258, .319, .539
- Andres Torres .277, .371, .406
- Jason Bay .117, .216, .195
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis .107, .194, .143
- Lucas Duda .111, .238, .167
Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, the Mets in many ways have a good number of positives from this season. Wright has become a more productive hitter and confident fielder while showing leadership; Dickey is being talked about in conversations concerning the Cy Young Award; Santana recorded the franchise's first no-hitter and many young prospects got an early introduction to the majors, which should help their further development.