New York Mets: What's The Deal With No. 6?

Michael GanciCorrespondent IJune 18, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 09: Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets at bat  against the Philadelphia Phillies during their game at Citi Field on June 9, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Daniel Murphy is looking to get his game back, and the <a href=Mets need him." title="daniel-murphy1" width="300" height="175" />

Daniel Murphy is looking to get his game back, and the Mets need him.

The Mets have been an interesting team to watch this year. Some games, they come out and look like an offensive powerhouse, and others, they look like the Long Island Ducks (no offense intended).

Aside from David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Gary Sheffield, the offense has kind of been like a rotating door. And one spot that has been a bit of a problem would be the number six spot in the order.

The Mets have been dreadful in the No. 6 hole, aside from the recently allotted Gary Sheffield. The guys who have been counted on since Carlos Delgado went down have been filling that spot, and they haven’t been holding up their end of the bargain.

The No. 6 spot in the order is only batting .219 with two homers and 21 runs; both of which are the lowest of any position in the lineup besides the pitcher’s spot.

The .294 on base percentage is also the worst in the lineup as well. So who is to blame?

First, there is Daniel Murphy. The guy who reminded Jerry Manuel of Tony Gwynn is batting .246 on the season, and he seems to be making rather anemic outs. Hopefully last night’s three-hit performance is a sign that he is busting out of this prolonged slump.He has played above average defense at first base, but something has changed with his approach at the plate. He used to be so patient, but now he seems to be making decisions quicker, and he is chasing a lot more bad pitches.

Hopefully this is just a stage that will help him grow and develop.

The other guy who has been tanking as of late is Fernando Tatis, who is down to .263 on the year. He was also the victim of some bad luck yesterday. With the bases loaded and Fernando Martinez due up against Mark Hendrickson, Manuel opted to go for the right handed Tatis. Fernando got ahead 2-0 in the count, and then he drove a grounder towards the middle, but Brian Roberts had him scouted perfectly and was able to start the 6-4-3 double play.

That’s just the kind of luck that he’s been having lately.

If the Mets are going to keep some sustained pressure on during this tough stretch going into the all star break, they are going to need some more production out of the No. 6 spot in the order. Whether that is Tatis, Murphy or someone else, they need somebody to step up.