Jonathan Niese is hardly the only Met to be a disappointment this season.
After Tuesday’s loss to the Cardinals, the New York Mets have dropped three straight to fall to 23-36, 13 games out of the lead in the NL East and 12 games out of the wild-card picture. They now own the second-worst record in the National League, ahead of only Miami.
With Matt Harvey’s strong start and David Wright again having an All-Star year, this leaves Mets fans scratching their heads. Here are five things wrong with the Mets this season.
Most stats courtesy of ESPN.com and current as of 4 p.m. ET, June 12.
When using the basic fielding stats, the Mets aren’t that bad: middle of the pack in errors (37) and fielding percentage (98.4 percent).
However, when looking at Baseball-reference’s total-zone-total-fielding runs stat, the Mets have ceded 26 more runs than the average NL club, a league worst. In the similar runs-saved-above-average stat, the Mets are third-worst in the NL.
No small wonder that Mets fielders have put out fewer people than any other team in baseball.
Robert Carson before he was demoted
At present, the Mets are carrying one lefty starter in Jonathan Niese, and two lefty relievers in Josh Edgin and Scott Rice. Earlier in the season, Robert Carson was in the Mets bullpen.
None of these pitchers are getting it done: each has an ERA over 4.00; Edgin’s and Carson’s are both over 8.50. The Mets’ four lefties have combined for 10 defeats and have ceded 15 dingers. Carson alone has eight against his name.
According to Baseball-reference.com's pitching stats, the league average lefty concedes a triple slash of .252/.318/.395 for an OPS of .713. The Mets' lefties average .269, .352, .422 and .775, respectively.
Ike Davis batted .271 in his first two big-league seasons. He’s down to .161 now, and getting worse; he’s had just a single hit in the last week. In just 186 at-bats, he’s been fanned 66 times, putting him in the top 10 in the NL in that stat.
And the power isn’t there, either; he’s only slugging .258, with just eight extra-base hits on the year. After 32 homers in 2012, Davis is on pace for just 14 this campaign.
Davis also has some disappointing splits, his most egregious being that in 25 at-bats with two outs and runners in scoring position, Davis has two hits (both singles) against 10 strikeouts.
Last weekend, the Mets optioned Davis to the PCL. Can’t imagine why.
Matt Harvey is 5-0 with a 2.10 ERA and nine-and-a-half strikeouts per nine. Yet the New York Mets are still middle of the pack in starters’ ERA, at just over 4.00. Why? The rest of the men in the rotation, who have combined for 22 defeats this season.
The WHIP for the other Mets starters sits at a disappointing 1.46. Mets starters not named Matt Harvey have combined for an underwhelming 6.7 strikeouts per nine innings. If not for Harvey, the Mets rotation would be dead last in quality starts with just 21.
Jonathon Niese is 3-5 after posting an awful 5.65 ERA in May, with just 39 strikeouts in 68 frames. Jeremy Hefner has gotten his ERA up to better than 4.00, but still has six defeats and 10 dingers against him. Big-name offseason acquisition Shaun Marcum has yet to record a victory, but he has ceded 24 earned runs in 39-and-a-third innings.
The Mets collectively are batting .225, dead last in the majors and below both the Marlins (.229) and the Astros (.242). Buried in that stat is that the Mets are one of four MLB clubs with an OPS below .670 and one of only two clubs with 750 or fewer total bags.
And this isn’t just due to one or two bad apples: among Mets with 50 or more at-bats, only Wright, Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner have batting averages over .250 in 50-plus at-bats. Besides Davis, other key offenders are Rick Ankiel (.182 in 66 at-bats since being traded from the Astros) and Ruben Tejada (.209 in 187 at-bats).