New York Mets Offense Has Experienced a 2nd-Half Drop-off
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After watching the Mets lose and get shut out yet again, I recalled a comment from Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez during a Mets' broadcast last week. They mentioned that since the All-Star break, the Mets have a home record of just four wins and an incredible 21 losses.
To drive home how bad their home record is, both the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves have won more games at Citi Field since mid July than the Met (they have each won six). Even the Colorado Rockies, who have only visited Queens one time this season, have the same number of victories at Citi Field as the Mets.
The expectations for the 2012 Mets weren’t huge, but the team’s 46-40 pre All-Star Game record gave fans some hope. Since then, however, the Mets have come crashing back down to earth. A major reason for this drop in form is that the team has lost the ability to score runs.
Here are a couple of statistics that display just how much the Mets’ offense has been in free fall:
In the 60 games played since the All-Star Break, the Mets have scored three or fewer runs in 38 of them. This includes seven shutouts and even seven games where the Mets won due solely to excellent pitching performances. That comes out to a staggering 63% of games where the Mets’ offense has gone missing.
The team’s batting average in the first half of the season was a combined .259 which ranked them seventh out of all 16 National League teams. Their numbers have dropped off significantly in the second half with a team average of .240. Their National League rank is now 13th out of 16 teams since the All-Star break.
Another problem for the Mets is the club’s continuing lack of power. In the first half of the season, the Mets were able to overcome this, as they were successful in putting together rallies and driving in runs with two outs. Since then, their inability to get men on base has made their occasional long balls less productive.
The Mets’ 122 homers is one of the lowest totals in all of baseball. They rank 26th out of the 30 MLB clubs. Even worse, 64 of the club’s home runs have been solo shots; a percentage of 52 percent.
Ike Davis leads the club with 27 home runs. Prior to the break, 27 percent of his 11 long balls were solo shots. Since then, 50 percent of Davis’ 16 round trippers have come with no one on base.
Despite playing part time, Scott Hairston has provided the Mets with 17 home runs; 40% of his first-half long balls were solo shots. Since then, he has only had five homers and four of them have been solo blasts.
David Wright has experienced a power outage of his own. Of his 17 home runs, 12 came in the first half of the season. Adding to the frustration is the fact that even when Wright has gone deep, 59 percent of his bombs have been solo shots.
The two Mets players that have the highest percentage of home runs with men on base, Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy, have other problems. The Mets are hoping that Duda will blossom in to a power hitting major leaguer. While he does have 14 homers, only two have come since July. Duda spent much of the summer in the minors due to his lack of hitting and sometimes shaky defensive play.
Murphy continues to be an enigma. Despite looking awkward in the field, he has proven to be a reliable hitter and retains his spot in the Mets’ lineup. Eighty percent of his long balls have been with men on base; however, he only has a total of five so far this season.
For the rest of the team, the number of home runs and the percentage hit with the bases empty are:
- Jordany Valdespin 8 HRs 63%
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis 7 HRs 86%
- Jason Bay 7 HRs 71%
- Bench 19 HR's 63%
Hopefully, the Mets will address their lack of muscle and second-half hitting drought during this offseason. With a solid core of young pitchers coming up, the Mets’ lineup will need to get men on base and provide power to give the team a chance to contend next season.
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