In his first four games of 2012, the Mets scored six runs for Johan Santana. Since then they have tallied 54 runs in his last 10 starts, an unexpected offensive explosion. Poor run support has plagued Santana since he joined the Mets but he has little to complain about in that department recently. And the results have come in his W-L record, as he is 5-1 in his last 10 starts and has decisions in his last five appearances.
Overall, Santana has been supported with 4.43 runs per game according to Baseball-Reference, compared to a National League average of 4.17 rpg. That stands in stark contrast to what he received when he was last healthy in 2010, when the Mets hitters gave him an average of 2.90 rpg while the league average was 4.33 rpg.
Another thing to keep in mind is that these numbers are all of the runs scored in games started by the pitcher, so they did not score all of them while Santana was on the mound. Still, it’s nice to see the offense not take a day off when Santana is on the hill. Despite strong pitching throughout the year, Santana did not pick up his first win until May 5th.
According to ESPN, Santana is on pace for 194 IP and a record of 12-7. It would be nice to see him rewarded with a few more wins but I think that’s a line that we all would have gladly signed up for on Opening Day when there were still a ton of concerns about his health coming back from shoulder problems.
WRIGHT ON THE MONEY – How do you know when you’re having a good year? When you have an 11-game hitting streak, one in which you’re batting .366, and it only raises your overall AVG by one point. It’s been that type of season for David Wright, one that has reestablished him as one of the top offensive players in the game.
It’s the third hitting streak this year for Wright to reach double-digits and is the longest one of the season for the Mets’ third baseman. He opened the year with a 10-game hitting streak, in which he posted a 1.231 OPS in 45 PA. Later in April, he started another 10-game streak and in 43 PA he notched a 1.225 OPS. His current streak, which started on June 9th, has covered 47 PA and he’s recorded a .983 OPS.
THOLE STRUGGLES SINCE CONCUSSION – In previous years, Josh Thole has gotten off to poor starts but rebounded as the weather warmed up. This year Thole got off to a hot start but has really struggled since being activated from the DL. In his last 62 PA, he has a .237/.262/.254 line in 62 PA. He has only two walks in that stretch. In his hot start to open the season, Thole had 9 BB in his first 58 PA.
A NIESE STRETCH – While it seems like “Dickey and Santana and pray for manna,” Jonathon Niese has done his best to give the Mets a chance to win over the last month. In his last five starts, Niese has a 2.48 ERA over 32.2 IP. In that span he’s limited batters to a .600 OPS and has allowed 3 HR and 10 BB while picking up 35 Ks.
Home runs have really plagued Niese this season, as he’s surrendered 11 gopher balls in 75.1 IP overall. Last year in 157.1 IP, he allowed 14 HR. So, while the 3.5 K/BB ratio and the 9.64 K/9 are certainly impressive in his last five starts, the most important number may be the 3 HR allowed over 135 batters faced.
THE OLD MAN KEEPS ROLLING ON – Miguel Batista lost his spot in the starting rotation after lower back problems landed him on the DL in early May. But since he’s returned, he’s been one of the team’s most effective relievers. In seven appearances since being activated, the 41 year old has a 2.57 ERA out of the pen. That’s the second-best mark among the team’s relievers in June, trailing just the 2.45 ERA of closer Frank Francisco.
CHECKING IN ON CAPTAIN CLUTCH – Kirk Nieuwenhuis got out of the gates strong with the Mets and was one of the reasons the team got off to such a good start. But since the beginning of May, Nieuwenhuis has been rather pedestrian. In his last 161 PA, the rookie has a .262/.319/.386 line. The National League has a .715 OPS as a whole this year and Nieuwenhuis has a .705 mark since May 1st. The worrisome thing is that it’s taken a .347 BABIP for Nieuwenhuis to post that .705 OPS. Until he improves his strikeout rate, Nieuwenhuis will need a high BABIP to be an average player.
METS DELIVER IN A PINCH – Even with Mike Baxter shelved, Mets’ pinch-hitters have continued to produce. In 130 PA this year the team’s PH have a .269/.377/.472 line. That’s the second-most pinch-hitting appearances in the National League. Not only have they come up a lot but they have been productive, too. Their .849 OPS ranks fourth in the league and their 23 RBIs is the most in the loop.